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  • CV guidance and political allegiances
  • Premier Icon grtdkad
    Full Member

    Long story, but I’m scanning the CV of a young colleague to help them refine content as they’re “at risk” (aren’t we all).
    Loads of obvious improvements that they can adopt but there’s also part of their content which stopped me in my tracks.

    While they were in 6th form and Uni they’ve detailed the active work that they were involved in for an MP. Coordinating campaigns, and support in the constituency office and at Westminster office etc.
    Quite impressive but I am conscious that his cv may well end up in the bin on 49.9% of occasions if the employing decision maker has a different political leaning.

    What’s STW thoughts. They name the MP and roles etc so they’re clearly proud of the work but we actually work in a different industry not politics. Remove? Make political colours less explicit?

    #noonelikesatory

    Premier Icon willard
    Full Member

    I would remove it, but list the experience as a separate note in more general terms.

    Premier Icon tails
    Free Member

    Hmmm it needs to be mentioned as it sounds good. Could they twist it from focusing on the party to what department they were involved with?

    Also I doubt it would count against them with a big employer, plus for 50.1 percent it could be seen as a plus.

    Premier Icon stumpyjon
    Full Member

    Detail the experience, don’t name the MP or party. When I’m reading a CV who someone worked for is usually meaningless, it’s what they did and learned I’m interested in.

    Premier Icon johnx2
    Free Member

    I’d include it and see it as evidence the candidate is pretty switched on, in addition to any skills/team working yadda yadda they picked up. Don’t see an issue with naming the MP fwiw and I would phrase as “worked in the office of So-and-so MP…” without giving affiliation.

    If I saw similar and happened to recognise it was some awful Tory, I honestly don’t think for a second I’d let that influence whether or not to interview someone.

    Premier Icon igm
    Full Member

    Vary it according to the job being applied for.
    I.E. job working for homeless charity or refugee charity, don’t mention assisting Priti. Job at Central Office, mention away.

    Premier Icon Rockhopper
    Free Member

    Just because you work for an MP doesn’t necessarily mean you support their (or their party’s) views does it?

    Premier Icon dovebiker
    Full Member

    A lot depends on the nature of the job being applied for e.g. corporate Government relations advisor. Also, to describe the role in terms of what their responsibilities were – who the MP was or their party is pretty irrelevant – but working as part of a team, dealing, co-ordinating and prioritising a complex workload is a great employee attribute.

    Premier Icon lunge
    Full Member

    Detail the experience, don’t name the MP or party.

    This would be my suggestion.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Full Member

    Beliefs are a protected characteristics and acc to the training course I went on, political beliefs may be considered as part of that, hence if someone discriminated against a candidate based on politics they could be in deep shit.

    I’d include the reference but in general terms. and if the interviewer picks up on it and asks for more info / why they didn’t be more specific they can show they are both proud of it but also switched on with an appropriate answer – ‘I’m proud of the work I did where I learned xyz, but I’m aware political belief, despite being a protected characteristic is a thorny subject and I don’t want to have my CV disqualified simply because of who I may have worked for in the past’

    FWIW I work for a government owned lab, doesn’t make me (or 90% of my colleagues!!) government supporters!

    Premier Icon sillysilly
    Free Member

    Depends on job and sector. Why would any co dump 50% of CV’s in the bin based on political party if the candidate is good and experience relevant. It’s hard and expensive enough to recruit good people as it is.

    Pretty sure even the opposite political party would take a look at the CV if he wanted to work for them, if he was good at his job, and wanted to make the move.

    Commercial world works very different to STW forums…

    Premier Icon lunge
    Full Member

    I think that in theory it should make no difference at all and people would look at the skills on display and not who they were used with.
    But it may do if the CV end up in front of the wrong person. The real world isn’t STW and people can and do make decisions that are not really by the rules, particularly when hiring in a candidate rich market.
    So why give yourself a chance to lose out? Explain what you did, the skills you used, etc and leave off the party/MP. Much safer in my eyes.

    Premier Icon squirrelking
    Free Member

    Why would any co dump 50% of CV’s in the bin based on political party if the candidate is good and experience relevant. It’s hard and expensive enough to recruit good people as it is.

    Hahahahahahahahahahaha!

    Yeah, first pass should be fine but when it comes to the hiring manager all bets are off.

    Its like you’ve never actually worked somewhere that nepotism is rife and your interview rides on which colour of pen you pick up.

    Premier Icon duncancallum
    Full Member

    Judging by the vitriol on here over people who voted one way or another I’m with you regarding not stamping a political party on the CV.

    Very hard to prove discrimination on an application.

    I’d make who n why very vague but give massive detail on roles responsibility

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    Beliefs are a protected characteristics and acc to the training course I went on, political beliefs may be considered as part of that, hence if someone discriminated against a candidate based on politics they could be in deep shit.

    Does seem quite a complex area….

    However, it should be noted that membership of a political party alone is unlikely to be enough to attract the protection of the Equality Act 2010; a more deep seated belief will need to be demonstrated.

    https://www.springhouselaw.com/knowledge/workplace-brexit-discrimination/

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    Beliefs are a protected characteristics and acc to the training course I went on, political beliefs may be considered as part of that, hence if someone discriminated against a candidate based on politics they could be in deep shit.

    Doesn’t really mean anything though, it’s not like you can realistically challenge any of these things. Most jobs get so many applications these days that binning a candidate you don’t like never has to appear controversial.

    Or in other words, you can decide not to hire a black kid to be the Milky Bar Kid, as long as you’re not stupid enough to tell them it’s because they’re black.

    Anyway. In this day and age if you’re not tailoring your CV you’re already losing out. The only hard part will be intuiting when it’s a good idea to go loud on the politics and when it’s a good idea to go quiet. But even within politics, it’s accepted that sometimes you work for a cause you don’t support- and if you’re applying for a role in a competing organisation, that’s not just implied, it’s pretty clearly stated.

    Premier Icon speccyguy
    Free Member

    You wouldn’t want to work for anyone who wouldn’t employ a kid because of who their boss once was.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Full Member

    Northwind, agreed but the goal here is to get the interview and not be binned. That’s the primary role of the CV. The past experience is a plus, the ‘allegiance’ may be a negative. So I’m trying to find a way to balance that and also have a good answer if quizzed on it.

    Premier Icon lunge
    Full Member

    You wouldn’t want to work for anyone who wouldn’t employ a kid because of who their boss once was.

    Which is great in STW.
    But in the real world, it’s bloody hard to get a job at the moment and so you want to give yourself the best possible chance. Putting political parties/allegiances on a CV shouldn’t go against you, but in the real world it might. So don’t give them a chance.
    Also, for any firm of size, your CV will likely be seen by a few others before it gets to your boss so it may be be the person you work for who makes that call.

    Premier Icon Ewan
    Free Member

    Putting political parties/allegiances on a CV shouldn’t go against you, but in the real world it might.

    It’s an interesting one. If someone said they’d worked supporting an EDL candidate, would that be ok? BNP?

    In the OP’s case, why take the risk – leave it off.

    Premier Icon CaptainFlashheart
    Free Member

    Don’t show political, religious or even sporting allegiance on a CV.

    If you support Manchester Wednesday and say so on your CV, if anyone in the interview/selection process is a Manchester Hotspur supporter, your CV is in the bin already.

    See also, don’t wear strong scent to an interview. You may think Eau Sausage smells lovely, but if the person across the desk from you associates that aroma with their psycho ex who boiled their beloved pet stick insect, you’re stuffed.

    Bias is not supposed to have any place in hiring positions. It’s there though, so play the game.

    Premier Icon grtdkad
    Full Member

    Thanks all. Really appreciate the input. I’ll do my best to diplomatically encourage a change in emphasis to that section of the CV and get him to remove MP’s name etc!

    Premier Icon BillMC
    Full Member

    Slightly different angle. I’d want to know whether they did all this on their own merits or through being well connected. I remember students going on to ‘work for a US senator’, ‘short contract at Smith Square’ or a job at Phillips, no-one else would have got a look in. You might want to employ someone like that or you might want someone who can show what they can do rather than who their parents were.
    On the other hand, I know a few people from landed families and, oddly, they’re almost unemployable, thinking they’re God’s Gift with a cut glass accent, always happy to talk about themselves and their passion for dogs, horses, motors, buildings, gardens, anything but a demanding and responsible job that might benefit other people (why would you, it’d be like working for your daily).
    Like above, I’d say focus on skills, experience and achievement. A low key confidence can reflect a candidate’s ability to deal with all sorts of people and situations whereas a braggart clearly does not see themselves as an equal.

    Premier Icon sparksmcguff
    Full Member

    It’s good experience and should be left in. From a contrary point of view I would be interested in interviewing the person precisely because of their potential political connections regardless of their affiliation – and yes that includes someone who’d worked for Patel. I recruit for a small left leaning social care charity as part of what I do and we’re constantly looking to build cross party connections.

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Full Member

    Sounds like great experience to have on a CV, as long as it’s not stuff like “Organising the Young Conservatives Annual Fox Hunt” I don’t think recruiters would take issue with the political nature of it but as has been suggested, leave out the MP & party names.

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