How to create a Graduate CV that gets interviews

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How well can you get to know a graduate in just 7 seconds?

According to The Undercover Recruiter, that is the average time a recruiter spends scanning a CV. And with recruiters receiving an average of 250 applications per role, a CV that fails to stand out unfortunately goes straight in the bin.

7 seconds isn’t long is it? We’ll talk about how to make it count later…

Another illuminating fact is that nearly three-quarters of HR professionals express difficulties hiring talent. Because so many talented people fail to stand out, they just get lost in the sea of applications.

So, it isn’t always the best people that get interviewed. You might well be much more suited to the role, but you just didn’t get picked for an interview because you didn’t stand out.

So, how do you create a graduate CV that will stand out and 10X your chance of getting an interview?

How to Make Your Graduate Resume Stand Out

With less than a 1 in 5 chance that a recruiter will read your cover letter, your CV is your best shot at landing an interview.

With less than a 1 in 5 chance that a recruiter will read your cover letter, your CV is your best shot at landing an interview.I will cover the increasing importance of video CVs later on in this blog, but for now here are things you can do to maximise the chances of your paper CV getting you an interview…

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1. Avoid Cliché Language

Many people use statements such as: Results-driven, Fast learner, Ambitious, Attention to detail, etc.

Recruiters don’t like clichés.

The reason is that clichés aren’t specific, and specifics are what recruiters want.

Don’t say you are results driven, provide results… Give examples of where you have shown attention to detail… Fast Learner ? What did you learn? You get the point…

So tell them how you raised £2,000 for charity while in college, tell them you taught yourself how to code in 12 months while studying history in your final year.

And backup everything you say with a proof point.

2. Get straight to the point

Not everything about your life should go in your CV. The purpose of your graduate resume is to tell your recruiter why you’re the one for the job. You can leave out your date of birth, height, and political affiliations.

Get straight to the point with an introduction of yourself and what you can do. Then tell the recruiter some achievements and how you will add value to their organisation.

3. Highlight your achievements

Achievements count more than skills. So, put your best foot forward by detailing these.

In highlighting your achievements, remember to emphasise your results. So, don’t just write that you were the Editor of Student News. Say that, as Editor of Student News, you and your team increased the subscription to the paper by 50%.

4. Tailor your resume to the position

Every position has a specific set of required skills. Even if you have a wide range of skills, focus on the skills needed for the job.

Many graduates use the same resume over and over when applying for jobs. The only change they make is in their cover letter. The problem, as stated above, is that only one in five cover letters are actually read by recruiters.

So, ensure that the skills you emphasise speak to the job you are applying for.

5. Use Industry-Specific Words — Keywords

Some recruiters save even more time by letting their computer database choose the resumes they should read based on industry-keywords. If your CV doesn’t include any, it will be left out.

For instance, you can’t apply for a job as a Content Writer without mentioning: writing, SEO, blogging, etc. These are industry-specific.

Prove to the recruiter (and the computer) that you are ready for the position by using industry language.

Stand out with a Video CV

59% of executives agree that if they had to choose between watching a video or reading a text about the same thing, they’d go with the video. Now, combine that with the fact that the brain retains video information for longer.

So, a video resume will not only ensure that you get seen, but it will also help you make a lasting impression.

What is a video CV?

Let’s start by saying that a video CV is not a reading of your CV. Recruiters can and will read your CV themselves if they think you are worth considering further.

A video CV is a video introduction. In the video, you briefly explain who you are, what you do, and why you would be great for the job.

It’s not a movie. It’s a trailer, about a minute long.

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How to make a video CV

The following tips will help you create your first video CV successfully:

1. Write a Script

A script helps you to organise your thoughts, so you’ll know exactly what to say in your video CV and when to say it. This helps you to appear confident in the video CV.

Every statement you make in the video must be relevant to the job. Avoid fillers – a script helps you with this. We’ll talk about that in more detail later.

Practice your script as many times as you can to perfect your delivery.

2. Dress appropriately

Dress as you would for a job interview. Every industry has a dress code that is considered appropriate. For your video, you should wear clothing that’s considered standard work attire for the industry you’re applying to.

3. Make it personal

Just as you should with a written CV, tailor your video resume to the job. It helps if you mention the name of the person or organisation and the role you’re applying for. This makes your video resume personal and more engaging.

4. Keep it short

Your video resume should be between 45 and 90 seconds (maximum). But just like a paper CV, a recruiter will decide whether to continue watching or not in the first 7 seconds. So make sure you get their attention up front.

5. Practice

Practice what you’re going to say several times. Cut out any unnecessary details. Talk to the camera as if the recruiter is right in front of you. Avoid reading a script as this loses engagement.

What to Say in a Video CV

Divide your video CV into four sections:

Who you are – Give a greeting and then state your name and the role you are applying for. If you know the name of the recruiter, it gives your video a personal touch if you mention it. You shouldn’t spend more than 7 seconds here. Note that your body language is critical. It helps to keep a warm smile on your face while you talk.

What you do – Focus on achievements over your responsibilities. A recruiter wants to hear less about what your job entails, and more about the benefits for the organisation. Keep it under 30 seconds.

Why you will be a great hire – Do some research on the company and job. What skills, strengths, and experiences do you possess that can add value to the company? Don’t spend more than 30 seconds on this section.

Wrap-up – End on a positive and professional note. Make sure they know how to contact you.

Seven great reasons to use a video CV

You Stand Out

Hiring can be tedious work. A recruiter gets about 250 resumes for every vacancy. That’s why it is not surprising that the average time spent reading a CV is very short.

Removing that monotony by sending a video will help you get seen . Other applicants send written resumes, but yours is more enjoyable as you’re giving a short video introduction of yourself.

10x Your Chance of Landing an Interview

You can’t get an interview if your CV is among the 95% that the interviewer ignores.

Video CVs are newer and more innovative so the interviewer is more likely to open it. This means you get seen, you show your personality, make a better impression, and you are 10x more likely to get an interview.

With a video CV, the recruiter gets the chance to assess how well you would do during the interview. You also get to showcase your communication skills.

Video content is proven to work in sales

The reason why 87% of marketing professionals use video as a marketing tool (source: Markinblog) is because viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text. (source: Insivia).

There is a solid case for using it to sell yourself!

Brings Out Your Personality

With a paper CV you’re just another person with skills and qualifications. It doesn’t get your personality across. A video CV gives you the chance to present a strong image of yourself.

Easy to Personalise

Once you have made your first video CV it is easy to make them for several positions. A personalised video CV breaks the ice and grabs attention so the recruiter is more likely to hear what you have to say.

Realtime Tracking

After you submit your CV, what happens? You cross your fingers and hope they call you for an interview. You have no idea if anyone even read your CV. It becomes tough after a week of not getting any response.

A video CV changes that. You can track it in realtime.

You know if the interviewer opened it, the amount of time they watched it for. You can even track whether it was forwarded to someone else.

With a video CV you are no longer left wondering.

Video CVs can be made for free

Most companies make their software available for free, either on a trial basis or for occasional use and this is also true for Video CV builders. 

With C-Me you can create a Video CV for free and share and track it without limits. That way you can use it to get as many interviews as possible to land your dream job.

Make Your Application Stand Out with a Video CV

C-Me makes Video CV creation super easy. Follow the simple step-by-step process and within less than 10 minutes you can create your first video resume.

C-Me has video resume samples to help inspire and guide you. And there are tips as well as a video tutorial.

After creating your video resume, you can easily share it privately with recruiters via: LinkedIn, Facebook, email, and other social media platforms.

You can then track your applications in real-time from your C-Me dashboard to get insights on how well your applications are doing.

Once you start getting interviews, you can jump into the interview practice room where you can practice answering the most common interview questions asked.

You can also record your answers and get a video analysis report giving you insights on how to improve your video CV or interview answers.

Get started with C-Me today to create applications that will stand out and get you interviews.

Wishing you the best of luck.

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