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Time to do the tap dance again! Writing my CV and in need of help.

(10 Posts)
Spidermama Thu 15-Jan-09 14:03:29

I haven't done this for over a decade so there's much to explain. I've found a bewlidering array of CV advice online but am not sure which is best to go for.

Any help much appreciated, especially if you're the kind of person who looks at CVs.

FutureMum Thu 15-Jan-09 14:12:09

Hi Spidermama,

If you speak to someone in places such as learndirect and Connexions (Google for details), they will be able to help you with more expert advice.
I don't work in HR, but I do look at rewording text etc as part of my job, so would be happy to give you my personal opinion if you PM me.

Spidermama Thu 15-Jan-09 14:14:29

Thanks FurtureMum. I'll google. I was on a site called Monster something or other which gave me a fantastic timeline-style template for my CV but when I tried to use it the text dropped out of the boxes they'd porovided and I'm not sure why.

flowerybeanbag Thu 15-Jan-09 14:16:47

Will cut and paste my standard cv advice...

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'Put personal information at the top (name, address, contact number only, not 'married 3 kids age 37 favourite colour blue').

You could put a personal profile-type statement after that, just a couple of lines summing up what experience/skills you have to offer and the type of position/company you are looking for. Obviously make sure these tie in with the job you are applying for.

For each job, put dates, job title and employer, in reverse date order. For most recent/relevant jobs put a list of bullet points of main responsibilites and/or achievements. Do this with the job description for the job you want in front of you so you can emphasise relevant stuff.

Then qualifications/training. List in most recent order, include relevant training courses and higher education if you have it. Don't put Home Ec O Level. Everything on your cv should help you get the job you are looking for, and school exams usually won't unless you are a school leaver or very early in your career.

Don't put photos or anything else annoying and irrelevant, don't put it in a folder or on pink paper, don't staple it. It needs to be easy to read and easy to copy. Put page numbers and your name in the footer of each page in case of mishaps with photocopying. '

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stealthsquiggle Thu 15-Jan-09 14:18:45

There is massive amounts of conflicting 'wisdom' on this. Purely personal predjudices as follows:

- Not more than 2-3 sides A4
- Paragraph at the beginnning which tells me who you are
- job history in reverse chronological order (most recent first)
- Decreasing amount of detail as you go back through
- Only the highest level of qualification is relevant
- I fight desperately the urge to judge people based on their hobbies and interests but generally end up doing it anyway - so I personally think that bit is best left out completely.

HTH a bit (until someone comes along and says the exact opposite, anyway)

Spidermama Thu 15-Jan-09 14:27:03

Good pointers. Thanks Stealth and flowery.

bigspender30 Thu 15-Jan-09 15:59:07

no need to add in months anywhere on the CV-only years eg 1990-1994.

Bullet point as much as you can as its easier on the eye.

lowrib Fri 16-Jan-09 01:32:25

The most important thing is to remember the point of the CV is to get you an interview, not the job. (You get the job at the interview).

Make sure you have a copy of the person specification, and that your CV shows you meet all the required points from it. The person reading your CV may well be scoring you against the person specification. If so, and you meet all the points then you will have scored an interview, simple!

SPELL IT OUT! If you are highly skilled at something, say so, don't expect them to read between the lines, as they may be only skimming your application.

I always add a skills section. I tailor this section to highlight things I can do which are relevant to each job I apply for.

Similarly you may also want to add a section on 'achievements' if you have done specific projects etc which are relevant to the job.

Regarding the order, put your details at the top, then your personal profile, next chose the section which shows you in the best light / is most likely to get you the job - this could be the skills section, it could be your employment history or whatever. Then the next best etc. (If your employment history is a bit dodgy, for example, put it at the bottom!)

Make any gaps in employment sound like you were doing something positive.

Are you handy with Word? Appearance and legibility of the CV are very important. If Word isn't your thing get a friend who can to beautify your CV.

Stick to 2 pages.

At the end, include a very brief 'personal interests' section, and say 'references available on request'.

Reckon this should probably do it, I always get an interview grin (Don't always get the job though sad need to practice interview skills a bit I think ...)

Good luck grin

bigspender30 Fri 16-Jan-09 09:33:54

Lowrib, thats a great point to make. Your CV is a sales document designed to get you an interview. You should always tailor your CV for each job you apply for to make it match the job spec.

Spidermama Fri 16-Jan-09 21:57:40

Thanks lowrib. Great advice. I assume you are freelance too. I find it annoying to have to do the tap dance every couple of years.

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