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So here I am once more

I made it relatively unscathed through my first Blog, so I thought, hey, this is great, lets do another, I’m not a virgin anymore, and the second time is always better than the first… 

That is until you actually get round to doing it, then you start to remember all the things that didn’t go so well the first time, the sweating about what to put, the worrying about if you and others would enjoy it, if you or even they would actually feel like doing it again, all these thoughts building up inside my head until, without knowing what I was doing, I’d finished.  Well, ok, that wasn’t strictly true, but I had at least written the intro.

And what do you do?

Following on from my brief introduction last time, a couple of people contacted me and wanted me to expand a little on what I have done. 

Ok, I thought, just copy and paste a bit from your CV into here that ought to cover it!! Have you ever actually read your CV with a view to posting it online??, I know when I was looking for a new job, I posted my CV on a couple of sites in the UK, most notable Monster and The IT Job Board, both of these allow you to upload your CV as well as create an Online one, but they reformat it for you, any employer or agency gets a totally differently formatted CV to the one you upload or create.   

As an aside, have you ever submitted your CV to one of those companies that help you write one to get ‘That job’, I did once, it was a freebie off an agency site, I was working away in my garden, (146 feet of dead and dying plants, but alive and kicking weeds, how does that work), anyway, I’m working away and my mobile rings, I pick it up to hear a voice on the other end  ask if I was me, I said yes, he said that he was currently looking at the CV I had submitted to them and he had a question for me. 

 Before I tell you what the question was, let me make something clear, I had been working since I left school at 16,(unless you count my paper round from 13), nearly 16 years at the moment of the call, in that time I had had 5 employers, three in the catering trade, and two in IT, I was on the verge of being made redundant by my current,(2nd), IT company due to falling demand for UK based call centre companies, so I had been around the block. 

 Any way, the question he asked!?  was my CV a joke? I asked him what he meant, and his reply astounded me, he said, if we had been sent that CV in all seriousness, we consider that you would never get a job with it, it was the worst they had ever seen, so that’s why we thought it was a joke, however for an upfront fee of £550 plus VAT we would write you a CV that would guarantee you that next job.  

When I explained that that self same CV had helped me get my previous 4 roles, (my first was straight out of catering college at my placement), he did something that really annoyed me, he laughed and said that clearly those employers were not up to much to employ someone with my CV.  Again, I shall point out that 3 of the companies I had worked for were multi national companies, one was a global company, so it wasn’t all bad. Anyway, I politely told him where to put his CV writing services and went back to the garden, let me just say a lot of weeds got mutilated that afternoon!!

 

Back to the Future 

Anyway, back on track, so who have I worked for?  Through no fault of mine, two companies I have worked for and 1 hotel no longer exist, the two companies got sold by parent companies and then eaten up by the snakes, the hotel got sold, and sold, and sold, until now it’s a Travel Inn and Ask Restaurant, very good pasta. 

I was a Chef/Bar-man/Restaraunt Manager/General slave for ten years, 60 hours a week was a good one, in at 6am, home, if i was lucky by 2am, never saw daylight had no social life… not to disimilar to how my life is now really, without the beer at work of course, but hey, we all make sacrifices.   

Within IT I have worked for a couple of smaller companies, one that shall remain nameless, I had to take to an industrial tribunal to get paid while I was a contractor, and am currently working for a government funded organization that helps 13-19 years old with employment,  training and other more personal issues. 

They have a database that at anyone time can be 100,000+ records, (Quite small compared to some I have dealt with), but it needs a lot of TLC as do some of the people I work with. 

I deal with day to day issues as well as ensuring that our monthly stats are submitted on time, I am in the middle of creating a training program for all users of the database,(approx 400), and also update all the current CR 8.5 reports to CR XI,(approx 500 of them), as well as create new ones, both in 8.5 and XI and as a side line I have re-designed the online help facility for the database. 

I go to far too many meetings, although I do not directly manage a team, I do umbrella a group of people, with varying degrees of ability, common sense and needs, both work based and personal. 

All in all a rather mixed bag, one that has brought me fun and laughter, joy and pain, as well as a couple of late nights/early mornings trying to solve that one problem that will not go away.

 

The End is Nigh, really, I promise  

I guess the point of all of this, and trust me, there is a point, does your CV really say all about what you have done? 

We all know that if you submit a CV to an agency, they play with it, change things and in some cases embellish things to suit the role, hell I had four CV’s, all highlighting slightly different things, and sent which ever more closely fitted the role I was applying for.

 

Is it better to just fill in a form and let agencies or portal sites display it how they want to?  

Thanks for listening, and in the words of the late great Evil Knievel, ‘Ride a Rocket bike over the grand Canyon, that’s just nuts..!!!’   

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2 Comments

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  1. Saujanya GN
    Hi,

    I guess i m in the same phase now. Its really funny and mind blowing when people come with such opinions :-).

    Good one !!
    cheers,

    Saujanya.

    (0) 
  2. Hi Jeff,

    I’ve also been working full time (and studying in the evenings) since I was 16. Although I was fortunate enough to lend my very first job in IT (thanks, dad!).

    To be honest, I did not quite get what’s bothering you exactly, but just a few thoughts. In the US (where, by the way, CV is called “resume”) I have not experienced any issues with the “forms” or agencies making changes in my CV=resume. Most of the time, even if there is a form to fill in for the particular job, there is also a way to attach a Word document with your resume “as is”.

    Additionally, since I carefully select the jobs I apply for, I’m trying to also tailor my resume for each specific position. This takes a lot of effort, but I think at the end it’s worth it. The potential employers don’t care as much about what you’ve done in the past, but they care what you can do FOR THEM.

    I would, however, remove irrelevant job experience from my resume and briefly mention only the dates of employment. There is also a new sort of trend in resume writing – skill-based resume. I.e. you just list specific skills and explain your relevant experience vs. listing work history in chronological order.

    Regarding CV/resume writing/editing services. I had my resume proof-read by a professional and it was money well spent (I like to be meticulous with my documents, but sometimes lack necessary knowledge since English is my, like, 3rd language). On the other hand, my early experience with resume “writers” was rather negative. Most of those people have no clue about IT and you’re lucky if you catch all the errors and plain BS (and I don’t mean “Bachelor of Science” here) before actually sending out their “edited” resume.

    Anyways, job hunting can be very difficult and frustrating process and don’t let such people and their comments get to you.

    Best of luck!

    (0) 

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