Author Topic: Building your CV  (Read 13699 times)

Offline Whippy

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Building your CV
« on: Mar 02, 2007, 04:51:01 PM »
You can now find the advice and guidance previously posted by Whippy on this thread at:

www.relaunchyourcareer.co.uk

You can find out more about the reason for this change at: http://boards.gingerbeer.co.uk/index.php?topic=92052.0
« Last Edit: Sep 29, 2009, 03:14:46 PM by Whippy »
"It is lack of confidence, more than anything else, that kills a civilisation. We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion, just as effectively as by bombs."

Sir Kenneth Clark (1903-1983)

lewl

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Re: Building your CV
« Reply #1 on: Apr 01, 2007, 11:00:37 AM »
ily.

jenr

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Re: Building your CV
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2007, 09:01:37 PM »
Thanks, this is really helpful.  I'm kind of thinking about 'looking around' for a new job where I can streamline my Accountancy skills.  I'm experienced across the spectrum of running an Accounts department but don't have any formal qualifications in this vocation.

How can I make this stand out on a CV?  How can I make an employer pick me (no ACCA, etc) above a highly trained candidate?  I know I am more than capable, but what is the best way to convey this, for example, on a CV.

It's qualifications versus experience, isn't it?

Offline Whippy

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Re: Building your CV
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2007, 07:59:03 AM »
I always think of formal qualifications as working on one dimension only.  It's a comfort factor for employers because it reduces the unknown about applicants by one important element, but they can't legislate against non-fit in other factors.  That means there's still a lot of latitude in the recruitment process, because people don't just hire qualifications, they hire people. Pick the wrong character, and you'll end up with disruption and a deeply unhappy team.

Whether you get considered on experience alone depends on the attitude to risk of the employer. Some will, some won't. You'll probably get more rejections, but it's only because of the level of risk the prospective employers are willing to take. At the end of the day, I believe a lot of companies would rather do without the qualification if they are persuaded that the person is right.

Your best bet is to make the front end of your CV really strong. Be very aware of the nature of the organisation you're applying to, and make this section 'fit' as far as you can with what you know of their corporate personality. Go on their website and see what terms they use to explain what's important to them as a company. Throughout your CV, tell them your story using their words and terminology.

Make sure you have an attention-grabbing career objective up-front that makes the employer think: 'I want this person because of their...' ambition, experience, ideas, spirit, organisation skills or whatever. If you catch their eye here, you have a good chance of them reading on, and if the rest of the story is good, you have a chance of them thinking that they want you as a person, and will be willing to overlook the formal stuff.

Next section needs to highlight your key skills - what you'd bring to the table, so the reader is in no doubt of the level of your experience.

In your case, I'd be inclined to add a section on 'career highlights' - one sentence on each of five or six key achievements, including any numeric values, such as budget, revenue, profit, numbers of people, measures of time etc - so that you can show that you've done many of the things they'd usually expect from someone formally qualified, and at a similar order of magnitude.

In order to know how to best handle your qualifications and training, I'd have to know what they are, but if your qualifications aren't so impressive, I'd tend to lead on relevant training, and put the quals underneath. A trick of the eye is to 'hide' this section, so it's about 3/4 of the way down the page, as the eye tends to focus at the top and bottom of the page and skim this bit.

Hope this helps.

Whippy
« Last Edit: May 17, 2007, 08:05:37 AM by Whippy »
"It is lack of confidence, more than anything else, that kills a civilisation. We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion, just as effectively as by bombs."

Sir Kenneth Clark (1903-1983)

jenr

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Re: Building your CV
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2007, 09:59:51 PM »
Thank you very much - that's helped.

I think I'm going to spend some time on this at the weekend.

Incidentally my school/college qualifications are all A, B & C grades (GCSE & A Level) so I'd assume that this shows that I am fairly able, academically.

Very helpful thread, thanks Whippy.

Offline jad

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Re: Building your CV
« Reply #5 on: Jun 14, 2007, 08:41:17 PM »
Thanks for posting this Whippy, it's been really helpful to me :D

I have a question for you (if you'd be so kind :))

My BSC is from the OU, so it's very unspecfic for a veiwing employer, in theory I could have a BSC, but have done quite a lot of Arts subjects. In fact, all the modules I took were computing ones so they are relevant to my career, but they take up a lot of space if I list them all. How would you suggest laying that out in my CV to give the best understanding of what I actually achieved?

Offline Whippy

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Re: Building your CV
« Reply #6 on: Jun 15, 2007, 06:10:29 PM »
Hi jad

Here is my suggestion for getting around this.

When you put your MSc on your CV, list it as you usually would:

MSc, subject subject subject, university, date, grade

Then, directly under this, put in plain text:

MSc modules included:

and put a bulleted list of them.

Pick out the modules which fit best with the kind of job you are going for, and only list these.

If your shortlist still looks too long, arrange them in a table, which will allow you to have two neat columns of bullets instead of one. Then 'hide' the lines to make the table disappear (Table, Hide Gridlines in Word).

Hope this helps!

Whippy
"It is lack of confidence, more than anything else, that kills a civilisation. We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion, just as effectively as by bombs."

Sir Kenneth Clark (1903-1983)

Offline jad

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Re: Building your CV
« Reply #7 on: Jun 15, 2007, 06:51:14 PM »
Thanks Whippy, that's helpful :D

chameleon

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Re: Building your CV
« Reply #8 on: Jun 22, 2007, 08:42:04 PM »
Thanks fo rtaht it was really helpful, hopefully I now have a new and improved CV !!

Offline Whippy

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Re: Building your CV
« Reply #9 on: Jun 25, 2007, 07:29:20 PM »
Glad to be of service!

I am supposed to be 'relaxing' just now, as I'm not well, and, to help in this effort some kind person got me a copy of Marie Claire, which it took me all of 20 minutes to read.

One thing did catch my eye, though, which was the write up of a survey of UK employers on what they want to see in a CV (no source given - apologies).

The headline results were:

99% want an email address and over half of employers would prefer to receive a CV via email than post

93% want to read about your voluntary activities and 79% are interested in your hobbies

88% would like to see a short profile or summary on the first page

84% want to see details of your most recent salary (of course they do - so they can pitch their offer 5-10% above what you're earning, and not at what they'd be prepared to pay - so *don't* be too quick to give this information away!!!)

85% do not want to see a photograph of you!

Whippy
"It is lack of confidence, more than anything else, that kills a civilisation. We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion, just as effectively as by bombs."

Sir Kenneth Clark (1903-1983)

Offline jad

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Re: Building your CV
« Reply #10 on: Aug 28, 2007, 07:07:37 AM »
I just wanted to add my thanks to Whippy for this and the other thread. I build my CV based on her guidelines, did very little else except stick it on the internet, and I had a huge response from people with potential jobs for me.

I am absolutely sure that with out these 2 threads I'd still be pushing my pickers trolley round Tesco this morning instead of re-joining my real life again.

Thank you :-*

Offline Whippy

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Re: Building your CV
« Reply #11 on: Sep 04, 2007, 03:57:20 PM »
Awww! You guys!

I have just come off the phone with a guy who did his coaching training at the same time as I did, and we were shooting the breeze about all things coaching - made me realise how much I've been missing it.

And then I logged on and read your mails, and they made my day. Thank you so much.

Per the interview thread, I'll be back coaching again soon.

 :)

Whippy
« Last Edit: Nov 05, 2007, 08:56:56 PM by Whippy »
"It is lack of confidence, more than anything else, that kills a civilisation. We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion, just as effectively as by bombs."

Sir Kenneth Clark (1903-1983)

SPF35

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Re: Building your CV
« Reply #12 on: Dec 22, 2007, 01:29:10 PM »
Whippy thanks for this thread. My CV is working well at the moment, but great to see what everyone else is doing and compare notes.

I definately agree with starting exp on the second page. I find no-one cares where or when i did things, just that i did them, so have filled my front page with quals, key skills, client groups and measurable achievements eg excellence award in company of x staff, or delivered x project with x staff in x weeks (also helps justify salary and weed out those not willing to pay out). Also, cause most my peers are computer illiterate, i mention all computer programmes i ever learnt it comes up well in searches and they think i'm some kind of genius.

one thing other thing i suggest alot to my friends is remove anything you don't want to do alot of but would naturally do as part of another job - eg photocopying, faxing and filing.

hope these comments help others the way your advice helps me

Banjo

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Re: Building your CV
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2008, 06:16:40 PM »
I have crappy A levels, partly due to experienced mental health problems and an undiagnosed learning difficulty  :-[

Should I leave them on, or just have my degree as education?

Also, most of my work experience has been in bars, although my last two jobs haven't. I have a lot of voluntary experience, especially with campaigning, events organising, fundraising and some working with young people...

Yet everywhere states that i do not have enough experience. I just don't know where to start!


(I am going to work in not for profit and am considering just doing admin until I know where I wanna specialise)

prince

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Re: Building your CV
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2008, 09:20:31 PM »
also go onto Learn Direct or Prospects.ac.uk website they have great help with CV stuff....