CV Writing HELP……….

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  • CV Writing HELP……….
  • jota180
    Member

    I find myself – at the age of 55 – needing/wanting to find another job 😯

    I’ve never looked for a job before, so don’t have a CV or any idea how to start. 20 years ago I was persuaded to stop being self-employed and join a fast growing company.

    Googling CV writing or similar is one of those searches that brings back a shit-storm of spam so I thought I’d ask around.
    Are those places that sell their services writing them any good? how do I tell if they’re any good?

    DIY – any tips? good templates?

    I spent hours last night trying to make some sense of it and get some sort of consensus of the best approach, I should have known better.

    cheers

    hora
    Member

    I know someone who is very good. Genuinely. Seems really labour intensive and you get a proof back to approve etc.

    rewski
    Member

    Keep it short, include a photo and don’t include your hobbies and interests as biking and biking forums. Seriously though, I do know a professional CV writer, I can ask how much, or are you after a free template?

    mogrim
    Member

    0. Don’t worry about the format too much right now (or the ordering)

    1. Get your experience down on a piece of paper or whatever, check the dates match up with no big gaps. For the past 4-5 years you’ll want some detail, before that just summarise. No one will care about the work experience you did back in 1980. You’ll probably want to go with something like:

    Big Company Name – Project or Role name (October 2013 – May 2014)
    * Brief description of project or role
    * Key achievements

    2. Get your key skills / knowledge down in another section

    3. Education, another section. Your degree (if you have one), any courses done over the last 4-5 years. Probably not much more.

    Now DOUBLE CHECK all of the above. Particularly dates (any gaps?), missing skills, projects… Run a spell check now.

    Once you’ve got all this down, the rest is pretty easy. There’s a good starting template here: http://career-advice.monster.co.uk/CVs-Applications/Free-CV-Templates/cv-template-classic-work/article.aspx – nothing special, but it’s a reasonable start. You might want to jazz it up a bit, but if you’re in any doubt about your design skills boring is better 🙂

    The template includes a personal statement – I’m not sure how important these are, I reckon a decent, tailored cover letter is probably more useful.

    You haven’t mentioned what are you work in, given your age you probably want to aim for 3 pages or so of CV, rather than the 2 that most people with less experience would need. But that would depend a bit on your area of work.

    One other thing: before you send it, TRIPLE CHECK the damn thing. Spelin, dates, etc. Get someone else to look it over.

    jota180
    Member

    TBH – I have no idea what I want or need to do right now
    Just trying to get some ideas of a best approach

    I’m probably going to struggle at my age so may end up in some sort of semi-retirement zero hour job .. depressing

    EDIT: my current job title is Technical Project Manager

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Mogrim’s advice is best IMO. I don’t know how anyone else can write about your job history, no matter how long they take over it or how much they charge. Never put a photo.

    jota180
    Member

    Cheers for the info

    I’m off now to hand in my stuff and say bye to everyone so I’ll catch up later

    I’m probably going to struggle at my age so may end up in some sort of semi-retirement zero hour job .. depressing

    Not at all, I know of a few companies round here who will rather take someone even older than you, than someone younger that they need to train up, then they piss off somewhere and training costs are gone. Age isn’t the barrier it once was.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Keep it short, include a photo and don’t include your hobbies and interests as biking and biking forums.

    Don’t do any of those things.

    In honesty, different employers will want to see different things, so there’s no “right” way to do it. The best way to start is just to write something – anything – and then you can tweak and change as you go. The finished product needs to be grammatically perfect, but for now just write some words and worry about tidying it up in phase two.

    Start with your most relevant data; so at 20, your education would be listed first, at 50 it’s more likely to be your employment history. I’m in IT, the first thing on mine is a bulleted skillset of technologies I know.

    Remember it’s a sales document which serves one purpose, which is to get you through the door into an interview, after that it’s done its job.

    This question has been asked before:

    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/cv-writing-help
    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/cv-help-2
    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/do-you-have-a-personal-statement-on-your-cv
    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/key-to-a-good-cv
    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/the-best-online-cv-builder

    And many more. Worth reading back.

    jambalaya
    Member

    @jota

    I suggest you get started putting some stuff down on paper which you an then edit. Getting started is the hardest bit.

    A classic CV is reverse chronology – so a list of jobs starting with the most recent. Under each job you put your responsibilities, achievements etc. This sort of CV works well when you are trying to get a job similar to the one you already have. When you think you may be doing something different it is much better to be skills based.

    So, write out your recent titles/roles/responsibilities then write out a list of skills. A combination of these is going to be your CV. I like a format that includes an introductory paragraph, perhaps 4-8 sentences which summarise what you are offering as an individual then a reverse chronology. Even at your (our) age make sure it’s on one page, absolute max 2

    If you don’t mind and want some further commentary I would be happy to help, my email is in my profile.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Even at your (our) age make sure it’s on one page, absolute max 2

    Make sure it’s as long as it needs to be, rather than shooting for some “ideal” goal at the expense of readability. See the previous links.

    niallmb
    Member

    I can only comment from my industry but I get sent CV’s regularly.

    Firstly, Never include a photo. This is an instant in the bin for me. If you include a photo, no matter what I decide, you can accuse me of discrimination. It s a ridiculous world we live in where this is an issue but it’s not worth it for me to do anything with your CV.

    Secondly, Write it yourself. CV writing services can write you a very good CV but it’s generally fairly easy to spot the professionally written ones. It’ll be obvious from your job history that you’re not a seasoned pro at writing CV’s and therefore I’m not expecting it to be perfect.

    It may be industry specific, but show you have a live outside work. I need to know that someone I will employ has ways to relax and deal with Stress etc. and understands the concept of balance. That said, don’t show a full list of your race results from the last 5 years!

    My best suggestion is to try and find some kind of event with an opportunity to meet people you might send a CV to. In my industry, a trade show is a great option. Don’t lead with “I want a job”, be interested and ask questions, follow this up with an email with CV attached.

    I think one of the biggest pitfalls people fall into with CV’s is focussing so much on the layout/formatting/fonts etc. and not so much on the content. Yes it needs to look like something I want to read but your experience knowledge and skills are most important to me. (unless its a design job in which case it should probably look good!!!)

    As I say, a lot of this may be industry specific but hopefully there’s something in this that helpful

    rewski
    Member

    Don’t do any of those things.

    yeh, cause busy managers really want to read five pages of career history. Keep it short, current, relevant and tell the truth. And never use comic sans, helvetica is best.

    Premier Icon rickmeister
    Subscriber

    Jota, happy too share some stuff.. pm in my profile..

    Premier Icon thepurist
    Subscriber

    Top tip – GET IT PROOF READ by people who aren’t afraid to be critical. Should be able to find plenty of those on here 😉

    IHN
    Member

    You’ll never get a decently-detailed CV on one page, most are two. You can push it to three but I’d be very wary of any longer than that. Hobboes and interests (especially if they’re actually interesting) can lead to ‘lighter’ conversations in the interview and give you a chance to make more of a connection with the interviewer.

    jota180
    Member

    Well I’m back and unemployed for the first time ever (since 1976)

    Thanks for all your help, emails etc.
    I have loads to go at now

    Off for a ride and a beer now and will start the quest in earnest in the morning.

    jota180
    Member

    What’s the score with uploading a CV to one or more of the major job sites?
    I’m guessing that if I leave my phone number on it, it’ll be open season for anyone that searching their site and I’ll get pestered by loads of irrelevant bottom feeders trying to extract money? and when they’re done with that, they sell my details on.
    How much info should I put out there?

    First day really looking around and it appears I’m well suited to be a care assistant or a hearing aid inserter 🙂

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