A CV - or Resume - has been the go-to tool for employers and job-seekers for 500 years. But what if you're worried that your CV can be used against you?
When you register with BRIDGEOFHOPE.CAREERS you get access to not one but two important services.
Firstly, you get to look for jobs you think might suit you and apply for them – either by manually searching our database or by setting up regular automated searches through your candidate profile. You apply for these directly with the employer, and you’ll only need a CV if the employer asks you for one.
Secondly, however, employers often approach us directly to ask us to find people for particular roles. Our clever job engine searches through every CV we have on file to find people with suitable skills, sometimes for jobs those candidates may never have thought of.
That’s why we need your CV: a word-processed document or PDF that outlines your relevant skills and experience.
What if I don’t have a CV?
CV stands for Curriculum Vitae – a Latin term that basically means “life story”. Making one can be a really useful discipline for preparing to apply for work. It leads you to reflect on the skills, qualities and experiences that might make you attractive to an employer, and to plan how to communicate these most effectively.
If you’re confident with IT and have access to software like Microsoft Office, you can use a pre-built template that gives you useful headings and formatting to design a smart CV (search for ‘Resume’ in the software templates, the term Americans use for CV, if you can’t find them).
There are also a host of online CV builders that you can use. Just type ‘CV Builder’ into your favourite search engine. These websites ask you to fill in a form with all your information, then present you with a finished design. That means uploading your personal information to the site's servers and typically paying a fee – make sure you’re comfortable with the terms and conditions before you go ahead.
If you can’t access either of these options, we also have a really simple tool to get you started. It’s a 2-page PDF document with blank spaces for your information. Provided you have Adobe’s free Acrobat Reader software for your computer or mobile device, you can download the template to any device you wish, fill the information in, save the file and upload it to your account. Your CV won’t be as attractive as some, but it will give our job engine enough information to match you up with an unexpected opportunity.
What do I need to have in my CV?
Here are the essentials for any CV.
Personal details: Just your name, postal address, email address and phone number. If you don’t have a full postal address, at least the name of the city or county you live in. You don’t need any information about relationship status, age, gender, nationality etc.
An outline of the jobs you’ve held and the responsibilities and skills that went with them.
A list of your qualifications, including school and workplace skills.
Some information about any hobbies, interests or experiences outside of employment, including volunteering
CVs also typically include an opening statement that promotes you as a person and explains what you are looking for in a job.
My CV sucks – I don’t want to have one
People with complicated life or career histories can find CVs a bit of a minefield when they apply for jobs. They worry about having to explain career gaps or other incidents - or even worse, not even getting the chance to explain them.
But the businesses we work with have committed to inclusive employment – to seeing past life’s hiccups. They understand that complicated pasts are often accompanied by valuable lived experience and learned resilience. Also, our employers only ever see your CV if our job engine has matched your skills to something they’re actively looking for – in which case you’ve already passed the first test! So you really don’t have anything to lose.