Monday, November 14, 2011

Writing a Winning CV

Because I'm getting nowhere with accounts vacancies I'm investigating other fields of employment. I completed a government sponsored online skills check and now I've seen a government sponsored careers adviser. The conclusion of the online questionnaire was that I am not at all interested in working with figures, numbers and data. Apparently I should be working in medical technology or medicine and nursing. But of course I'm not trained for these things and I'm nearing fifty.

So the adviser said I need to broaden my scope. Look at administrative jobs as well as accounts jobs. Of course there are more people going after administrative vacancies than accounts ones but chin up.

So I've got a course to go on to improve my IT skills and yet another day's CV workshop to cobble together my "admin" CV.

She gave me some CV examples. The only problem I have with CVs is how to make the hobbies and interests section stand out from the other 199 candidates.

These are the examples of interests I've been given:-

Elizabeth enjoys swimming and running and she also regularly enters short distance running competitions.

Frederick's leisure activities include sailing, travel, and old motor vehicles. He also enjoys socialising with his friends and family.

Tony enjoys watching movies, listening to various kinds of music and spending time with his family.

Jane enjoys playing the guitar and piano. She also enjoys socialising with friends and family.

Ann enjoys all things horticultural, as well as playing and watching sport, and socialising with her friends.

Pauline enjoys reading, watching movies and socialising with friends.

Oliver is very musically orientated and enjoys singing and listening to various genres of music. He also enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

Joe enjoys watching sport on TV, attending the gym, listening to music, and socialising with his friends.

They are all going for different jobs, so they're not in competition. But if they were going for the same job and you were choosing who to interview, which one would you choose and why? Assuming you would have to make conversation with them if you employed them. Bear in mind that Elizabeth either doesn't have any friends or family or if she does she chooses not to see them. But she is very fit.


  1. Hamish3:56 PM

    I think they all sound a bit weird.

    Various genres of music could hide rubbish taste. Yacht rock?

    All things horticultural might mean that she grows her own.

    "Enjoys" also sounds a bit bland and robotic. "What did you think of that film, Eric?" I enjoyed it.

    "What did you think of that incredible night we had in Paris?" I enjoyed it.

    I don't always enjoy socialising with friends and family, though I often do. Sometimes I can't think of anything more shite.

  2. Well, Elizabeth, obviously, duh.

    I bet Oliver's "various genres of music" means rock *and* pop. And that Pauline's reading habits are best left undiscussed.

  3. I can never take workshops seriously unless they contain chisels and screwdrivers.

  4. Hamish - I'm concerned that I'll have to put the friends and family bit in instead of my favourite thing which is drinking in front of the telly.

    Tim - Oliver likes a wide range of music from James Morrison to the Black Eyed Peas.

    Rog - Theatre workshops are my favourite.

  5. Arabella8:26 AM

    Oh the Elizabeths that have been the boss of me.

  6. They're so full of energy!

  7. You'd have thought they'd be grateful for anyone who can spell these days. Though strangely I have always heard you should make the hobbies and interests bit as boring as possible so you sound sane!

  8. I'd go for someone who mentioned playing any kind of instrument (except, perhaps, the recorder) and would avoid anyone who used the word "movies". I think cooking always sounds good as it suggests a certain sociability, but also seems honest and wholesome. Something physical/sporty is a good idea too, as it would counter the impression that you're a lazy great lardarse.

  9. Laura - Mine are boring. Very boring.

    Beastie - Nobody says "movies" in the UK, surely?

  10. Anonymous1:27 PM

    I've got the Eurovision Song Contest as one of my interests on my cv - and it's come up in a couple of interviews.

    They just sound like crap dating profiles.

  11. Apparently it's good to show you're active by mentioning what sports you play. I'm basically inactive.