How do you present maternity leave on your freelancer CV?

(12 Posts)
Alittleteapot Thu 12-Mar-09 11:17:01

Hi, I'm just updating my CV. I have been freelance for many years but used to do project based work of several months. I had a year off after having dd and since then have done a (very) few bits and bobs of work on a day rate basis. Mostly I'm still a SAHM.

I'm just not sure how to present this.

So for example my CV used to go

April 2006 - October 2006 This Role This Project

Then do I say

July 2007 - July 2008 Maternity leave

August 2008 - present consultancy and writing work including:

(list specific jobs)

OR what????


Any help gratefully received.

Poledra Thu 12-Mar-09 11:20:50

I don't have experience as a freelancer, but as someone who often employs freelancers/contractors, I would have no problem seeing maternity leave detailed as you have it here. It would be preferable to having a hole in your CV which I would then be dubious of.

LooptheLoop Thu 12-Mar-09 11:21:42

Personally I wouldn't present a freelance CV in the traditional chronological way. I'd present it in the skills/examples of assignments approach which doesn't need dates.

No need to mention maternity leave at all.

Alittleteapot Thu 12-Mar-09 11:31:40

I like that LooptheLoop and have thought of it before, only thing is my main career used to be tv where people do do dates in conventional way. but i've kind of moved on from that now so maybe time to dispense with that. except person i'm preparing it for is from that world. will give it a try.

Bramshott Thu 12-Mar-09 11:54:52

I just do a general "Freelance since 2003 - projects have included" and then list the projects with years only (lots of mine run alongside each other, so I'd say This role and this project (2006); this role and this project (2008). Some projects I don't put a year if they are ongoing consultancy etc. I don't think they will question gaps - after all, you might have had other projects you haven't listed because of space etc.

LooptheLoop Thu 12-Mar-09 12:03:17

You know the person - so I'd do it in whatever format is likely to work for them. But I agree with Poledra - I used to do loads of recruitment and unexplained gaps made me suspicious. Nothing wrong with just listing your maternity leave. Hope you get the assignment.

SausageRoleModel Thu 12-Mar-09 12:25:14

hi little teapot - I used to have a career in TV too (sob!) but i have presented my CV non chronologiclly for a while. I started doing so when I spent a year jumping up and down between AP and P/D jobs. Are you planning to go back full time? How will you cope with the hours? Dont know if you work in production but at the moment I really cant see how working as I was pre-baby (she is 14 weeks) is in any way compatible with nursery care, so I am having a bit of a wobbly in working out what I am going to do once the SMP runs out!

Bramshott Thu 12-Mar-09 13:08:02

SRM (just as an aside) - I work in the Arts which has similarly unpredictable hours, and I have found a lovely and flexible childminder works much better for me than nursery. She will keep the DDs for me for long hours if necessary, and has brought them home and put them to bed on occasion!

Alittleteapot Thu 12-Mar-09 17:18:03

Thanks all. I've done it along these lines:

Current: since 2007 I've combined caring for my young daughter with a number of freelance assignments, namely:

Dates - work
Dates - work

SausageRoleModel no, i've kind of ditched tv really - just don't see how it can work being the kind of mum i want to be (i.e. EVER seeing my kids) so in fact, why the hell was i worrying about this cv someone was asking for - just can't kick the habit! I guess it's a bigger question of how a cv begins to take shape when you're going through a very gradual career change.

Alittleteapot Thu 12-Mar-09 17:27:13

ps srm although i have dates i do switch things to be in better order on my cv - bit of artistic licence wink
what do you think you'll do? i know a few people who've gone into development and/or talent management (i.e. recruitment of talent for production companies.) I'm lucky that we're managing on dp's salary for now - the bits and bobs i've done don't count for much. tbh i'm quite relieved to have an excuse to leave telly - it had all got a bit hectic for my liking!

SausageRoleModel Fri 13-Mar-09 13:04:31

hi teapot - really not sure. Like you, I actually breathed a huge sigh of relief when I went on mat leave and then had baby. I hadnt realised just how much of the stress and anxiety I suffered was work related (it turns out, all of it!). Unfortunately I was also major breadwinner so although DH earns quite well, it isnt enough for us to cope with so I am going to have to find money from somewhere. I am toying with idea of setting up prod company specialising in video content for internet not TV, as it is a growth area in which not many broadcast trained people are working yet but our skills are in demand. The plan (hah!) is that I would manage projects working from home and use other freelances rather than go out on shoots etc myself, but I am still just dreaming up a business plan that will provide a profit margin which will allow this. That and a spot of freelance writing and/or development if I can. It will still require childcare of some description but hopefully not full time and hopefully not with the crazy hours that TV demands. Its a shame as TV is a great job and the irritating thing is it doesnt need the long hours really - its just become ingrained in the culture.

Notintheknow Tue 17-Mar-09 10:41:13

teapot - only just discovered this area of MN so working through all the freelance threads rather late in the day. I had exactly this problem with my CV in the end settled for fudging the dates a bit:

feb 2004- dec 2007 - xx job
2008 - present - freelance blah-di-blah working on....

and not mentioning the maternity leave specifically in the hope that they'll ask if they think it's weird. Still a bit unsure as to whether that's the right approach though.

The other difficult thing is trying to beef up the work you've already done. At the moment my client list is v short but in order to get more work you have to have something there and my recent CV looks a bit thin at the mo (particularly if the reader doesn't know that 10 of the past 16 months were maternity leave).

Sausage - nothing to contribute to the TV discussion cos I'm in editorial but completely agree about not recognising work-related stress and anxiety until leaving a high-pressure job. Stepping out of it temporarily can make you see everything so much more clearly - hence my freelance decision.

Now I really have to do some work...

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