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Very little to put on a CV...please help!

(9 Posts)
craptastic Mon 05-Sep-16 11:18:22

To cut a long story short, I had my son young so had only been working for about a year. My son is entitled to high disability care and 12 years later, he is finally settled, so I want to get back to the world of working. I recently gained a 2.1 degree via the open university, have all my GCSE's and 6 months voluntary work from last year. But that's all I have to put on a CV, and only one reference. Is it even going to get looked at? I don't even know how to go about writing one. Anything interesting to write about aside from work would also be blank as my 20's were consumed with my son and being a housewife! Can anyone advise please?

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hangingoutattheendofmywick Mon 05-Sep-16 12:16:09

you have loads going for you. First point is that CVs are less and less relevant in the job market now as every job (more or less) asks for a long arse form to be filled in as they only want to read what makes you relevant for that particular role as opposed to a generic CV.

Secondly - a CV should be very short anyway. Just one side of A4 is all that's needed. You just want your highlights.

If I was you I would get a piece of paper and a pen and sketch out some titles - for example : Education highlights / Career Achievements / Personal Successes / Essential Experience / Unique Qualities - then jot down any points under those headings that apply to you - don't concern yourself with what job it was or if it was volunteer or not - what have you done in your life that made you proud, moments you went above and beyond, times you've succeeded - whatever that success was.

Sounds like you have this sorted! a 2.1 is something to really show off.

Write the list by most recent first so the 2.1 is at the top and summarise GCSEs by "9 gcse's C and above' (or whatever you got)
Could you get another reference from the V job or through the OU?

if you gave me some more info I could help further e.g.. what is the degree in and what was your volunteer job?

Also 12 years as a housewife and looking after your son has many transferable skills - with more info I could expand on this too. As a SAHM i know i have the patience of a saint, am self motivated and tenacious.

Sing your praises! You are more fabulous than you know.

craptastic Mon 05-Sep-16 13:21:49

Thank you so much, that reply was really helpful, and reassuring! Its so difficult, becuase I know I am hardworking and determined, but without going into details about my personal life, I'm not sure the employer would see that.

My degree is an honours degree in health and social care and the voluntary work was in a hospital, befriending the elderly. My reference would be from the volunteering.

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hangingoutattheendofmywick Mon 05-Sep-16 13:57:45

ok - see if you can get a reference from open uni (academic reference) they should do that.

Have a session of thinking over all the things you did on your volunatary placement that earned praise, or that you were proud of, that patients noticed - that their family noticed. Anything you were noticed for or praised for. Write everything down however silly it sounds - employers love a personal honest touch - especially in this line of work I suspect.

Did you do things independently or anything where you worked really well as part of a team to achieve a great goal.

What did you do it for? Why is it close to your heart? What did you get from it? Think about yourself through the eyes of the elderly patients or through the team members? Were you dependable, personable, etc. What did you do to put a smile on people's faces - what did you do that made other people's jobs easier? etc.

Write down a great big long list of how great you are and then set about putting it under the columns in your CV and write it as though you're writing from 3rd person.


Carol Smiley.
address - email - phone

Highly organised, self motivated, tenacious individual with exceptional patience, reliability and honesty eager to return to a role within ...... After twelve years as a carer for my son (is this true? i am reading between the lines) I bring to the workplace a distinct determination, empathy and understanding, experience both personal and professional and a 2.1 degree which places me in an optimum position to fulfil a ___ role.

Career Highlights
1. eg. reading to an elderly lady with alzheimer's disease to the delight of her family.
2. Hearing from a patient that my time spent with him was really appreciated during a long stay in hospital (obviously I have no idea what you did just making these up!)
3. Being part of a successful team during a hospital inspection/???

Personal Achievements
1. Gaining a 2.1 through an Open University course as a mature student

Essential Experience
1. six months voluntary work .........
2 Duties included .......

Bsc hons (whatever it's called) Health and social care - open university, 2.1
10 GSCE'S C and above

(I always put at the top of education any course i might do in the future to show them you believe in continual development and training like "PGdiploma in ........ (Pending acceptance 2017) sort of thing,

I hope any of this is useful x

hangingoutattheendofmywick Mon 05-Sep-16 14:02:44

also my mum always says remember what you have!! Like outstanding literacy skills. Computer literate. Outstanding computer skills. Excellent spoken English and ability to establish rapport with patients, families and colleagues. Problem solving. Confidence. Understanding of equality and diversity, discretion, patient confidentiality procedures, the importance of empathy and outstanding care. An understanding of the importance of dignity.

Look at your degree modules and plop those on there too!

craptastic Mon 05-Sep-16 14:46:37

So so helpful, lots for me to think about, thank you!

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blueskyinmarch Mon 05-Sep-16 14:51:25

I assume if your DS had high health care needs you had to advocate on his behalf and attend multi disciplinary meetings and negotiate for what he needed. These skills are all highly relevant and transferable. Think about the 12 years and what skills you gained. Patience, understanding of disability, knowledge of the systems and his particular disability. You have a lot to put in that CV!

Pythonesque Mon 05-Sep-16 16:31:22

Agree, while there can be an argument for not bringing home and family life into a CV, in your situation your experience caring and advocating for your son is very relevant.

Best wishes for finding a satisfying job!

craptastic Tue 06-Sep-16 10:48:20

Thanks for the replies. I had wondered how much to put about my role as a parent/carer to my son. I don't want it to read like a sob story and nor do I particularlly want to go into any depth about it to strangers. I'm also concerned employers may think having a disabled child may make me less flexible/reliable or committed. But I definitely have been to many meetings, fought to get him the care he needs, best school for him etc.

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