Example CVs and cover letters: Underemployed graduate

This example CV and cover letter is for a graduate who's been working in a different field from their degree subject, and is trying to break in to their chosen industry.

The candidate

Sophie Smith graduated from university two years ago with an honours degree in Biomedical Science. She’s been unable to get a job related to her degree and has been working as a sales assistant in a clothes shop. To keep up her scientific skills and knowledge, she’s been undertaking regular work experience placements. Now, she’s applying for a position as a biomedical scientist at a hospital.

The job description

Have a look at how Sophie has tailored her CV and cover letter to the job description below:

Biomedical Scientist Vacancy

About the role

We are looking for a Biomedical Scientist to work in a busy hospital laboratory. You’ll be working in the blood sciences department supporting Accident and Emergency. 

Key responsibilities include:

  • Testing for emergency blood transfusions
  • Testing patient samples 
  • Screening for diseases such as cancer

The post is permanent at 37.5 hours per week. It includes weekend and out of hours working. 

About you

You’ll have a degree, be HCPC registered and ideally have experience working within a hospital. You should also have:

  • Good communication and teamworking skills
  • Confidence in working with new technology
  • An interest in medicine and the development of new treatments
  • A good level of accuracy and attention to detail
  • Good initiative

The cover letter

To: jandrewsfakeemail@thehospital.co.uk

Subject: Biomedical Scientist Vacancy


Dear Ms Andrews

I am writing to apply for the Biomedical Scientist vacancy at The Hospital. I heard about the role while on work experience and I have attached my CV for your consideration.

I am a qualified and HCPC registered Biomedical Scientist with a passion for medicine and helping patients. During work experience I have been able to see what it is like to work in The Hospital and would love to be part of the team. 

My relevant skills and experience would make me a good candidate for this job as I have good knowledge of haematology gained from studying at university. I have worked with blood samples and conducted microscope work to screen for diseases. I also studied cellular pathology, clinical biochemistry and clinical microbiology which I feel will be beneficial in the role. 

I have undertaken practical work experience placements at both The Hospital and a Science Lab. I was able to work with teams of scientists and get hands-on experience of working with a variety of different technology. 

Since leaving university I have maintained my scientific skills and knowledge through work experience placements. I also work full-time in a Clothes Shop as a sales assistant where I have developed my customer care experience which will be useful when speaking to patients. As part of my role I am required to work weekends and evenings which is something I am happy to do.  

I look forward to hearing from you to discuss the role further. 


Kind regards,

Sophie Smith


Sophie Smith, Graduate Biomedical Scientist

1, The Lane, The Village, Scotland

Tel No: 01001 001 000 

Email: sophie.smith@fakeemail.com 

The CV

Sophie Smith

1, The Lane, The Village, Scotland

Tel No: 01001 001 000 Email: sophie.smith@fakeemail.com 

Personal Statement

I am a qualified and HCPC registered Biomedical Scientist with excellent communication and research skills developed from working in a laboratory at both university and during work experience. I have an interest in medicine and the development of new treatments. I’m self motivated and capable of working with little supervision. I welcome a challenge and would love to be given the opportunity to work as part of your science technical team.


  • Technical laboratory skills including microscope work developed at university and work experience
  • Good attention to detail and problem solving skills gained from working on a number of different experiments
  • Communication skills developed from working with members of the public
  • Good teamworking skills gained from working with others on university projects and during work experience 
  • Initiative shown when helping customers and organising stock at the Clothes Shop


The University, The City                        September 2009–June 2013

BSc Honours, Biomedical Science

  • Studied cellular pathology, clinical biochemistry, haematology and clinical microbiology

The High School, The Village                 August 2003 – June 2009

Advanced Higher

Biology                                B

Chemistry                            B


Biology                                A

Chemistry                            B

Maths                                  A

English                                C

Spanish                               B


The Hospital                                           February 2015

Work experience

  • Two weeks work experience working in infection science
  • Worked with the team to help test for infections such as rubella

Science Lab                                           July 2014               

Work experience        

  • Undertook four weeks of work experience over the summer
  • Shadowed scientists as they conducted experiments
  • Learned how to work under pressure to ensure no mistakes were made during the experiments

Clothes Shop, The City                          June 2011 to present

Sales Assistant

  • Responsible for organising and displaying stock
  • Regularly work at the customer returns desk which has helped develop my customer care experience
  • Work as part of a team to ensure that customers get what they are looking for


  • I enjoy reading in my spare time and like to go to the cinema
  • I’m also keen on keeping fit and like to challenge myself each year. This year I’m doing a 10k race for charity 


Dr Bill Jones

Lecturer, The University

The City

Tel: 01001 001 000

Email: Bill.jonesfakeemail@theuniversity.ac.uk


Chris Vine

Manager, Clothes Shop

The City

Tel: 01001 001 000

Email: c.vinefakeemail@clothesshop.co.uk