Business provides insights into what perfect CV should look like for a fresh graduate

Suhail Al-Masari

KUWAIT: ‘The Perfect Fresh Graduate CV in the Middle East’ poll, conducted by, the Middle East’s leading Job Site, revealed a variety of insights about the content, structure, and components that make the ideal fresh graduate CV for getting hired today. According to the survey, a large majority (89 percent) of respondents believe it is important to have a career objective on a fresh graduate’s CV. However, content-wise, the most difficult part of the CV for fresh graduates is also, reportedly, writing the career objective.

When it came to getting their CVs seen by employers, the majority of respondents (86.3 percent) say the best way to do so is by ‘maintaining an active and complete online profile’ on job sites. Less than 1 in 10 respondents (8.5 percent) think that ‘manually passing around or emailing your CV’ is the best way to increase visibility.

CV Content
Creating the perfect fresh graduate CV for the Middle East begins with the content it highlights. More than half (56.5 percent) of respondents believe education is the most important part of a fresh graduate’s CV, followed by work and internships (19.5 percent) and skills (19.4 percent). Further, nearly two-thirds (62.6 percent) of respondents think that fresh graduates should add their grades on their CVs, while one-fifth (22.8 percent) think it isn’t essential to do so. 10.3 percent of respondents think grades should only be added if they are ‘above average’.

In terms of work experience, which fresh graduates often haven’t developed much of, a large majority (83 percent) of respondents think fresh graduates should include any work experience they have on their CV, even if it isn’t very relevant. Beyond formal professional history, nearly 9 in 10 (89 percent) respondents think that volunteer work and internships are essential additions to a fresh graduate’s CV.

Structure and layout
The ‘Perfect Fresh Graduate CV’ poll revealed that formatting is fundamental for many fresh graduates in the Middle East; however, three-quarters (74.7 percent) of respondents believe that ‘format and structure’ are also the most challenging aspect of creating a CV for fresh graduates. 13.8 percent of respondents think that ‘not having prior work experience’ is what makes formatting a CV challenging, 9.0 percent said ‘choosing skills and keywords’ is the most challenging, while 2.5 percent said ‘language and proofing’ is the biggest challenge.

With regards to layout, four in five (79.5 percent) respondents believe a fresh graduate’s CV should be short (one page at most), only 7.5 percent disagreed with this statement and 13 percent were neutral.
In addition, three-quarters (75.2 percent) of respondents think fresh graduates should add a photo on their CV.

A stronger job application
The poll also found that job application materials should go further than a CV and include cover letters. In fact, nearly 9 in 10 (88.4 percent) respondents believe cover letters are important for fresh grads, with more than three-quarters (76.6 percent) claiming cover letters are ‘very important’.

According to the survey, three-quarters (74.5 percent) of fresh graduates say they always include a cover letter in their job applications. When writing their cover letters, nearly three quarters of respondents (73.6 percent) find the ‘length and structure’ to be the most challenging component, 11.3 percent find it challenging to ‘customize the cover letter for each company/ job’, 9.8 percent find it challenging to know ‘what skills and experiences to focus on’ in their cover letter, while 5.4 percent said the ‘language and tone’ of the cover letter are the most challenging.

“For fresh graduates in the Middle East, a great CV and cover letter can make all the difference in their success when job hunting. These materials are essential for job seekers to set themselves apart, and with this survey, we aim to provide the insights that will help fresh graduates in the region perfect them,” said Suhail Al-Masari, Vice President of Employer Solutions, “Particularly in our region, where the proportion of young people in the professional sphere is quite large, being able to market oneself in a competitive job landscape is imperative. We often find that job seekers are not fully equipped to create these essential documents. We encourage all job seekers to visit regularly to improve their job search and application materials and to request professional and individualized support, if needed.”

Data for the 2018 Perfect Fresh Graduate CV in the Middle East poll was collected online from 11th January 2018 to 4th March 2018. Results are based on a sample of 9,144 respondents from the following countries: UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan, and Pakistan.

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