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Other CV

Discussion in 'General' started by Comfyasabadger, 22 Feb 2012.

  1. Comfyasabadger

    Comfyasabadger What's a Dremel?

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    With the changes to the NHS in Kent my job in the future is not as secure as it used to be.
    So, to prepare myself for such events I am looking around for jobs to see what is out there.
    Fortunately my job is quite specialised and there are a few around and was hoping you guys could offer advice on how best to layout my CV as it has been such a long time since I last created one.

    My wife, who is a teacher, suggests I lay it out similar to hers, a couple of pages split into the main sections and each section contains a couple of paragraphs. It just looks plain and boring. It has no real formatting or style.

    Is a plain boring CV the way to go or should I apply a bit of style to the CV so that it is also visually appealing :confused:
     
  2. alastor

    alastor Minimodder

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    Two pages maximum, your work experience will likely be more important than your qualifications by now so I'd say put that first. Contact details, a short personal profile (try not to be too clichéd), key skills (maybe bullet pointed, but with dashes - see below) then your work experience with a paragraph or two for each explaining what you've gained from the job.

    Qualifications wise, newest first, reducing detail for older stuff; nobody will want to know every grade for each of your GCSEs if you have a degree. If you have space left, maybe some hobbies and interests to round out your character. References available on request.

    Make a nice header with your contact details, but beyond that try to keep it simple formatting wise; when applying online your CV will generally be scanned by software that can be confused by tables, bullets etc.
     
  3. Cei

    Cei pew pew pew

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    CVs can come down to what profession you're in - I know you said NHS, but doing what? My dad's NHS CV is multiple pages, because at the level he works at they want detail on everything and anything, whereas mine stuck to the normal 2 page rule.

    For a standard 2 page CV I'd do it as follows:
    - Name, address & contact details
    - Introduction paragraph, selling yourself and your key skills
    - Work experience in timeline order, detail job role and responsibilities and what you brought to the job/learnt
    - Qualifications, newest first
    - References


    Keep it organised and well laid out, but not overloaded with text. No images or silly things like clip-art. Simple formatting can go a long way.
     
  4. Comfyasabadger

    Comfyasabadger What's a Dremel?

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    Financial Systems Support.

    I'm the bridge between IT and Finance. I know more about accounting than IT and more about IT than the accountants. We manage and maintain the Accounting System as well as the electronic procurement system.
     
  5. lwills

    lwills What's a Dremel?

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    I'm a Senior Software dev and been using/updating the same CV since I was 15. Hasn't failed me yet! :) It's a pretty simple layout but professional and effective (much cleaner than the rubbish they were peddling in uni)

    I'll sweep out my data and you can have it as a template if you like?

    As for the sector, from my experiences the CV is looked at more by the dept your going for (IT, finance etc.) and the cover letter is the place for putting every key word you can find on the job advert, as it means HR tick all the boxes for you and get you an interview :D

    It's a silly situation but I've seen an application not make it into the interview stage (Via HR) because he didn't use the specific word 'database' in the cover letter... even though the guy had years of experience with SQL Server and Oracle. Understandably we cut out the middle man and called him in!
     
    Last edited: 22 Feb 2012
  6. lp1988

    lp1988 Minimodder

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    I would disagree with that, the CV should not contain any whole written paragraphs, it is a one page thing giving personal information and previous work and qualifications nothing more.

    Any further should be added on a different page, no writing "what you are good at" on the CV as the only purpose for a CV is to give the employer a very quick way to sort out the ones that actually do live up to the minimum requirements. If you start writing too much on the CV many will simply throw it away as it is too much trouble sorting >50 applications it they aren't as simple as possible.

    You can talk about yourself all you want on the actual application side however not on the CV.
     
  7. Comfyasabadger

    Comfyasabadger What's a Dremel?

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    Cheers lwills that would be awesome.

    I do have another question as I'm umming and ahhing over it.

    Should I include my experience with asp.net, C# and VBA.
    I'm in no way a professional and have no formal qualifications but I have written a web application that is used by our clients and a program that is used in house and also several snippets of VBA to help our teams with reporting and making the tedious jobs more efficient.
     
  8. Atomic

    Atomic Gerwaff

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    I agree with this, except References shouldn't be on your CV, they will be asked for specifically and should only be taken with a job offer.

    Not always, a short (no more than 4/5 lines) compact summary of your experince and skills at the top of a CV is often very useful for the recruiter so they can shortlist you before having to read the rest of your CV to decide who to interview.
     
  9. lwills

    lwills What's a Dremel?

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    Honestly mate, this is gold, and it could be a huge swing in your advantage in getting you an interview. Definitely include it because it shows lots of different positive attributes about you and your approach to work (e.g. learning outside of education, interest in the subject, problem solving ability etc.).

    I think you’ve hit the nail on head pretty well with what you’ve written there. I’d recommend expanding a little on the purpose of the larger programs, without being too verbose and dropping the part saying you have no qualifications in it. So in the CV, at the end of the vocational experience section, put something like:

    “During my employment at <Someplace> I wrote and maintained a client facing web application for <Purpose> in <Language > and an in house system for <other purpose> in <other language>. I have also written VBA scripts to help automate simple tasks and improve efficiency for my team.

    A portfolio detailing examples of my work is available on request”


    That last bit will score you some brownie points aswell : ) . Don’t worry, it really doesn’t have to be anything overly fancy. Say a separate document, with about half a page per system, with a few screenshots, a brief paragraph explaining what the system was designed to do and maybe a few lines of commented VBA code showing you know a bit about why you wrote it the way you did.

    Those few lines in your CV should grab the attention of any employer, and by offering the portfolio - even if they don’t ask to see it, shows you’re willing to demonstrate that you’ve written is the truth. And this is all without even suggesting you have any actual qualifications in that specific area :)

    I’ll get that CV Shell sorted and sent over to you in a sec now :)

    Best of luck dude!
     
    Comfyasabadger likes this.
  10. bulldogjeff

    bulldogjeff The modding head is firmly back on.

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    This is dead right, plain and boring but with all the relevant details is what they want.
     
  11. Cei

    Cei pew pew pew

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    I disagree, and so would my mother who has worked as a careers adviser her entire working life, from school age right through to her current HE post. She always says you need to have a short paragraph at the start, simply listing employment/qualifications tells the employer nothing about the person.

    Yes, too much writing gets your application thrown out, hence the two page limit. Qualifications/Work experience is usually a page or more by itself, mandating a short introduction.

    As to the application side, that depends if there even is a separate application process/form.
     
  12. lp1988

    lp1988 Minimodder

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    I think you are confusing the CV with the actual application, a CV is not the application. Whenever you apply for a job you will have to send more than just your CV as the CV does nothing more than inform of your personal information, skill set (language, programs and more), experience and so on. it is a tool to sort the many people applying for a job without having to read too much. When you have all the information that should be on a CV you would find that there are little space left as you also have to make sure it doesn't look too cramped.

    When your CV has been selected as fulfilling the minimum requirement for the job the reviewer would then go on to your actual application, and it is here that they decide on who gets invited for the interview.

    The method of making CV's and what they are used for may change depending on where you are in the world, so we may be talking past each other here. However I can say that this is very much how it is done both in Denmark and Germany, and I could imagine that it doesn't differ too much in the northern part of Europe.
     
  13. Cei

    Cei pew pew pew

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    No, I'm not confusing the two things. The rule of thumb in the UK is that a CV should not exceed two pages, but one is also a tad short for somebody who actually has some work experience. You include a small blurb to simply encourage further reading of your CV. CVs are also the things handed in "blind" to a company, in the hope that they have vacancies or that they may retain your CV for when they do. In that sense, they need to have a bit more info than the basic qualification/experience.

    Most jobs that have application forms don't even want your CV, as all bases are covered in the application, and explicitly tell you not to send one.


    EDIT: Look, even the UK government want you to put a statement on there! http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Jobseekers/Helpapplyingforajob/DG_173655

     
  14. lp1988

    lp1988 Minimodder

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    We are properly talking about different styles here as any CV here would only include your very latest experiences, and at least here, not include thins like your interests as that link recommends. Even a few of my professors only use one sided CV's however have an entire book of references on the side. Even I use several sides if I have to give my better references from my previous work, and I am only in my mid twenties. At least here the part of an application that is an CV is only a tool for sorting people, not the part that actually are going to land you a job.

    So in summary, point taken and will consider it if applying for a job in GB :D
     
  15. Nedsbeds

    Nedsbeds Badger, Slime, Weasel!!

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    I had to read a 32 page CV the day before yesterday. Don't do that....
     
  16. lwills

    lwills What's a Dremel?

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    If someones done enough jobs to warrant a 32 page CV, they don't need a CV :p

    I say stick with 2 full pages. Or If your inclined, 1 full page. Leaving any large chunks of whitespace suggests you've really run out of good things to say about yourself...
     
  17. Comfyasabadger

    Comfyasabadger What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks for all your input.
    And thanks lwills for the template
     
  18. MiNiMaL_FuSS

    MiNiMaL_FuSS ƬӇЄƦЄ ƁЄ ƇƠƜƧ ӇЄƦЄ.

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    If you're unsure have a bash at your CV and then email it to myself (pm for details).

    I setup a small charitable project in my local town to help people look at employment/training/volunteering opportunities.

    Four years later I manage staff in four teams around Norfolk, have won a host of awards from around Europe for our work, and regularly meet with cabinet members and other self-proclaimed bigwigs to explain to them that the governments approach to unemployment is all wrong (Not that they actually listen, but one day someone might - I've got Princes Charles on Monday, my first Royal!)

    So I'm fairly useful at the employment side of things if you need a hand; although I'm the first to admit I haven't worked on the 'front line' for a while!


    If anyone interested in what I do and they want something to put them to sleep at night, then most of my time is now spent writing and promoting stuff like this: http://www.idea.gov.uk/idk/core/page.do?pageId=17460382

    The Great Yarmouth example is a study that the local borough council commissioned on my project a few years ago to see if our approach to unemployment was financially viable - interestingly during the first year I was the only member of staff, so technically it's a study of me!






    Some brief off the cuff tips below:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Key Skills

    If your work history is suited to a standard chronological CV style, then it's worth having a key skills section near the top, the idea is to wet the readers appetite by flagging some of your best attributes early on. but for the love of god don't just list skills with no explanation! This is my pet hate on CVs when I'm recruiting.

    DONT DO THIS:
    DO DO THIS:
    (sorry for the rubbish examples above, I don't know what your job, but you get the idea - justify everything you say on a CV.)

    Ideally a key-skills section will actually very briefly state some of your key life achievements or most impressive stats. My key achievements section for instance has this

    This makes sense in my field, and is in my-line of work, a top-draw achievement, hence I parade it my key-skills along with some other similar achievements.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Personal Profile

    As for writing paragraphs of text on a CV, it's generally expect that you have a 'Person Profile', this is 2 or 3 sentences to introduce yourself. Keep it very short, most people use the same old blag here, so it's not worth wasting space over something that the vast majority of employers will ignore.

    Here's the 'person profile' of somebody I recently recruited. Short, simple, well written, just enough info to make me want to read his CV and see what his 'prove track record' actually entails.

    Here's the kind of personal profile I see everyday. It's long, horribly standard, sounds like it can apply to anybody, and I'll probably....ZZzzzZZZ...too late.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Employment History

    Reverse chronological order - most recent job's first and work your way backwards. There is no definite to how far you go back, the industry standard is last 4 jobs or last 10 years, which ever looks best. nut if there is something particularly impressive or relevant 5 or 6 jobs ago, then by all means include it.

    Websites - include them on your CV! Yup I'm not mad, employers want to be able to see where you've worked...so don't only say 'Lion Engineering - Kent' add there website, that way an employer can really get a good feel for what you do. It also helps when an employer is little know or not self-explanatory, rather that writing several lines on who the hell your employer was, you can just link there website.

    Bullet-points - Best invention ever, when you talk about your job, do so in short concise points. If you've got many low level jobs then 2-4 points for each job is plenty. If you do something technical, or have achievements you want to mention, then go into greater detail, but still keep it in points.

    The longest bullet-point in my CV is under my current job role, it doesn't make a lot of sense out of context, but the previous bullet-points outline what 'the project' is and that I'm the manager/creator/lead.

     
    Last edited: 24 Feb 2012

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