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Updating Your CV

02/07/14

With a school break upon us, we feel it's a good time to be amending and updating your CV. Daisy is manager of the Candidate Management team for our London offices. Her team see thousands of CVs a week. We caught up with her for tips and advice. 

How important do you think a CV is?

Very important. It’s really worth people really taking time over this, getting relevant information on there, making sure that it is the right length, spell check. You need to think of your CV as the tool to sell you into your dream job.

I would also suggest not trying to be too clever – CVs plastered with famous quotes tend to make people think that you take yourself too seriously and comes across as pretentious. 

What do you feel are the most important things to appear in a CV?

  • Previous relevant experience, accompanied by a short explanation - ensuring that there are months and years on there.
  • Education to be clear with relevant qualifications - you don't need to put every GCSE and A level result - or every course you have ever done since - if it’s not remotely relevant - we don't need to know. 
  • A clear CV - in a readable format is a must.

How long do you prefer your CVs to be? Why?

A couple of sides of an A4 sheet. In this busy world people don't have time to wade through pages of waffle and I think if a school was looking through a pile of CVs they would be more likely to be impressed by the shorter, more precise one!

What information do you not want to see on a CV?

I am very anti photos - unnecessary and often inappropriate. I also think you need to tailor your CV to the job you are applying for – for example I do not need to know your bust size to be a teaching assistant - fine and relevant for pole dancing but clearly the two professions are very different and should be approached as such! If you don’t believe me, let me tell you this is an example taken from a real CV!

Anything else you can add that is important to remember?

I would say research it - particularly if you have not worked in a while, times and trends change and you need to look like you are up to date - when I left school it was very important to have CURRICULUM VITAE at the top and when I presented this style CV years later, was told immediately to change it. It automatically made me look old fashioned and out of touch with what is going on today. Get someone to proof read it - not only for mistakes but useful advice.

Schools receive many CVs a week so we asked some deputy headteachers and headteachers for their thoughts.

Here is what they said:

  • Key is to make it personal- general CVs suggest you don't really know about the school
  • Don't say that you like children or enjoy being with children. Show your impact on children with specific examples.
  • Ensure that CV doesn't have gaps. Tailor it to the specific job - if applying for SLT, sell your leadership skills.
  • Sell your skills: in jobs, volunteer work, community etc. organisation, leading, initiatives are important in any setting.
  • For leaders: clear narrative of career journey. 3-5 years in each job. Strong A-levels. Wider interests. One side of A4.
  • CV to be clear with skills and experience. It's important to state hobbies & interests to make them more human!
  • Create an infographic CV to take to teacher training and school interviews to show your creative side.
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