CV Tips: Getting the most out of your degree

Posted in: Advice, Applications, Tips & Hints

By the time you finish University and are looking for a role “out there”, you’ll have spent a considerable amount of time, effort and money developing your learning and skills. So why not show how your education has contributed towards making you the best candidate for the role?

Things to highlight

….in your Education section

For most students and graduates, a CV will usually start with an Education section. We often see courses simply described like this:

2016-2019                            BSc (Hons) Psychology, expected 2.1                       University of Bath

But after all the effort you’ve put into your study, we think it deserves a little more attention!

Firstly, think about the range of what you’ve covered on your course. Which modules would an employer be interested in? List up to 5 modules that you think would be of interest to the employer, because of the sorts of tasks or knowledge required in the role (you definitely don't need to list every single module you studied on your course).  You don’t need to give results – unless they’re consistently good!

Secondly, you could use one or two bullet points to talk about skills or key pieces of learning that you’ve developed during your course that are relevant to the role.  A skill could be a technical skill (e.g. a particular lab technique) or more of a personal skill (e.g. the ability to problem-solve). This is especially useful if you've decided to apply for a role not directly related to your degree course and you need to emphasise transferable skills.

Thirdly, you could give the title of your final year project or dissertation, if particularly relevant to the role.  For example, a management consultancy might be really interested to know that you’ve done a piece of research on change management.

…elsewhere on your CV

Placement years could be talked about in your “Work Experience” (or “Relevant Experience”) section.  For many graduates their year in industry is their main work experience.  Make sure it gets the attention it deserves.  Don’t just tell an employer what you did. Briefly tell them about the skills you used and developed during that time.  Try to tell them about something relevant that you learned during that time (industry operations? something about the role you were in?).

Final year projects and other standalone projects can also be written up in a similar way to a placement.  Doing this can be useful if you don't have lots of work experience.  Say what you did, how you did it, and what you learned.  Be careful though - if it was a team project, make sure you focus on your tasks and contributions. And don’t forget to mention if industry or other partners were involved in your project.

A few useful resources:

Get feedback!

Book a 15 minute Applications Advice appointment via MyFuture and get feedback on your CV.

Posted in: Advice, Applications, Tips & Hints

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