Graduate CVs, Applications and Supporting Documents

Knowing how to get the most out of your CV, application and also any supporting documents will help you to stand out from the crowd.

CVs and Application Forms

In your CV/application you want to showcase:

  • What benefits you can offer
  • Your up-to-date skills
  • Your successes
  • Market knowledge
  • Your USPs (Unique selling points)
  • Your goals

You want to create an instant impression that will have the employers wanting to read more.

The main points you want to include on your CV are:

  • Contact Details: Make sure these are clearly visible and unless you never leave your house, get rid of the landline.
  • Personal Profile: Use this to briefly introduce yourself and your skills, relevant to the role.
  • Experience and Skills: Here you go into more depth on what you have done and the skills you have gained (always try to focus on relevant/transferable skills). This can also include voluntary work.
  • Education: Depending on what type of role you are applying for, it may make sense to prioritise your education before work experience, especially if it is a related graduate job or an academic position.
  • Additional Information: Drivers licence, multiple languages or came first in your charity run? All interesting information an employer might want to know about a candidate’s character. Just as long as the skills you describe are relevant to the role.
  • References: State references are available on request.

These are just the basics – for specific CVs relating to different sectors or to use a step-by-step CV builder, research the CVs and Application section on The CORE information system.

Supporting your CV - Cover Letters and Supporting Statements

These documents should complement your CV, as your opportunity to sell yourself. They will allow you to be particularly relevant about the position you are applying for, and are therefore just as important as the CV itself.

In cover letters/supporting statements, remember to state why you wish to work for the organisation, in that particular job role. For more tips on cover letters and supporting statements, and to use a step-by-step cover letter building tool, go to The CORE.


A portfolio is a physical or digital folder of information which evidences your any number of the following:

  • Who you are
  • A description of what you do
  • Knowledge and qualifications
  • Evidence of competence and development

Portfolios are mostly used by professionals in the creative industries, but can be useful for all professionals, as a way of showcasing your knowledge, skills, experience, qualifications, development and achievement.

If you are considering starting a portfolio, think about a digital one and there is plenty of useful support and advice to do this online. Alternative, contact Career Development (link to careers).

Social Networking and LinkedIn

More and more companies and organisations are scrapping traditional recruitment methods and advertising and headhunting through social media, particularly LinkedIn. It is therefore vital that you have an accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date profile, so you are ready to be contacted!

Support and information on how to effectively use LinkedIn and more general social networking for your job search can be found under ‘Jobs and Work Experience’ on The CORE, or come to a CORE drop-in session (link to )


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Last edited: 05/12/2017 03:15:00