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CV Hacks every Graduate needs to know

Updated: Jun 11, 2020

Your CV is crucial to landing an interview, so why are so many Graduates getting this so wrong? We have researched this seemingly simple topic extensively and worked with the top industry experts to give you the down low.

Spending time on your CV is the first step to landing your dream job

With approximately 250 graduates applying for a single job, one of the toughest things to do is stand out from the crowd. But for a graduate with little to no experience, how can you do it? Think about your favourite brand, think about every advert you have seen - print media, digital , radio. What do you love about the adverts? Do you love the fact that they engage you? Do they provide you with just enough information to get you to click on their website? Do they provide you with all the information you need? Probably all of the above. The same should apply to you CV.

Your CV is your advert for yourself. It should engage the reader enough to want to see you for an interview. It should provide so much information that person stops reading and loses interest. Current research indicates that a recruiter will scan a CV for a 5 seconds before deciding if you cv goes into the “yes” pile. If you had to scan your own CV for 5 seconds, would you be able to gather that you are an amazing person ready for to add value to this role?

Now, we know you are a Graduate and we expect that your CV is not going to be too long. In fact, the latest trend in CV’s (even for Experienced candidates) is to be as concise as possible. That is why treating your CV as an advert for yourself is a useful concept. What are the most important abilities, skills and knowledge areas that a company would need to know about you to get them interested in meeting you?


  • Keep your email address simple, don’t use an email address that has a nickname in it.

  • If you need to get a new one for free using Gmail or Yahoo.

  • Provide an updated cell number - ensure you have it on and available

  • Simple, basic info with good formatting (1 - 1.5 line spacing for headings and separation of sections)

  • Use simple font, generally Arial is a good choiceEnsure your CV is in line with your industry.

  • For example if you are in a creative industry, you will want to show a bit more colour on your CV. But it should always represent you and your personality type. Try to stay aways from busy borders, colours and font - the simpler the better.

All the best in the hunt out there! We have reached out to one of our favourite recruiters for her view and some helpful advice to a young job seeker. Take a look!

First things First - Get the basics right. Is your CV appealing to the eye, well presented, error free and professional?. Are you contactable on your mobile number and email address? Are you making an effort with your appearance, showing up early for interviews and demonstrating reliability? If so, great! Next step is to be resilient and spend purposeful time searching for a job DAILY – this includes networking, responding to positions, researching companies and who to contact and be consistent. Successful people do consistently what others do occasionally – a little done often WILL produce the desired results! Orla Ollewagen, Managing Director of The Appointment Firm

These critical skills can be difficult to master. Sivuka coaches help young job seekers in these trying times through online coaching. If you are still struggling to land the job or even just the interview, we specialise in exactly this! We know how tough it is and have assisted 1000’s of graduates and job seekers in their careers. Keen? Drop us a mail:

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