Grad Bites: How to Write a Great CV

Your CV is one of the first things prospective employers may see. We hear from people who have recruited plenty of graduates on how to write a great CV and make a strong first impression, even if you don’t have the best academic results.

Grad Bites: How to Write a Great CV



Top Tip

As Bruce mentions in this video, a great way of succinctly describing achievements and skills on your CV, and answering competency-based questions in interviews, is to use the PAR  technique:

PAR Problem Action ResultProblem – Outline the situation and task you faced

Action – Explain what you did to solve the problem
Result –  Summarise the outcome. Where relevant, provide measurable evidence of your achievement e.g. increased sales by 10%. The result could also be what you learned about yourself or a situation.

Note: This technique is also referred to as STAR: SITUATION > TASK > ACTION > RESULT


Find out more on how to write a great CV:

How to Create a Standout CV
Getting the basics right & what to include 

5 Fatal CV Mistakes to Avoid
Make sure these common mistakes are not preventing you from landing the interviews you deserve

Lady with CV

About our contributors:

Our thanks to Lizzie, Chris, Monica, Bruce and Jon.
Lizzie is Founder of Global Graduates, a support network and community for students and graduates studying and working abroad. As a small business owner, she explains what she looks for in CVs.
Chris is an experienced HR professional and headhunter who has worked all over the world with multinationals to small start-ups; he now runs his own consultancy business. Over the course of his career, Chris has scrutinised thousands of CVs!
Monica ran her own market research consultancy and is now a business adviser for brands and retail.
Bruce has worked in many different industries from oil to care homes; he is currently CEO at Forest Holidays.
Jon has enjoyed a prestigious career with the British diplomatic service including ambassador roles. He is now Director of the Diplomatic Academy for the Foreign Office, which recruits, trains and develops diplomatic staff all over the world.