11 CV Writing Tips for Undergraduate Students

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Searching for CV Writing Tips for Undergraduate Students? What do you think is the most important feature of a Resume? What is something that catches the reader’s attention just when they look at it? Is it the design, the number of words you’ve stacked in the document or the preciseness of the document? 

No matter what anyone says, your CV/ Resume matters. After all, it is the first document people see about you. 

Expressing yourself through a simple document such as a resume is an art. However, when you talk about a CV, there is no one size fits all approach. It works differently for everyone.  

In this article, we will discuss 11 CV writing tips for undergraduate students.

What should a Resume contain?

First, let’s talk about what exactly a CV should contain (in no specific order):

  1. Name and professional headline: Professional headline that defines your professional function. This should also be followed by a comma, followed by your company name. For example, ‘Saheb Nanda, Marketing Associate, NoticeBard’.
  1. Contact details: Just below your name and professional headline, mention your contact details. This allows the readers/employers to get in touch with you. 
  1. Educational qualifications: Have a dedicated section for your educational qualifications. This part talks about your educational history, which is where you got your initial learning from!
  1. Work experience: This is one of the most important sections of your CV. Here you talk about your past and current work experiences, your key job roles, and anything else that the employer should know about. Make your experience specific to the job you are applying for.
  1.  Hard skills: These can be attained through online courses and expertise in specific areas. For example, ‘Photoshop’.
  1. Soft skills: Your soft skills define you as a person and talk about your potential in a work environment. For example, ‘Time management’.
  1. Links to work samples and certifications:  Here the employer can find proof of everything you have stated in your resume.
  1. References: The ‘references’ section helps the employer to get in touch with your past and current colleagues to get to know you better.

CV Writing Tips for Undergraduate Students

Now that you know what to focus on while maintaining separate sections on your CV, let’s talk about a few techniques/tips to build the perfect resume that catches the eye of your employer:

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  1. Separate sections: Maintain separate sections for each of the above-mentioned categories of your CV/ Resume. A separate section for work experience, key skills (soft and hard), highlights, etc.
  1. Attention to detail: Precision is key. When you’re mentioning anything on your CV, make sure you read it twice or thrice before you finalise everything. 

For example, when stating your work experience, mention the exact duration of the job like ‘February 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021’ to let the reader know about your tenure at a workplace.

  1. One-page resume: Your CV should ideally be a one-page document. This increases readability, the information is a lot easier to retain, it gives the reader a snapshot in one glance, and it makes you look precise. 

Always remember: recruiters receive a lot of applications every day, so make their job easier!

  1. Professional terms/phrases: Using professional terms to highlight your key job roles or achievements can be a great way to help the employer check your professionalism. Mentioning ‘Generated a revenue of’ instead of ‘Brought in a total of’ goes a long way.
  1. Readable font: Using a basic font such as ‘Lato’ is a great way to stay minimalistic and simple. Too much fluff or fanciness can put a bad impression on the readers’ eyes if they are unable to read the text properly. Stick to one font for the entirety of the document.
  1. Minimalistic design: Similar to the previous point, make sure your design is as simple as it can be. Just like a book’s manuscript and proposal, readers love ease of reading.
  1. Highlights section: This is a section where you define your milestones and work achievements. Putting great emphasis on this section can help communicate things in a clearer way to your employer. For example, mention ‘Generated a revenue of ₹20L through the sale of the product within 4 months’ to let the employer know what all you’ve achieved. This also strengthens the foundation of your work experiences. It tells them that it’s not just a work experience, but an experience where you actually learned something!
  1. Avoid gaps: Gaps, here, refer to spacing with respect to the design of the document. Too many irregular spaces left in between can reflect irresponsibility and lack of attention-to-detail. Ensure proper spacing before and after the paragraphs or bullet lists to give a neat and tidy look.
  1. Preach precision: This is quite self-explanatory. Stick to the point. Just like with the font, avoid fluffs or fanciness here. Instead of writing ‘I was able to generate a revenue of’, write ‘Generated a revenue of’. Preach precision.
  2. Consistency: Maintain a uniform design symmetry and language rhythm can help you maintain consistency as well. Staying consistent on your resume can help the reader trust you more and believe in your authenticity.
  3. Honesty is the best policy: In a survey by CNBC, 78% of the job seekers lied on their CV. This can have serious consequences on your hiring/screening procedure. Read the article here.

Note: For an undergraduate student, work experience could mean an ‘internship experience’ and a milestone could be ‘closing deals with 4 clients in a month’.

CV Analysis

Let’s analyse the following CV: 

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Angela Wilkinson’s CV has a good design language and sticks to one font. Yellow seems to be her spirit colour. 

The goods:

  1. Good headline and contact details section
  2. Elaborative work experience
  3. Emphasises on soft skills
  4. Mention of awards received

The not-so-goods:

  1. Very long objective, which should be a one-liner 
  2. Skills are mentioned before the educational qualification
  3. Hard skills missing
  4. No mention/links to work samples and proofs of awards/certifications

CV Review

If you are looking for a free tool to get your CV reviewed, click here.

CV writing is definitely an art. The key is precision and minimalism. 

All the best!

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