Q&A: Graduate CV

This week we have a question form a recent graduate who is looking to forge their career in event management.

Hi Nicola, I have been looking for a new role recently as the current position I am in is temporary – I have got some good experience in managing events as part of a placement at University and my current role. However I don’t seem to be attracting hiring managers with my CV and wondered if a functional format CV is the right format for me? Without this format my CV looks limited and listing my recent assignments as suggested by recruiters doesn’t seem to be effective either.

Wendy – Project Executive; Derby

Hi Wendy, Many thanks for your question. I am often asked if a functional CV (one which highlights out core competencies at the top of the CV) works for project management roles as effectively skills are the same throughout each role. I have to disagree with this statement as every role is different and I have yet to meet an organisation which runs its projects the same as another business. Therefore it is important to use a chronological format where you can drill down into what the projects were and how you delivered them in each role. Now I understand that you have a limited number of roles on your CV being a recent graduate but this is where you can list your part time positions and responsibilities too, as all experience is good experience. You have been fortunate enough to get some solid industry experience on your placement and in your current role which I would suggest you place most emphasis on and also draw out some key achievements. Your CV will soon be rich with information about your abilities and experience to date; by taking a professional approach to contextualising your experience and where you have used your skills you will be demonstrating excellent communication skills to your potential employer and should start to attract attention from hiring personnel. Here’s some further information about Functional Vs Chronological CV formats.