How to make sure your CV reflects who you are
As a recent or soon-to-be graduate, you’re probably gearing up to find the research job of your dreams. With all the steps involved in that process, it’s easy to overlook one important thing – how your CV is written.
Standing out from the crowd
No matter how good your research is, or how many innovative ideas you have, the most difficult part about finding a research position is making it to the interview stage.
Distinguishing yourself from other applicants is essential to secure an interview – and your CV is the first impression that you make on prospective employers.
What your CV should contain
There are countless guides on CV writing available online, and if you’re actively seeking a research position you’ve probably studied many of them already.
If you’ve already included your personal details, educational background, research interests and student publications, you’re on the right track…but is your CV really complete?
- Take a moment to read your CV (or get someone else to read it) and ask yourself – would I interview this person for a job, based on what I’ve read?
- If the answer is yes, chances are your CV is exciting, engaging and easy to read – these are the elements that will make you stand out and pique any employer’s curiosity.
Tell them who you are, not just what you know
Research jobs are becoming increasingly people-centred, with teams being expected to make presentations to employees from other departments and management on a regular basis.
As a result, research teams are actively seeking applicants who have soft skills as well as research talent.
- When you write your CV, make sure to include information about your personality and approach to work.
- If you come across as flexible, approachable, hard-working and a team player, your chances of being interviewed will rise significantly.
Keep it short – and use visuals
Today, most people have very little spare time – and those tasked with hiring new staff are no exception. Lengthy, verbose CVs will often lose out to those that read like an executive summary.
Finally, today’s visual-intensive world has made most people more comfortable with graphs, charts and images than with a page of continuous text. Don’t be afraid to create visuals that illustrate your skills and previous research achievement – even a simple graph will do.
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