Thursday, 22 September 2011

Writing a successful CV

How many times have you put off writing your CV? It is a task few people enjoy. There are so many better things to be doing with your spare time such as watching TV, going to the pub or perhaps you have recently discovered a new love for skydiving! Whatever your reason, finding time is often half the battle in creating a good CV.

It will come as no surprise to you when I now say that putting time aside to enable the creation of a brilliant CV is essential. Your CV is often the first impression a prospective employer will have of you and whilst they are wading through a huge pile of CVs, you want the one with your name on it to really stand out.

I am sure you may now be thinking that I am pointing out the obvious and, yes, of course we all know the importance of preparing a good CV. However, it can still be so easy to leave it to the last minute which is often when mistakes are made.

What can you do now?

Start by putting some time aside over the forthcoming days/weeks to work on your CV. Ensuring you have the time and space to complete your CV will enable you to give it the focus required.

Also, use your time wisely. When you are working on your CV, have a think about what you want to achieve.

If you are applying for a specific job, individually tailor it to the job specification so you demonstrate that you have the qualities they are looking for and are the best candidate for the job. If your CV simply needs updating, consider what you have achieved since you last updated it. What really singles you out? This is not a time to be modest! Perhaps show your CV to a trusted person and ask for feedback.

Remember your time is a considerable resource when writing your CV. If you use it to your advantage, you are likely to find that you still have time for the TV, the pub and a new hobby!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Work and Life - Getting the balance right

Did you know that we work longer hours than almost any other country in Europe?

Do you work more hours than you are paid for?

Last week, ITV’s Tonight programme explored why and how work is dominating our lives in the 21st Century. Having carried out a survey asking 2000 full time employees about their working lives, they discovered some gloomy results:

• 70 % said they are spending most of their lives working
• Over 50% work more hours than they are paid for
• 32% thought that working too hard had made them ill
• 74% suffer what they believe is work related stress
• 1 in 5 admitted to spending only 20 minutes a day with their children

I have written previous blogs on maintaining a good work-life balance and the findings in this programme simply emphasise the importance of ensuring you look after yourself at work and at home. 

One of the case studies in the programme revealed a working Mum who suffered a breakdown due to trying to juggle extreme responsibilities at home and at work.  Having recovered, she returned to work and set up her own PR business which is based on flexible family friendly working hours.  She is now able to balance her work and her personal life and has recruited working mothers into her team who are able to do the same. 


Don’t be within the 74% who suffer what they believe is work related stress or the 32% who thought that working too hard had made them ill. Try not to convince yourself that by working longer hours, the more productive you will be – in fact the opposite is true. 

Ensure you allow yourself the opportunity to be a happy and healthy person.  Be honest with yourself and decide what you need to do about it...and then do it!

Click here to watch the programme on ITV player and here for my factsheet on achieving a work-life balance.