If you want to immediately follow up your studies with a rewarding and well-paid job, one of the first things that will require attention is your CV.
A good CV - one that projects an image of you as confident, competent and professional - will capture the attention of even the most fastidious recruitment agencies, so here are 10 ways to ensure it is exactly that.
1. Include all of the essential details
Does your CV even include your full name? What about your telephone number or email address so that employers can actually contact you? Have you listed all relevant skills and past experiences?
2. Use a professional email address
An embarrassing email address referencing your sexual proclivities or that sitcom character's famous saying immediately plants doubt in the employer's head. According to a study cited by the University of Kent Careers and Employability Service, 76% of CVs with unprofessional email addresses are ignored.
3. Don't exaggerate your qualities or accomplishments
You may want to show your qualifications, skills and experiences in the best light, but don't venture outside the realm of truth by making outlandish claims that will kill your chances when you are asked about them at interview.
4. Have multiple versions of your CV
It's accepted practice now to adapt your CV to different science jobs, but doing so can be time-consuming. Make it easier by having several versions of your CV ready for swift modification - for example, a long one that has everything, a short one covering only the most basic details and a third one that combines the most appropriate elements of the aforementioned two.
5. Don't use any more than two or three sides
Employers frequently have hundreds of CVs to sift through - they are unlikely to be interested in reading beyond this widely accepted standard length unless you have undertaken multiple short-term projects or assignments or possess literally decades of relevant experience.
6. Double check and triple-check spelling and grammar
This advice seems to show up in every article about CV writing, and with good reason - it really is that important. It especially needs to be retold given that graduates are twice as likely to make spelling or grammatical errors on their CVs as non-graduates.
7. Go for interesting, but professional presentation
We wouldn't recommend that you go for an 'artsy and quirky' CV design if you're gunning for science jobs, but there's still scope for a bit of classy creativity that takes your CV away from 'deathly dull' territory - for example, a slightly unconventional (but still professional) font for your name at the top of the document.
8. Cite examples of leadership
Recruiters for science jobs like to see indications that you can take responsibility for yourself and would not be out of place in a managerial role in years to come. Captaining the cricket team at school or being the key instigator behind university charity events can therefore be more relevant than you realise.
9. Swerve clear of CV clichés
If your idea of the kind of CV statement that employers like to see is still "I like to socialise with friends", you really need to rethink that hobbies section. Quirkier pastimes can attract attention to a CV in a more positive sense, as long as they aren't controversial.
10. Get someone else to look at it
Spending too long poring over your CV can sometimes paradoxically make it harder to pick out so-called 'obvious' mistakes or areas for improvement (for example, a poorly phrased sentence) - so, get at least one of two other trusted people to give it a quick read-through.
Read our other useful CV writing tips or remind yourself of our Candidate Commitment to get a sense of how we could assist you in your early science career here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, including by matching you to the most desirable science jobs in sought-after fields ranging from pharmaceutical and clinical to engineering and biotechnology.