Top tips for your CV and application
Finalising your “perfect CV” or written application or worrying about your social media profile can be a real barrier to applying for roles after you have taken a career break.
The good news is that none of this needs to be perfect; your CV and application should be an authentic representation of the experience and attributes you’d bring to the role – and that includes the valuable skills you have obtained during your time out of the workplace – with the perspective that brings.
We wanted to share some of our top tips with you to assist you in preparing your CV and application. For the Reconnect program, we are keen to understand what you have been doing during your career break but our main focus will be on your prior professional career.
- Tailor your CV and application
A good application makes clear where and how your experience is relevant. Use the job specifications and company research to clearly demonstrate where you add value. Following a career break, make a link between the skills of budgeting, project management or delegation you have developed and why this adds value to a company that truly values diverse talent. We also want to understand why you are keen to join EY and in particular the Reconnect program.
- Personal Statement or Profile
Include four or five sentences to introduce who you are and summarise your core skills, experience and qualifications from your professional career, plus activities during your career break. Think of this as your elevator pitch to the employer and let them know why they would want to hire you.
- Be wary of getting the basics wrong
Bad grammar, spelling or a poor visual layout can stop your CV from making it past the first round of screening. Two to three succinct, accurate and purposeful pages make the best impression.
- Education and qualifications
Be factual and specific about academic and professional qualifications. Never be tempted to embellish grades or courses studied, but equally don’t forget to include any learning you have done for your own self-development. Many individuals have taken up valuable study whilst on a career break, which shows energy and passion that employers find appealing.
- The career break itself
A career break should be summarised and celebrated as such, and not disguised other ways. Clearly state the years and reasons for the break (for example, parental leave or charity work) and don’t overlook any commitments or interests outside of corporate life. It is likely that these additional activities will be a good indicator of your level of drive, commitment and tenacity!
- CV as part of a “job search toolkit”
Be wary of investing too much emotional energy in the CV itself – it is only one strand of your job search toolkit, which may include networking or taking further professional study. For the Reconnect program, we will be asking you to complete an application form with specific questions being asked, ensure you take the time to complete this and make your motivations clear.
- Think of your CV as your transition plan
Your CV is a marketing document to showcase the skills, ability and confidence that can really secure your next role. A strong CV will help you set goals or identify any skills gaps that you can address as you successfully cross the bridge back to work after a career break.
- LinkedIn and social media
The workplace may have changed during your career break and social media is often something that returners can be frightened of or apprehension about. You’ll simply need the training and insight from your colleagues and you’ll be in the professional social media world very quickly. Here are some top tips to help: LinkedIn Top Tips