CV Styles

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

I remember way back in secondary school when we had our 'careers' lessons - which consisted of the teachers asking us 'What do you want to do?' and most of the teenagers going 'Dunno' in response!  I don't think many of us had any clear idea.  But I do recall that the lessons on CV writing were reasonably good.

At 16, there's not a whole lot you can put on a CV.  If you have a part-time job or volunteer somewhere, that was an excellent thing to include.  Member of a sports club - you had 'team-skills'.  Beyond that all you really had were your exam results.  At 16, your CV has a tendency to look a bit sparse.

Fast forward a good ten years.

My CV is starting to read like a novel.  Two sides of A4 (always the recommended amount) and there's a lot of skills, experience, qualifications and details of employment.  Ten years will take up some space.  I've long since passed the point of leaving out your very first part-time job whilst still at school. (Cleaning the animal pens in a cattery for a few months - not needed really)

I've reached the point whereby I'm trying to assess what is absolutely necessary.  Employers aren't going to read my life-history-novel-cv.  So I'm about to say goodbye to the old chronological method of listing each job in turn, most recent first, working backwards, detailing who, what, where and when, trying to glean skills and experience from each one.  It's too full of text.  It requires some simplification.  It needs clarity.

Thus I shall be writing my CV afresh in the 'skills-based' manner.

They're pitched as being more appropriate for people who have a long work history or have done a lot of different jobs (in this economic climate that's to be expected more often), or for people looking for a career change.  Which seems a pretty good match for me.

It's looking pretty good so far; hopefully shall have it finished off this evening and I can go back to working on my covering letters.


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