7 Steps for writing a perfect CV
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Getting the best CV advice for mums is essential if you want to return to your career after having a baby.
Writing a CV can seem daunting at first, but there are plenty of ways you can make a great CV - even if you've had a career break - and put yourself head and shoulders above other candidates.
Here is my best CV advice for mums - coming from a recruiter and mum herself!
There is a huge temptation to put too much information into a CV after a career break. CVs that are too wordy and too long put recruiters off by a mile. Recruiters love CVs that are a maximum of 3 pages long and clearly structured. It’s up to you how you want to structure your CV but often candidates tend to use the following layout: personal details at the top, personal statement, education, skills, career history, hobbies or other essential information. And finally, “references upon request.”
Another point to add is that recruiters spend on average 15 seconds on a CV (or less) to decide if it’s worth pursuing or not, so it’s important to make the key information stand out. You can do this by using bullet points to highlight key information in your career history (for example) or make sure that keywords are as near to the top of the page as possible.
What I find most frustrating when reading CVs from candidates who’ve had a career break is that they don’t write about the things they did during that time. What I mean is, they give the dates of their career break and just write “career break” or “maternity leave” etc. and that’s it! By being so vague, it can raise unnecessary questions and the candidate hasn’t explained any new skills learnt, or anything that they have done during their break.
A solution to this problem is to list or describe new skills learnt, or events you may have arranged, or even details about any volunteering you've done in that time. By showing that you were “active” during your time off will give assurances to an employer that you were still keeping on top of your skill-development.
You can also add within your career break section that you are keen to return to work (or keen to be offered a particular role within a particular company).
It’s very tempting to overly embellish your CV to impress employers, however, it’s important to be clear and honest throughout – especially when explaining career gaps. If you don’t feel you have something “exciting” to say (trust me, I bet you have), write down some of the key achievements you’ve done and then select the most relevant for your CV.
It’s easy to become deflated after being rejected for a role but the important thing is to never give up! Rejection is part and parcel of job hunting so it’s important to keep going and never take rejection personally. Keep going with the job hunting and you will no doubt find a job again.
Published: September 10, 2019
The biggest thing I’ve learnt from having a career and being a mum is the ability to be strong enough to say, “this is the life I want” and not feel guilty for saying it. I know, it’s easier said than done right? But, I’ve been able to do this by organising my career in a way that doesn’t inflict on family life.Discover more
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