Need Help Writing A CV?
We've put together some helpful CV tips and advice, which we feel will give you the best opportunity of impressing in the early stages of the application process.
Graduate schemes involve a step-by-step application process, with the first step normally being to send a copy of your CV. A CV is the first opportunity to sell yourself as the best candidate for the position, so it’s important to take your time and get it right!
The main objective of a CV is to sell yourself as effectively as possible, so information about your qualifications, your experience, your skills and what you hope to achieve in the future has to be clear and concise.
It's also important to tweak your CV to match different applications; this shows that you have taken the time to focus your main selling points to match the company and the role you’re applying for.
How to lay out your CV
Start your CV with your name, address and contact details, including your email address and mobile number. This will make it much easier for the employer to contact you if they like the look of your CV. It's also important to check these details are correct; you’ll be surprised how many CVs we receive that are missing digits in a mobile number, or which don't contain a contact number at all!
This is a great opportunity to write short paragraph about yourself, what you have to offer and what you want to achieve in the future. Try to keep this to around 2-5 sentences, and be positive!
Education and Qualifications
List all previous education and qualifications, and elaborate on any university degrees that you may have, especially if it's a construction-related subject. It's important to include dates and grades.
Detail any previous jobs, even if they're not construction-related, including any part-time jobs that you had during your degree, as it shows a strong work ethic. It's also a great opportunity to include summer placements or work experience. Employers like people who are driven and enthusiastic.
Chronicle your roles by starting with the most recent and working backwards. Summarise each job in 3-10 sentences by explaining your day-to-day tasks and responsibilities, as well as any notable achievements. It's important to keep the role that you're applying for in mind - this is an opportunity to prove that you have utilised the skills that the employer is looking for.
It's also important to associate each job with specific dates, as any periods of unemployment could raise questions. If a gap appears, explain why - it could be as simple as explaining that you were travelling or studying.
You don’t have to provide your current salary, but if the job advert requests this information then provide it. You don’t want to make it look like you can't follow simple instructions. This information would usually be included within the employment history, if needed.
This is a great chance to highlight your capabilities and skillsets, from the software that you can use to communication skills. This information is usually listed in bullet points - as always, keep the job that you're applying for in mind.
This section allows you to talk about what you like to do in your spare time, from the hobbies you have and the sports you play to the books you read and the films you watch. Employers aren’t just interested in if you can do the job, they also want to know that you will fit in with their company culture! Again, this information is usually listed in bullet points.
Most people say 'available on request', which is generally best practice. However, it's important that you know who you're going to ask, as most employers will always check your references before completing the paperwork. This could include previous employers or even your university tutor! Be prepared - it's usually a good idea to ask your potential referee before you give their details out!
We hope you found this section helpful, and now feel confident enough to write your CV. Once you've completed your CV, the next step is to apply for a construction graduate scheme. Good luck!