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Essential Application Tips

As the graduate job market is quite competitive, we thought we’d provide you with some helpful advice on how to do your best and really stand out. Here are some hints and tips on how to write a CV and what to look out for when attending an interview.

How to write a good CV

  • It must catch the reader's eye, as you will probably only have 20-30 seconds to attract their attention.
  • The layout must be clear and simple, enabling the reader to find the information they need quickly.
  • Ideally keep the CV to 2 pages (try to include a cover letter that is targeted to the position you are applying to).
  • Keep sentences short and punchy (avoid overwritten long paragraphs and sentences).
  • Use bullet points to break up the text under section headings.
  • Include a short summary at the beginning of the CV stating the type of role you are seeking & what skills you can bring to this role.
  • Include enough detail about previous jobs and experience (focus on key tasks & skills developed).
  • Shout about your achievements, employers need to know the benefits of employing you.
  • Check your CV carefully for errors before sending it. Tiny errors can distract and make you look careless and lazy. Preferably get someone to check it, as they are most likely to spot errors.
  • Use white or cream paper.

Do not:

  • Include anything that might be considered as a failure
  • Show salary
  • Use fancy borders or coloured paper
  • Use ring binders (particularly frustrating for recruiters)
  • Write your CV in Excel


  • Be able to provide referee details easily and without hesitation.
  • Be able to provide confirmation of academic results or at least how one can verify results.

Recruiters perspective

  • We need to know what you are currently studying / working.
  • Research has shown that CVs are best written in Arial 10 / 11 (this is the easiest font to read).

Hints and tips for interviews

  • Be prepared.
  • Review your qualifications for the job.
  • Dress appropriately.
  • Look the interviewers in the eyes.
  • Find a comfortable position in the seat.
  • Be cooperative and enthusiastic.
  • Practice with friends and family.
  • It is ok to be nervous!
  • Demonstrate your communication skills.
  • Listen to the questions fully and answer questions to the point.