Need a shiny new cv (my old one is covered in cobwebs)

(20 Posts)
LaTrucha Thu 21-Feb-13 10:51:50

I haven't applied for a new job needing a CV since 2005. What is the preferred look and layout these days? I have looked online, but you can never be sure of what you're getting.

The one on the National Careers Service starts with a personal statement. Really? Isn't that more for a covering letter.

Your help will be much appreciated.

lljkk Thu 21-Feb-13 16:15:29

Every employer seems to want something slightly different.

I kind of like the examples on ehow.com. But I dunno what's expected, either. I heard "no more than the last 10 years of work experience" which is a bit of a bummer for someone who has been a SAHM for nearly 10 yrs.

LaTrucha Thu 21-Feb-13 19:37:28

Thanks for the ehow suggestion. I'll have a look. I do hate all this 'personal statement' stuff. I feel like such a tit. I guess most people do. It doesn't help that it is in a completely different field from my last job. Nobody actually enjoys writing CVs though do they?

BikeRunSki Thu 21-Feb-13 19:44:03

A mini personal statement at the start of a cv is normal now.

LaTrucha Thu 21-Feb-13 19:52:08

Is it normal to feel like an idiot writing one now though? grin

lljkk Fri 22-Feb-13 09:27:09

Could you elaborate, BikeRunSki? How long is the mini-statement? 2-3 sentences or more?

Most the jobs I apply for don't want a cv, they want you to fill in their application form instead.

LaTrucha Fri 22-Feb-13 17:08:07

Same here lljkk

footyfan Fri 22-Feb-13 17:18:36

I used to sift through dozens of CVs in my old job - and think that the opening statement is the most important part. If it's engagingly written then it can really stand out from the pile.

I'd just write a short paragraph that covers everything important from the rest of the CV e.g. I have 'xx' years experience in the field. I have been given 'yy' awards/ratings etc.

I know it seems really cringeworthy and like you're repeating what is written elsewhere - but I really think it gives a good idea of the kind of person you are.

footyfan Fri 22-Feb-13 17:21:07

Oh - and meant to add, the covering letter often gets detached from the CV when there are huge numbers to sort through - so don't worry about repeating what you put in there.

LaTrucha Fri 22-Feb-13 22:17:57

I have no experience in the field! But thanks. The job that I'm thinking of at the moment is a total long shot. We're in an isolated area, so they may not get anyone with exactly what they want, especially for the oney they are offering, and if they don't they may see me as worth a punt. Overall, though, I am thinking that as long as I know that it doesn't matter too much. It also does give me the impetus to put my CV in shape.

BikeRunSki Sat 23-Feb-13 08:36:42

Mini Statement - a paragraph, or better for recruiter to read - bullet points - highlighting key skills etc. No more than 5 points.

Put any qualifications at the top by your name - makes a first filter easy for recruiters.

Keep it to 2 sides of A4, no more, and black. It may well be photocopied.

They are asking for skills from your last 10 years work experience, not 10 years experience. Having said that, if you can pull in appropriate management examples from say playgroup commities, scouts, voluntary work etc - have you organised fundraising? applied for lottery grants? been Treasurer? Organised a big trip? anything about dealing with customers, parish council etc?, then put that in. So, something like

Bike Runski, BEng MSc MPB*

Twelve years experience in large butchery prior to career break.
Also experience in candlestick manufacturing and marketing.
Competent in xxx software for bakery project management.
Awarded Mother Goose prize for nursery rhyming in 2002.
Now seeking to re establish career in fairy tales.

I would be honest about your career break , it is a very common and reasonable reason. Also, your prospective employer will be reasonably confident that you won't be going on ml any time soon.

*Member of a professional body

OneHandFlapping Sat 23-Feb-13 08:53:51

My CV was like this:

Name and phone number in heading

Mini personal statement.

5 or 6 "case studies" showcasing your achievements (these can change depending on the job you are going for)

Chronological list of employment

Educational/personal stuff

This format meant that the huge gaps in my CV weren't staring employers in the face - they didn't get to them until they'd read about all the good stuff I'd done 20years ago .

LaTrucha Sat 23-Feb-13 09:58:22

Thankyou both. That's very useful. I think one of the things that makes me feel queasy is that I am taking skills from my other jobs, like communication and organisation (I have worked in education and marketing) but they sound kind of silly when you say them by themselves. I suppose if I can tie them into an achievement, like organising a conference in a bullet point I can say them without feeling or looking silly. Is that the sort of thing?

WishIdbeenatigermum Sat 23-Feb-13 10:06:41

Latrucha grit your teeth and write the PS. If you've been away from the labour market for a while, it's particularly important that you take every opportunity you can to show that you're up to date with current practice!

lljkk Sat 23-Feb-13 10:22:37

Oh dear, bikeRunski, all you've done is convince me that my CV is worthless and will be forever more. sad

OneHandFlapping Sat 23-Feb-13 11:03:20

LaTrucha, yes that's exactly the sort of thing.

LaTrucha Sat 23-Feb-13 11:12:49

Thanks all. It's really very useful.

Our local playgroup wanted someone part time, but with quite good pay, as their 'key person' with a background in business. I could have done it easily, but as I don't have a background in business I didn't apply. Neither did anyone else. I would have walked it.

My husband's department, which scores high in lots of national league tables, frequently advertises posts for which no one really suitable applies. They still have to appoint someone.

Courage, lljkk. nothing ventured; nothing gained.

You never know.

BikeRunSki Sat 23-Feb-13 16:39:38

I like OneHand's idea of case studies, rather than a straightforward linear list of jobs.

LaTrucha Sat 23-Feb-13 17:17:21

Because I've done a lot of different things, I've done a personal statement and then a list of jobs with a short bit explaining the most significant achievements in each.

e.g
Ice cream bar assistant
- organised international ice cream festival

A draft is done. I'll look at it tomorrow.

MrsJamin Sat 23-Feb-13 17:32:40

I have been out of work since my youngest was born 3 yrs ago. I have redone my cv with a personal statement and list of skills on the first page and a summary of employment & education on the back. I am applying for a range of different jobs so you do have to tailor the cv to the particular job/company focus.

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