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CV help!!

(18 Posts)
Lolohboy Thu 10-Oct-19 06:39:19

Please help, I've been 'jobhunting' on and off for almost 2yrs! I can never get interviews! I have taken MUCH advice about CVs, it's all conflicting but I've tried it all and never gotten any closer to interview.

I work in marketing in a specific area of the food sector and have been self employed for over a decade, picking up projects via word of mouth. The brexit vote changed all that, the uncertainty made people unwilling to commit money in a particular direction i think? I lost my biggest contract to date over it sad I am seeing job adverts for the same thing, but can't get past application stage.

Stuff like:

I'm told it's a no-no to put date of birth on?

Should I put MA after my name at the top, or is that wanky?

A recruiter told me a personal statement at the beginning is utterly pointless, I stuck to that for a while, is he right?

I keep the formatting simple but classy to show I know design/my way around a computer. I spell check. I don't put a picture on.

I'm setting it out as a project manager type CV due to the freelance/project based nature of my experience.

Lolohboy Thu 10-Oct-19 07:39:47

'References avail. on request', or write them in?

CherryPavlova Thu 10-Oct-19 07:54:19

I had to update mine a year ago. I tried myself and was told it was far too old fashioned - and I work in a very conservative field. Luckily someone sent me a template they’d used and a copy of theirs.
My new cv looked completely different and worked.
Do you have someone who works in same field who might send you theirs as a template?

Otherwise I’d say on mine (using template) I did put qualifications after my name, as this was first thing they see. So Cherry Pavlova B.A, M.Ed etc. As a recruiter, I think it’s odd when those qualifications include things like ADC (advanced driving certificate) or similar. Only formal academic and professional qualifications.

Age. I suspect it matters not a jot. My template didn’t and no need to but the content and job history would give a rough age usually anyway. I sat GCEs not GCSEs so am clearly ‘of an age’.

White or cream paper. Black ink. A sans serif font. Arial preferably.

Mine has a summary of who I am at outset which details my key skills and value base.

peachypetite Thu 10-Oct-19 07:59:45

You need a slick template - try canva
Absolutely no date of birth or personal details like sex, nationality.
Include a personal statement

peachypetite Thu 10-Oct-19 08:00:55

If you have degrees and work experience absolutely no need to be listing GCSEs

Lolohboy Thu 10-Oct-19 09:03:26

Thank you - i have a masters and tend to just put that on, my alevels were a bit underwhelming and gcses 'ok/good' but it hardly seems relevant somehow!

I'll have a look at canva

peachypetite Thu 10-Oct-19 09:15:33

It’s not relevant smile

Cordial11 Thu 10-Oct-19 14:18:13

What is your cover letter like?? Are you writing specific to each place on how you meet their JD requirements?

CherryPavlova Thu 10-Oct-19 19:13:57

I disagree that if you have a degree then you don’t include exams taken at school. We certainly require a full picture - we’d accept 10 GCSEs at grades A/A* rather than a subject list. Even if you have a degree many employers still want to see GCSE English and Maths as a minimum.

Mylittlerainbow Thu 10-Oct-19 19:20:53

I'd say pop a personal statement in. If I was an employer in Marketing, the first thing I would look for is if someone can market themselves to me. A personal statement is a good way to do that.

Also, stick to more than 1 but no more than 2 pages was always the tip I was told.

I've never been sure on the references thing either. I've always stuck with available on request as I haven't wanted to tell current boss I'm leaving until I have somewhere to go.

7Worfs Thu 10-Oct-19 19:27:20

List achievements, not responsibilities, and quantify. Use action verbs, e.g.:

Led the successful implementation of a new ERP system. Managed a crossfunctional team of 20 specialists and a budget of $2 million. [other project outcomes]

Lolohboy Fri 11-Oct-19 11:05:47

Thanks for all the help everyone, canva especially seems very good for swiftly formatting to look a bit better than it was and is a tool I'll use in future! I ran everything by a trusted friend who had no major complaints and applied, so fingers crossed!

I went with 'available on request' - I have no current employer, but plenty of previous clients more than willing to vouch for me.

Good tip about listing achievements rather than responsibilities, I think I sort of hovered between the two, saying something along the lines of 'tasked with/sole responsibility for, did this via x, y, z' etc.

Cover letters I always tailor but I think I've been a bit flat and formal, I've taken a risk and gone with a bit more personality and pizazz this time :/

Feeling much more confident now!

Theresa17 Fri 11-Oct-19 21:56:37

Lots of great tips already above, but I thought you might want to look at little wider than just your CV. I recently came across this blog post and it has some really useful tips. Essentially, do things that very few other people are doing. Good luck!

Lolohboy Sat 12-Oct-19 11:58:54

Ooh, thanks!!

EhhWellINever Sat 12-Oct-19 12:44:47

I've not worked in recruitment but worked in a student careers type role. A personal statement is always recommended as it's selling YOU.
Do you have a 'skills' section? Listing specific graphic, video editing etc software you can use?
References available on request fine but generally unnecessary as I'd say 99% of jobs will request so it's moot.
DOB is not recommended at all (neither is a photo) - if companies request this I would be very wary (dob fine on an application form).
You should have more than 1 CV depending on the roles - highlighting different areas.
For example marketing should have a different personal statement to a project manager role. And your employment specifics should be ordered differently;
Applying for marketing jobs should look like:
Made up company xxx date - xxx date
Marketing Exec
- Specific Marketing related duties
- Project Management duties
- Admin duties

But project management would look like:
Made up company xxx date - xxx date
Marketing Exec
- Project Management duties
- Specific Marketing related duties
- Admin duties

Dorsetcamping Mon 14-Oct-19 15:21:01

Looking at Canva makes me realise how outdated my CV is blush

Lolohboy Mon 14-Oct-19 19:30:11

Same, mine looked pretty smart with Word, but canva has definitely taken it to another level!

peachypetite Wed 16-Oct-19 07:21:30

Glad to have helped!

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