Graduate CV FAQ's

22 Jun 2023, 13:19

It can be hard to know what you should and shouldn't include on your graduate CV, but there are certain elements that must be there. Follow our checklist to find out what.

CV checklist word puzzle

What personal details do I include?

For your personal details, use the minimum amount of possible space. For example, you could put your email and mobile number in the header of the CV and your address and URL for your LInkedIn profile in the footer. Your name should be prominent, you want the recruiter to remember it. There is no need to include information such as marital status or date of birth or gender.

Do I Include a personal or professional profile?

This isn't a 'must have' but it is increasingly common. It identifies in a concise way what your career objectives are and why you are the right fit for the job on offer. Explain why you're interested in working in this sector and why this job presents the right opportunity, both for you and the prospective employer.

How do I list my educational qualifications?

In the standard chronological CV, make sure you list your most recent qualifications first. Remember to give the full title of your degree (e.g. Bachelor of Business Studies, not BBS) and if you have submitted a thesis or project as part of your degree, give its title and its purpose. List the length of your degree and also show your overall grades and the subjects you studied. If you wish you can include your Leaving Cert (or A Level) results but do not include your Junior Cert (GCSE) grades.

How do I list my employment history/work experience?

Begin with the most recent position you held. Employers are interested in any work experience, whether immediately relevant to the position or not, so remember to include all voluntary, part-time or holiday work that you have done. Give examples of ambition and achievements, show yourself as a results-oriented individual. Any experience you have had in clubs, societies and voluntary organisations is also very relevant. Be careful with your choice of language and don't overuse the same word or phrase too often. Positive verbs and words such as 'delivered','managed' and 'succeeded' are important.

Do I add additional information on my suitability for the job?

Use a CV to reveal why you want the job, the breadth and depth of your skills, interests, experience and achievements but REMEMBER, do not let it exceed two pages.

Should I include references?

Include names of references and contact details. Make sure you get the permission of those providing the reference before you include their details.

The chronological style CV could incorporate most or all of these elements, and it's the CV that most people are familiar with, but it's not the only CV format, find out more about graduate CV formats and download CV templates and and other graduate CV tips.

How do I explain a gap year?

If you have taken a year out travelling, be upfront about it and mention it on your CV. Employers understand that it is a common choice for students and graduates. If you did any part-time work during your travels also include it.

Do I HAVE to put my Leaving Cert results on my CV?

No, these are not essential, but since you may not yet have your final third-level results at the time of applying for your first graduate job, so your LeavingCert results can be a good way to show academic achievement.

Will a recruiter read all of my CV in detail?

Assume your CV will be scanned in 30 seconds, and no more than that. You don't have much time to impress so put a lot of thought into how you present your information.

Can I use CV templates?

Good CV templates, such as those that you can download from gradireland are an excellent resource. But don't copy templates you find online, recruiters are skilled at seeing a once-size-fits-all templated CV and it won't do your application any favours.

Find out more

Visit our dedicated CV and cover letter section.

gradireland editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the gradireland content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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