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Employment history = train wreck, trying to write CV(6 Posts)
I am trying to write a CV to fit with my new plans - ie getting an actual career/life etc.
I am 37 and have such a disjointed and 'gappy' work history for a number of reasons - mental health issues (under control/well now), childcare issues, home educating a primary age child, studying (Cert of HE is currently highest level from a previous uni), and an assortment of jobs (various fields) - the longest being 2.5 years (most recent but left in 2016 after having another child and child care being an issue as my husbands contract changed and we have no local family support). Unfortunately a large number of firms I worked for have either closed their doors and no longer trading or have been bought out by firms in other countries and moved there so no longer exist in that sense, so likely won't have a record of me - except my most recent who I can get a good reference from and possibly though is a stretch from a colleague in a place where I worked as lab assistant).
I am just coming to the end of my first year of OU - studying physics and do know where I want to be at the end (research preferably academia, but in the current climate I know that is not highly likely so also in the end open to industry as this is much more likely) but pretty sure my work history is going to stand in the way.
Does anyone have any ideas how I can make my CV work with the state of my work history - personal statement? Education first (this is better than my employment) ? Only include the last 10 years (but that includes breaks for study at a uni, home educating etc along with a couple of short term posts)?
Any advice would be extremely appreciated! Thank you!
What kind of jobs are you going for OP? Would be easier to advise with more info. I think your references should be ok if your most recent employer is still around - put down them and your university (that's perfectly normal when you're studying).
I would do :
Brief introductory blurb selling yourself ;
Work history (starting from most recent and going backwards; just give years not months, which will help gloss over gaps; briefly describe any skills or duties that are relevant to the job you're applying for);
Education and qualifications;
Other info (e.g. driving licence, any language skills, volunteering, school committees or similar, other relevant bits and bobs)
Also, OU should have a careers department who can help you structure your CV and write applications etc. Have you checked them out ?
Definitely speak to your careers department as the pp said. They should be able to offer you Skype or phone advice. You might want to consider a Skills based CV, which can help if you have a gappy or less relevant work history. Google should show you some examples.
Thank you both for replying.
I am hoping to find lab work but within the distance I can feasibly travel on a daily basis currently are all biology based. Whilst my subject I am studying is physics I suspect a chemistry lab job would be suitable so will be applying for those as they appear (physics seems non existent in my area - once I have graduated and hopefully done pg then I will be able to look further a field).
I do need to create stability on my CV so am thinking that I may also look at admin work (permanent rather than temping) to do whilst I do my undergrad degree (I am looking at another 3-5 years) but don't know whether that will do more harm than good as I would keep looking for lab work and would take that if it came up so another job switch.
I will contact the OU careers service, I have to admit I wasn't aware of them but will give them a ring. Also, thank you Jenny for that layout idea and also thanks for idea of a skill CV What, I will give them a google and play around with them both.
I think generally any job is better than no job in an employer's eyes so if admin work fits in well around your degree and you have time for it then it's not a bad idea ! Good luck OP.