6 CV Writing Tips for Graduates

As a graduate, starting your first proper job hunt can be a daunting prospect, especially when it comes to writing your first professional CV. With little exposure to the job market, it’s tough to know exactly how you should format your CV and what content you should include.

So if you are a newly graduated job hunter, CV writing service StandOut CV and graduate recruitment firm Inspiring Interns have compiled 6 essential CV writing tips for career success.

When writing your CV it can be tempting to opt for a flamboyant design to catch the eye of recruiters, but it’s best to keep it simple. Elaborate fonts and a CV plastered with images and logos can detract from the important content on the page.

Use a clean simple font and ensure that your CV is easily read by all viewers. Before you start writing your CV, you need to do some thorough research to discover exactly what your desired employers are looking for in a candidate.

Hit the job websites and scan company websites to learn the exact skills, knowledge and experience you need to highlight in your CV – then create an instant impact by adding these key terms to the top section of your CV.

Many graduates will lack direct work experience so you must compensate for this by adding skills gained from non-work based activities.

List school projects, voluntary work and work placements to show valuable skills like organisation, planning and teamwork. Sell yourself by adding a professional personal statement to highlight your most valuable talents and always introduce yourself with a cover letter.

If you have any impressive interests such as blog writing or marathon running, then be sure to add them to your CV to prove your hard work and dedication.

6 CV Writing Tips for Graduates
Reprinted with permission – standout-cv.com


5 Tips to Help You Nail Your Next Computer Science Job Interview

5 Tips to Help You Nail Your Next Computer Science Job Interview

In terms of job availability, computer science and other IT-related fields have more opportunities than just about any other industry.

However, just because companies are looking to hire more individuals than ever before doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily easy to get a computer science job.

As always, companies are looking to hire the best of the best, meaning that if you want to land a job, you need to be prepared to shine in your job interview.

Computer science job interviews tend to be different than your typical interview. In addition to the usual questions designed to get a feel for your personality and experience and how well you will fit into the company culture, you can also expect to demonstrate your technical skills to prove you have what it takes to perform the job tasks.

While this does add some stress to the interview process, it’s also a good opportunity for you to really show your talent and impress a recruiter. In fact, while the entire interview process can be a bit nerve-wracking in general, if you keep the following tips in mind, you will have no trouble at all and will soon be responding to job offers.

1. Prepare for Different Types of Interviews

These days, it’s rare for a company to rely on just one or two interviews with a candidate to make a hiring decision. Most companies interview potential hires several times, with each interview serving a different purpose.

For example, some companies begin with a screening interview, usually a short conversation designed to get a sense of your skills and experience for the purpose of determining whether you are a viable candidate. These usually take place at job fairs or over the phone, with an HR representative, who will pass on information about the best candidates to the hiring manager.

5 Tips to Help You Nail Your Next Computer Science Job Interview

Subsequent interviews will most likely be in person, although some companies are using video interviews via Skype or FaceTime to meet with candidates at a distance or to overcome scheduling challenges, and you should prepare for just about anything.

Usually, you can expect to have a typical behavioral interview, as well as a test or simulation type interview, a peer interview with the team you’d be working with, and even an interview with other departments or leaders within the company. Each of these interviews requires a different approach, so prepare for anything.

2. Prepare to Explain or Demonstrate Your Hard Skills

As mentioned, computer science interviews almost always require a demonstration of your actual skills in addition to presenting the practical technology skills that you’ve learned through your schooling. This may come in the form of written tests of your knowledge and qualifications, a practical exam that requires you to perform some of the key job functions, or some combination of written and practical exams.

In most cases, if you have earned an advanced computer science degree and you are confident in your skills, you will ace this part of the interview. Still, review the job requirements beforehand, and brush up on any skills you haven’t used in a while to ensure you are prepared.

3. Prepare to Explain “Holes” in Your Resume

If you are lacking in experience in certain areas, or if there are periods in which you were not working or worked in a different field, be prepared to explain why, while also highlighting the skills and experience you do have.

Typically, if you perform well on the practical aspects of the interview, and demonstrate your knowledge in key areas, these gaps will not be an issue, but you need to be prepared to address them all the same.

4. Prepare to Explain How Your Skills Help the Business

Most companies aren’t interested only in your skills and that you are capable of performing basic job tasks. They want to know how those skills are going to benefit their business.

Research the company thoroughly to determine the biggest challenges they are facing and their goals and mission, and explain how your skills and experience will help the company in those areas. Companies want to know what you can do for them, so be prepared to make that clear.

5. Demonstrate Your Soft Skills

Finally, most companies are looking for technology staff who have soft skills in addition to technical skills. They want to hire individuals who have communication, leadership, and teamwork abilities, so as you discuss your qualifications, be sure to highlight your skills in these areas.

Be ready to provide examples, either through projects you’ve worked on or coursework you’ve completed, to support your claims and show that you’re the right person for the job.

Job interviews can be intimidating, but when you are prepared, they are less so – and you’re more likely to receive an offer. Practice your answers, do your homework, and go in to the meeting confident, calm, and ready to nail it.


Get Your Financial Career Up and Running Fast

Get Your Financial Career Up and Running Fast
Photo Credit- Pexels.com

If you are hoping for a career in the financial industry, then there is some good news. This is a sector of work which relies upon quite specific pre-set regulations and ideas. While some people might find this restricting, it does have one clear benefit.

The aspiring professional knows exactly what it is that they are expected to do and what qualifications to have. This does, in many respects, make the process of getting your career started much easier. But that’s not all. There are some key ways to ensure that you get your financial career going in a strong way.

If you are curious to know what those might be, then read on. Let’s have a look at how to make your financial career get off to a good start.

Go Above & Beyond With Your Learning

We have already seen how the financial industries often require a lot of training and qualifications in order to get ahead. However, you should be careful not to stop there if you really want your career to get going in a strong manner.

The truth is, the more learning you carry out, the better. It is a good idea to go above and beyond in your learning as often as you possibly can. You should start thinking about this while you are still training. It is likely that there are plenty of extra courses you can take which will massively increase your chances of landing a job.

Look for good quality cpe courses online as a starting point, but don’t stop there. You should also spend as much time as you can learning on your own. It is amazing how much you can teach yourself at home if you put the time in.

Two key things to teach yourself are chart analytics and how to keep on top of world events. Knowing about these two will be hugely beneficial.

Get All The Work Experience You Can

Learning and qualifications are massively important, but still not as important as actual experience. In truth, you should work hard to get as much work experience as you can. If you don’t know where to start here, remember that any experience is worthwhile. This might mean interning for a short while, if that is what is necessary.

You don’t have to give up all of your time, but it is wise to spend one or two days a week in work experience. Having this to show for yourself will give you a dramatic boost when you are in a competitive job market such as the financial sector.

Remember Other Extracurricular Activities

You should be doing anything you can to impress your potential employees. In part at least, that means engaging in as many other activities as possible. You might be surprised at how many of these there are out there. This can be something as simple as preparing your friends’ tax returns in your spare time.

Even working part-time at a bank might teach you a thing or two. Whatever it is, it all helps raise your chances of ongoing success.


1 Billion Extra People Noticing Your LinkedIn Profile

1 Billion Extra People Noticing Your LinkedIn Profile
Photo Credit – LinkedIn Blog


In Stanley Kubrick’s cult classic 2001: A Space Odyssey, humans leapt forward from cave-dwelling apes eating shrubs for survival to space dwellers exploring the moon and Jupiter for a living.

The impetus? The arrival of a mysterious new monolith.

Recently, the monolith known as Microsoft purchased LinkedIn.

The deal, which won’t be final until later this year, is predicted to position Microsoft as the force defining the future of work.

No doubt, Microsoft’s willingness to pay such an exorbitant price tag (US$26B) was mostly about the data.

As in, the professional data for LinkedIn’s 433 million users.


So, if Microsoft now knows everything about you—where you’ve worked, what your professionals aspirations are, what kind of work you enjoy and whom you network with—creating products you want just became infinitely easier.

Nice for the monolith, right? But what can you expect? Think enterprise software meets the cloud meets social networking.

The internal seamless connectivity of Office 365 combined with the external network and knowledge sharing of LinkedIn.

All powered by AI such as Cortana, which is poised to enhance every aspect of Office.

Now you’re beginning to get the picture. Maybe this really could change how we work.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said this of his purchase:

LinkedIn isn’t just a social network — it’s a way to track opportunities and find and develop the skills you need to stay competitive, economically speaking, in an age when change is the only constant.

Right now, the most dramatic shift is that your LinkedIn profile will sync up with all of Microsoft’s products and appear throughout their interfaces as the single source of truth about who you are.

Clearly, this isn’t just one of the most expensive tech deals in history.


Suddenly, your personal brand will be in front of more people than ever before.

Consider that there are over 1.2B users of Office alone. Gulp.

Picture this…

You’re at work. Creating a presentation in PowerPoint. Your personalised newsfeed comes in. It’s an intelligent blend of updates on your projects, your LinkedIn network and world news on topics that interest you most.

Or, even cooler, you’re working on a complex project. As you’re putting together the plan in Project, you realise you need someone with an obscure skill. Suddenly a list of LinkedIn profiles of suggested experts appears in your sidebar.

Next, you’re chatting on Skype with an executive recruiter about a position overseas. Without having to pull up his LinkedIn profile old school style on your laptop, or worse – needing to print it out, you’re seeing a summarised version of his profile right there in the interface.

Hmm…a professional could get used to this new monolith.


Imagine writing an email to a colleague in Outlook. Part of the text says “I need to find a graphic designer.” And voila: A list of suggested profiles appear.


But perhaps the coolest example of the potential this new world represents was shared in the Microsoft/LinkedIn presentation deck:

Using Cortana, you can ask you phone about your next meeting. She knows everything about you – and your professional network.

She says:

Hi Jen, you are meeting with Sam next. You and Sam both went to the University of New South Wales and you both know Cindy Smith. Good news, the Kings won last night’s game. Do you want to look at Sam’s profile? Do you want to see your meeting history with Cindy and Sam? Also, ok if I share the presentation for today with Sam?

Truly, the future of work is close at hand. So think about it. How are you going to show up?

Have you done everything possible to prepare your personal brand for this brave new world? Does your LinkedIn profile do your career justice? After all, the point of the enhanced monolith is to help you achieve your utmost career potential.

Because, as HAL9000 said so infamously in Kubrick’s film, our goal is put your talents to the “fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.”


Productivity Mistakes That You Should Avoid

It is well known today that the worst enemy of productivity is procrastination. Dealing with procrastination is not an easy task, because it is not just postponing things, like many people think.

The principle “do it right now” will only work in several cases. It is important to know that procrastination is a complex concept and it has the powerful triggers.

They are actually the mistakes you should avoid to stay productive.

Multitasking: the fewer things you are doing – the more you DO!

How lovely it seems to do a lot of different things at the same time! So many people make this mistake.

There is a major reason to quit multitasking: it is better to complete one thing first than to start multiple tasks not completing anything. Besides, multitasking is just an excuse to distract from something we don’t want to do.

Multitasking has many forms. Working on a different project simultaneously is the most obvious one. If you have a lot of various tasks to complete, use a timer to spend a considerable amount of time on the first one. Prioritize. Think of it this way: it will take me an hour to complete it or to proceed and then I can move on.

Another form of multitasking is when you are working on something and get an idea concerning other projects, or remember about an urgent email to answer, etc. What you should not do is distracting for a couple of minutes and then continuing your work. It doesn’t work this way! You won’t get as focused once again.

Take a piece of paper and write your idea down. You can think about it later. It is also a form of multitasking when the physical activity is combined with a mental one. For example, cleaning and listening to a podcast. This is quite acceptable, because different types of activity boost different processes in your brain. But remember that the most natural state of your brain is ‘wandering’, so it will be much healthier if you let your thoughts go for a while.

Perfectionism: nothing to do with perfection

Perfectionists don’t do everything perfect. Usually, they don’t do anything at all. Perfectionists get entrapped when they decide that it is better to start at the perfect time (Monday or the New Year’s Day?), or that they don’t have enough of time or material to make a perfect report, or that they don’t have enough capacity to conduct a perfect research and so on.

They just sit and wait for the situation to be perfect. It will never be. Perfectionism cause procrastination which is simply terrible for your productivity. Even if you are a very hardworking person, combining work and study, both of those things will suffer from your perfectionism. The point is that instead of completing several tasks, you will return on and on to the one that you think is imperfect.

There are many opinions on where perfectionism comes from. If you believe that it is a part of your personality, it must seem an unbearable task to get rid of it. You really should tell yourself that this is not your last try.

Moreover, each try you make will push you a little further to perfection, if you like the concept so much. It is always better to do an imperfect work than not to do anything. No boss will evaluate your perfectionism. This is also quite a common mistake to think so.

Another person cannot get into your mind and understand that your primary goal is to do everything the best way possible. Your boss will only see a lazy worker, postponing things.

Working late: stressful and overwhelming

Sometimes you wish your day to be never ended. And not because it is so great, but because you have so much to do that 24 hours are simply not enough. So what the majority of people usually does is keep working or studying until they are finished.

Or more likely, until they have no strengths to continue, because in reality, it is hardly possible to complete everything. Such dedication to a working process is very good, but the means to achieve goals are wrong.

Today, we can turn to numerous researches proving that sleeping before midnight is healthier than that after midnight. Some data even say that an hour sleeping in this period of time is equal to two hours sleeping later.

You may think that it doesn’t matter if you can sleep as long as you want after the work is done. This is not quite so. First of all, the habit of working late will not come and go when needed. You will not go to bed earlier, even when you have to wake up early, which will eventually lead to a severe sleep deprivation.

On the other hand, sleeping late in the morning will cause oversleeping, which is as stressful for your body and mind as the lack of sleep. Make yourself go to bed two or three hours before midnight.

You will do your work better in the morning. If waking up early is hard for you, think of it as a couple of seconds when you will feel terrible. After those seconds are gone, you’ll have several hours of productive work. Never push a snooze button. After it becomes a habit, you will not react to your alarm clock at all.

Working hard is the only way to get really successful in the contemporary world. However, if you use our smart tips on what to avoid to be more productive, working hard will get a little easier for you.