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Civil Service - Employment History vs Previous skills and experience

(17 Posts)
stewmew Sun 26-Jul-20 20:35:19

Does anyone have any advice on how to structure the CV sections on employment history and previous skills and experience? Should employment history be positions held and dates, and a short summary of responsibilities, whilst should previous skills and experience address each of the skills the job description requires in turn and how you meet these? Concerned this could make it quite lengthy.

Advice greatly appreciated smile

OP’s posts: |
TheDrsDocMartens Sun 26-Jul-20 20:59:53

Not really but I’ve been looking at jobs and I’ve another form to fill in so would like to know!

Anothernamebitesthedust Sun 26-Jul-20 22:48:00

I’ve recently submitted one done it exactly as you suggest, but agree it’s really not clear. Haven’t heard back yet so no idea if that was the right way! Also no word count For experience when there are explicit ones elsewhere. Argh.

ReceptacleForTheRespectable Sun 26-Jul-20 22:53:50

I have recently been shortlisted for some civil service roles (SEO and Grade 7) and I approached it by listing positions held, dates, and key responsibilities in the 'CV' section, then a narrative highlighting my most relevant areas of expertise / successful projects / ways I meet the person spec etc. under 'Experience'.

No idea if that was what they wanted, but I was shortlisted for a few roles. (Ended up withdrawing from the processes before interview as I received an offer elsewhere).

ReceptacleForTheRespectable Sun 26-Jul-20 22:55:27

For the 'Experience' narrative, I don't know how many words it was, but it was just under 1 side of A4 when I typed it in Word format.

stewmew Mon 27-Jul-20 17:04:25

Such helpful responses, thank you!!

OP’s posts: |
stewmew Mon 27-Jul-20 18:55:19

A further query if I may!

For the skills and experience section, is it necessary to use the STAR technique, or does it suffice to say "this is my skill and this is where I demonstrate it?"

OP’s posts: |
ReceptacleForTheRespectable Mon 27-Jul-20 19:46:40

I stuck to STAR, as that was what they specified.

Bells3032 Mon 27-Jul-20 20:07:27

I'd highly recomend using star if you can.

As for the experience section I'd structure it the same way as in a normal cv but don't stress too much about it. Generally you should be measured purely on competencies so as long as it is clear and understable the experience section shouldn't be too much stress (unless applying for a specialist role eg engineering or law when you need particular experience).

Speaking from 11 years in the civil service

stewmew Mon 27-Jul-20 20:59:06

Thanks guys. Would you mind giving me an example of what structure you'd recommend for the experience section? It just seems strange to separate out responsibilities then skills and experience separately, and I'm not sure how a STAR-style CV should look!

OP’s posts: |
ReceptacleForTheRespectable Mon 27-Jul-20 21:57:39

Sorry - I think I was confused about which bit you meant. I didn't mix the STAR bits and the CV at all. I used STAR in the 'Behaviours' sections (which had a 250 word limit per behaviour). The 'Experience' section was more of a general narrative.

Bells3032 Mon 27-Jul-20 22:10:51

Yes the star bit is for the behaviours (previously known as competencies) section not the employment history bit. Sorry misunderstood you

stewmew Mon 27-Jul-20 23:07:47

Okay got it, thanks for all your help smile.

Fingers crossed I get through this stage it takes ages!!!

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Sailingblue Thu 30-Jul-20 13:34:14

The forms are ridiculous. I’ve just applied for one where the cv section was confusing given the split and they needed one section with 1250 words plus another 500 words. I chose not to include extra stuff in the skills/experience as I assume no-one wants to actually read anymore stuff but who knows? All the guidance talks about making the process more open for external candidates but it is as clear as mud what is required.

Em3lie88 Fri 30-Oct-20 11:44:51

From a friend who works in Civil Service HR:
Employment History = simply a list of previous emplyoment. Role, date, organisation.
Previous skills and experience = bullet point / summarise duties for your main jobs, make sure you emphasise ones that suit the job you're applying for!

stewmew Fri 30-Oct-20 12:48:49

Thanks everyone.

Just an update from me on how I did everything in the end.

Employment History:
Positions held + dates, and bullets of main achievements/responsibilities (like a CV)

Skills and Experience:
I wrote a few paragraphs about by skills and where I demonstrated these.

I got an interview, didn't get that job but was put on the reserve list and was given an offer for a similar position from that about three weeks later.

It's a lengthy process, but I think it helps the CS save resources in the long run.

OP’s posts: |
Hello1290 Fri 30-Oct-20 14:59:06

Well done. I guess spending time to do the application was worth it in the end!

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