Is your graduate CV first class? Tips on making your CV stand out to recruiters

Is your graduate CV first class?

Courtney Williams, Recruiter at FMC Global Talent
Courtney Williams, Recruiter at FMC Global Talent

I know what it’s like to be a graduate looking to take the first step on the career ladder. Up until very recently that was me! I was lucky when I came across an advert that grabbed my attention, the role of Graduate Recruiter at FMC Global Talent was perfect for me. I was lucky to find my ideal first job but I know for some it can feel daunting and a little overwhelming.

When you do find that perfect job or one that comes close, the pressure is then on to stand out from the crowd and nail your graduate CV. I agonised over mine and wrote more versions than I care to remember.

Since starting my role as a Recruiter, I have worked on multiple graduate roles for well-respected companies in the medical technology field. The thing I am asked most often…can I have feedback on my CV!? This is especially the case if the application is unsuccessful, but I still frequently get asked if they have been accepted for first round interview.

I wanted to give something back to all those graduates who, like me, are taking their first steps into the big wide world. Having sat on the other side of the fence I can let you into some of the things that will help you to get this tricky document right.

Accuracy is key

Nothing is more of a turn off than mistakes on your CV. Get the document proof read. Also make sure that all your personal and contact details are correct. Just imagine your dream job reaches out and your e-mail or telephone number are wrong!

Start with the end in mind

Give a brief overview at the start of your CV of what you want. This instantly gives the reader- whether that be recruiters or employers- an insight as to what job roles, fields and successes you want to achieve in your post-grad career.

Make it bespoke

Where applicable, mould your CV to the roles you want. If you want a medical sales role, say so! It does not take much effort but has a huge impact on your success rates.

Use those buzz words

Relevant buzz words either in your profile or throughout your CV will get you noticed. This is a massive help in your CV being found by recruiters who will often search using these buzz words.

Do your homework

Sorry and there you were thinking homework was a distant memory! Do your research on the market, business and products and get this across. A small amount of evidence you have done your homework makes a big difference.

Stay on top

If you have a job site profile, update it regularly! If you don’t have one, why not? Updating your profile once a week on multiple job sites is a great way for recruiters to see your profile as it comes up at the top of the search.

Recruitment friends

Embrace the recruiters. They know the market and are connected with the companies you want to work for. Sell yourself and build a relationship with them – everyone needs ‘recruitment friends!’

Big yourself up!

Upsold in your supermarket Saturday job? Worked to targets by getting loyalty card sign ups? Been a part of a team behind the bar on a Friday night? Get it on your CV! These are the kind of skills employers look for in graduate sales roles. Any experience is better than none at all.

Me and my shadow

If you are looking to break into hard markets, reach out to professionals locally for work experience. You’d be amazed how many will help. LinkedIN is a great way to connect with them.

Thick skin

Get the right job can be a numbers game. Don’t take it personally. The key is to get your CV seen by the widest possible audience and stayed determined. It will happen and like me you’ll soon be writing a blog about it!


It’s never easy finding a new role particularly coming out of the whirl-wind of University life, but hopefully by adding these slight changes to your CV, you can make a real difference in the way it is perceived by employers and recruiters in the future.

If you’re a graduate looking for the next step in your career you can send us your CV here! Alternatively, you can get in touch with me on