CV Advice

Your CV is your ‘passport’ to success.

It is the key to ‘marketing’ yourself effectively from one role to another. The links below provide useful templates, which will add value to the process of creating your CV.

Write a CV for the ‘job you want’ not necessarily the one you have or had (before a career break). The key is to emphasise the things that will sell you into your desired next role. A simple example would be, if you never want to see another spreadsheet again, don’t stress that you are a super user of Excel! If your role included different aspects, accentuate the preferred aspect. For example – a technical role could include programming and project management. If you prefer the project management – make sure it is given prominence.

Give precedence to the skills, strengths and knowledge that you enjoy using.

Preparing an Effective CV

CV is an abbreviation for curriculum vitae, which is Latin for 'the course of life'. In our modern world it has become the preferred method of 'marketing' ourselves from one job to another.

  • It is essential to the contemporary career move. In today's market place, it is a rare occurrence to get a job without one.
  • It is a marketing document, therefore it must provide an objective, differentiating view of you on paper. This will be the key to opening doors, leading to interviews and job offers.
  • To ensure impact, the information must be able to be taken in quickly and easily. It should also convince a prospective employer that you would make a difference to their business.

The most effective way of achieving this is to prepare a CV which focuses on 'your contribution', not 'the role'.

Consequently, it must focus on your skills, knowledge, strengths and experience, encapsulated in the things you have achieved – a comprehensive guide on how to do this is included in Auditing your Achievements

Your CV will be needed as:-

  • An information source when completing application forms.
  • A marketing document when applying for jobs or writing to prospective employers and recruitment agencies.

It will also be the focus of any interview – so know the background to each achievement, well.

The Perfect CV

There is no such thing as a 'perfect' CV, several formats work well. There are, however, benchmarks to aim for.

The CV should:-

  • Look good. With plenty of white space and a readable font size. A CV that looks easy to read, will get read.
  • Have content which backs up the 'good looks' and must be accurate, truthful, positive, concise and relevant.
  • Be perfectly formatted and typed/ printed on good quality paper. When sending a CV via email or uploading to job sites, always converted to PDF.
  • Have no spelling or grammatical errors. Check the tense is consistent. When you are happy, leave for a day and then go back to check and edit if necessary. If possible, ask a friend/ family member to review, a fresh pair of eyes will often spot any errors you may have missed.
  • Maintain a clear structure and include:
    • -Your name and contact details.
    • -Education/ training/ languages (if fluent)
    • -Career history in reverse chronological order
    • -Personal/ career Profile
    • -Your career break as a section, with dates.

Our values are at the heart of everything we do and we are committed to excellence and consistently developing opportunities that deliver outstanding outcomes.

We are a people centred social firm providing routes to employment, education, professional development and personal empowerment.

Career Break

Don’t try to hide it, or make excuses for it at interview. Honesty is always the best policy, as you will inevitably be found out. If you are applying to returner programmes, your application may be precluded if you cover up your career break.

If pertinent:

  • Include any work you have done during your career break. This could include running a business, freelance projects as well as voluntary roles undertaken (e.g. School Governor).
  • Include any appropriate training you have completed during your career break. This could include short and/or online course as well as distance learning through a recognised educational establishment.

Auditing Achievements

The key to demonstrating you have added value to a business is to define that value in terms of achievement. These achievements must be quantifiable. The best way to determine the scope of your achievement is to ‘self’ interview. Ask yourself open questions about your role and the tasks within that role. Using this technique will provide you with the evidence to 'sell' yourself on your CV and at interview.

An achievement is something you personally did that improved a situation, solved a problem and/or made a contribution either in substance or value. Subscribe and download the How to Audit your Achievements PDF.

Personal/Career Profile

This has become a significant part of a modern CV. It is where you state (in around 30 - 50 words) the most important/ relevant things you can say about yourself and your career. It is equivalent to the interview question "Tell me about yourself". It is a synopsis of you, your career and your way of being. How to write a Career Profile is contained within the How to Audit your Achievements PDF. Subscribe and download

Additional Recommendations

Interests – Unless you have significant, unusual or impressive interests (e.g. society memberships, marathons, raising significant sums for charity etc.) that express an aspect of you that would impress a prospective employer, then there is no need to include an interests section.

LinkedIn - Is the world's largest professional network on the Internet. It is advisable to have a profile and to make sure that it is consistent with your CV.

Hard Copy CV - If required, always print on high quality paper - 110gsm photocopy paper works well. It is inexpensive but robust, surviving significant handling. If sending a hard copy through the post, never fold, always send in a large A4 envelope, it will come out pristine at the other end.

Heading - Once popular, it is no longer advisable to head your document with “Curriculum Vitae”. The sifting software typically used in recruitment may identify it as your name! Instead use your name as the central heading, with your contact details (email/phone) underneath.

Discrimination Legislation - Don’t include a photo or your date of birth, age, gender, marital status or details about your children as these have become inappropriate following discrimination legislation.

We welcome your thoughts, questions, ideas and feedback

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