Folksy Ltd

CV help please

Im updating my cv after my 4th redundancy. I always get stuck on the ‘about me’ section. Ive had embroidery and sewing jobs in the past and would like similar but realise I may not be so fortunate this time round. All I seem to do is talk about my crafts but feel I need to add different things depending on what kind of job I apply for.
What kind of things do you add?
Do you have different write ups depending on what type of job you apply for?

Sorry about the redundancy - only happened to me twice and its a really sh*tty thing to go through.
I have done different write ups in my cv depending on the type of job I was applying for. In the ‘about me’ section I highlight desirable traits that might not have been covered in the work section eg I like travelling and plan my own trips thus displaying organisational skills, forward planning, ability to research/ work independantly and communicate with others (even if it is in a multitude of languages ending up in arm waving and gesticulation). You could still talk about your crafts but do so focusing less on technical skills (which should have been covered in the work section) and more on the transferable ones - by running your own shop and doing craft markets you’ve had to do budgetting/ accounts, time management, planning, promotion and stock control, learning many of these skills on the job (another desirable trait) this would help make your cv more attractive for non sewing jobs.
If you have any hobbies and want suggestions of which transferable skills the demonstrate just ask.
Sasha

I’ve written a few CVs myself in my previous life - before Crafts! The About section should show something personal, but as Sasha said, it should really show what skills you acquired and how these can be used for the job you are applying for. I would keep this section short and to the point. I would list about 3 main things, don’t put too much even if you have lots of interests. Pick something that will likely set you apart. Lots of people like traveling and cooking, but is there a hobby you have that is very unusual? That would be a fantastic ice breaker at the interview. You need to stand out. If you don’t have anything unusual, that’s fine. Just tell the truth as you must feel comfortable talking about yourself at the interviews.

I have never included an ‘about me’ section in a CV. I used to recruit staff and it wasn’t a section we were ever bothered about reading. I was taught and preferred to do a summary section at the very top before everything else where I’d simply bullet point some things I feel they’d want to know straight away.
So for my resume’s here in Canada I put something like:

SUMMARY

  • BA honours degree in English language and literature.
  • Background in education, recruitment and pastoral care.
  • Full clean driving license.
  • Open work permit so eligible to work within Canada.

The reason I put those 4 things was because that’s what’s important to recruiters here- they want to know I can work within Canada without them bothereing to sort out a permit. They want to know I can drive (it’s a big deal here) and they want to quickly know my qualifications & background without having to read the whole thing first. They basically want to know whether it’s worth continuing to read my CV.
After that I have a section on previous jobs in time order starting with the latest job. I’d think about the relevant jobs as well to include- but then I don’t have any gaps without reason in my employment so it’s easy enough.
I would then have a section on qualifications- with the names of the courses, institutions where I was taught, dates achieved and grades.
Then the referees section- I’d always include 3 previous employers & that’s it.

I always tailor my CV’s though and my covering letters for whoever I’m applying to. I’ve always been fortunate and have been offered every job I’ve applied for until Canada when I knew it would be different. I had no idea what to expect and was looking for suitable jobs before I left for months but couldn’t apply until we arrived in the country as we were getting the work permits upon entry. Fortunately I was offered 2 jobs within a month of starting to apply and now work somewhere completely different to places I’ve been in the past but it’s really fun! Haha - though I still did tailor my CV/covering letter accordingly.

I think the key is not to waffle! They’ll generally be going through hundreds of applications so don’t repeat yourself and make sure you get to the point. Don’t write in paragraphs. Bulletpoints are appreciaed much more by the recruiter (I know that from my previous jobs- I didn’t have time to sit and read paragraphs of writing) I wanted to be able to spend mear minutes deciding whether I wanted to interview someone or not. Any more interesting but random sidelines can be saved for an interview when they will want to know more about you.
Keep your CV fairly short. Mine is always around 3 pages and it’s well formatted and condensed.

Applying for jobs is horrible though and can feel really demeaning- having recently had to do it all myself I know how you feel starting from scratch again. I hope you find something soon!! I’m sure you will! :slight_smile:

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Totally! It’s very rare for a CV to be read properly by the recipient as they usually have a pile of them to get through and other tasks in hand as well. It needs to be clear and well spaced out with the most important points placed as near the top as possible. Put the boring but necessary stuff at the bottom, if you like!

Sam x

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Thanks for the advice.
I have read conflicting info.
An about me section is meant to be the more casual version of the applicant, the one that says they’d be worth meeting. Some of the decision making is based on whether you’d fit into the other workers/environment.
But I totally see the point of putting bullet points relevant to the job at the forefront. Its not a dating agency application after all.

I think it depends very much on the kind of job you’re applying for. If it’s a more professional/academic position- they really aren’t interested in an ‘about me’ section. That’s something they’ll judge if they interview you- the whole- ‘if your face fits’ thing is still a big part of recruitment. For that kind of profession, in an application/resume, they simply want to see you have the appropriate qualifications and the background to ideally require little training. That’s the type of role I was recruiting so how I expected CV’s to look. If they waffled on or it seemed a little too ‘cute’ I chucked it. (I didn’t iniitally- but I learned to be ruthless and judge the person at the interview stage)

If it’s a different kind of role, maybe whereby it’s a lot more social in terms of it being team based, like a shop etc then maybe think about including it for something like that- however, to be honest, that’s what I’d expect to see in a covering letter. In your covering letter you can get your personality across and explain why you want the job and suck up to the company a bit. Your resume (in my opinion and from past experience) should be factual and straight to the point because so many are handed in per job. When it was my job to recruit- I really didn’t care if people enjoyed travelling, reading, crafting or hiking. (Everyone put those!) Haha

Just go with your gut. Re-read it several times when it’s done and get someone to proof read it. (It’s super easy to accidentally gloss over your own mistakes) if it feels right- send it off!! :slight_smile:

Thanks.
Do people still put their date of birth. Im no spring chicken anymore but I really don’t see what age, young or old has to do with ability, as Im not applying to be a stunt woman.

Never put your date of birth or other things such as marital status or kids… its Not relevant.

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Nope. Only details I have at the top of my CV is my full name, address, email address and mobile number.
Then I jump straight in to the key bullet points. (Usually 4 or 5)
Then employment details- date worked from-to, their address and I then bulletpoint the main duties of my position.
Then I have education underneath that- course title, name of institution, date achieved and grade.
Then I put references- I include 3 professional references.
That’s it.

I don’t include anything truly personal like DOB, marital status, sexuality etc. It’s generally just when you’ve actually been offered employment you would fill out a form that asks that information, and then it has to be kept confidential.

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CV updated, thanks for all your help.
It looks very streamlined and to the point. Il write a cover note for each application.
Now I have to do that job searchy thing. Tough on a nice day when I have dresses to sew.

I have gaps in my employment. As a crafter Ive been working throughout these times but its clearly not a paid job(as we all know) Do you see these gaps as a negative point for future employers?
I see these as a positive, as I worked on my own crafts so it shows a good use of my time, under my own motivation etc If I did all of that without pay, then surely future employers can see I would do more in paid employment.
How do you see it?

Employers instantly see it as a negative unless you explain what you were doing. Underneath the employment timeline I’d be tempted just to write a very short line on why there are gaps.
As a former recruiter we instantly questioned any gaps, and may well have come to the wrong conclusions but therefore didn’t ask for interview. Answer the question for them and there’s much less of an issue- and it shows you have nothing to hide.
However- I’d also like to add that if it was for crafting purposes- they don’t need to know that they were unpaid! Skirt around that- let them assume it was paid. :slight_smile:
Working for no money isn’t necessarily the good thing you think it is though- it can also show you’ll be willing to maybe take less money, or work overtime without being paid for it etc etc. Employers will do anything to save a few £! But on the other hand it could also show that if you’re prepared to go for periods without being employed then you don’t “need” a job and therefore may be willing to leave again- this can also be judged on your lengths of employment.
I hope that makes some sense! About to head off to work myself (only 8am here in Alberta) so not fully awake yet! Haha

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Thanks for info.
I had another look and theres only 1 gap in my employment.
I see your point, Id only say to you guys that its not financially rewarding as we are all mostly in the same boat. To anyone else Id say I was really busy and sold lots of things.

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