Milkround Graduate Careers Team - Official Careers Advice Thread Watch
We're pretty new to The Student Room - but super happy to be here!
For those of you who might not have heard of us, Milkround is the UK's leading graduate careers website - we've been around since 1997, so we're pros when it comes to helping students and graduates develop career confidence :-)
We're here to give you careers advice, whether that's around jobs, interviews, CVs, whatever's on your mind.
Feel free to drop us a line here or direct message us - we're looking forward to helping you guys out!
Here at Milkround, we always advise that employers will almost always scan your CV for key words highlighting your transferable skills - so it's important to ensure you include these on your CV.
BUT (here's the catch) - how do you include vital transferable skills on your CV (e.g. teamwork, communication, leadership) in a way that's different, and not clichéd?
You can avoid overused words and expressions by following these tips for these top skills:
1. Team work
Tip: write about what you did in a team project not just what the team achieved. Highlight the details of the project that you really impacted.
2. Good customer service
Tip: think about all ways in which an organisation deals with customers. Not just the smiley, face-to-face to stuff. And if you handled a difficult customer then how? What was their view and why did they have it?
3. Meeting deadlines and time management
Tip: so you delivered the goods on time – but how? Did you estimate then revise the time it took to clean each room? Did you identify legitimate short cuts? What were they?
4. Business awareness and enterprise skills
Tip: writing, “I expanded my commercial awareness through handling cash sales at the checkout” is the default statement for the student trying to appear business savvy. Expanded? How? Much better to give an example of a good business practice you’ve seen in action such as chasing unpaid bills.
5. Accepting responsibility
Tip: proactive? Dynamic? Motivated? Ditch the jargon and simply explain: a) how you came to be in a position of responsibility, b) what it involved, and c) how it felt. No need to state you’re results-oriented with a strong work ethic - this should be a given.
Tip: illustrate your strengths by writing about the skills that exemplify good leadership such as the decisiveness and ability to listen demonstrated in: “As captain of the swimming team, training schedule changes were implemented following feedback from members.”
7. Communication and people skills
Tip: as above, really. For example, pick an example that shows how you’ve clarified a problem or persuaded a sceptical audience, rather than claiming you have “excellent communication skills”
8. Using initiative
Tip: Flesh out your examples by writing briefly why you needed to use your initiative. How realistic were you? What was the result?
9. Critical thinking and problem solving
Tip: voted by business magazine Forbes as the most important of competencies, heading a list of key skills that will get you hired this year. Also found in 9 out of 10 most in-demand graduate careers. Defined as “using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems”. Use your academic work to illustrate this aptitude.
10. Project management
Tip: along with teamwork, critical thinking and communication skills, one of the competencies most familiar to graduates. But project management draws upon a number of skills including team skills and critical thinking/analysis – so write about those elements most favourable to you, how long they took to implement and the benefit they brought.
One final tip - when writing your CV, there are benefits of writing from the "I" perspective (e.g. easier for you to highlight your own successes and achievements) - however, if a recruiter has been reading lots and lots of CV's phrased in this way, it can become pretty tiring! Instead, try starting each point with the relevant verb e.g. 'Organised...' 'Communicated...' etc. After all, it's the reader of your CV that you're trying to impress :-)
Feel free to ask any CV related questions here, or pop us a private message if you like!
Happy job hunting,
Chantelle & The Milkround team
Just thought I'd share the below opportunity with you all...
For anyone still unsure about what they might like to do, once a month we'll be giving you direct access to an employer on #MilkroundEngage, a live Twitter chat to allow you the opportunity to ask any questions you might have, about the employer, about your career choices, about industry - anything!
This month's employer is Capgemini - so to take part in this month's #MilkroundEngage, check out our chosen employer and submit your questions here.