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Questions & Solutions

My CV would fill at least four pages?

Solution: highlight the skills most relevant to the job you are applying for. Detail your recent experience and summarise everything else – your recent activities are more interesting to an employer than what you did years ago.

My work history is not straightforward?

Solution: summarise the main themes of your career history under the heading ‘profile’ at the top of your CV. Organise the skills and experience you have acquired into groupings under appropriate headings, covering the full range. For example, use the headings ‘sales’ and ‘business management’ under skills. If you have a wide range of skills, select those that are most appropriate for the job you are applying for.

I’ve had a lot of jobs?

Solution: Condense your employment record and focus on the skills you have achieved through your experience. Only give details of your most recent and most relevant positions and lump together jobs done 10 or 15 years ago, or in a period when you changed your job frequently, as ‘various’.

I’m changing careers.

Solution: use heading, ‘career objective’, at the head of your CV to make your direction clear. Pick out your skills, qualities and achievements that are most appropriate to your career and emphasise these.

My last job was actually a bit of a step backwards (or sideways)

Solution: this is true for many people these days. Avoid drawing attention to it. Put your abilities and achievements in a separate, major section and just summarise the rest of your employment details.

I’ve had gaps between jobs.
Solution: if the gaps include voluntary work, training or relevant experience – travel, for example - put these down as part of your skills, qualifications and experience. Otherwise, giving the year of employment, rather than month or year, would cover short gaps.

Most of the jobs I’ve done have been very much the same

Solution: concentrate on your key skills and achievements and simply summarise your actual career history. Pay particular attention to the Key Skills section on your CV as a place to bring together all of the achievements and abilities learned over the course of your career.

I don’t have many qualifications

Solution: concentrate on what you do have. Emphasise your practical skills and experience; these are often more valuable to an employer than theoretical knowledge anyway.

If your lack of qualification is becoming a serious handicap to your progress, consider applying for further training. This can also be undertaken in the workplace without the need to go back to full-time education for two or three years. You may also find your existing experience can be counted towards a qualification.

I’m overqualified for the job I want

Solution: emphasise the relevant practical skills and experience that you have for the job. Focus attention on your Key Skills section, and choose the skills that fit the job you are applying for.

‘Excess’ qualifications can be discreetly mentioned in the education section. Highlight, instead, any relevant on-the-job training you have had.

For more information why not download our CV Guide HERE

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