May is a big month for me and I’m hoping you’ll be able to help me out.
As a ‘stay-at-home Mum’ who has been away from work for just over nine months, I’ve reached the deadline I set myself to start looking for my next job.
I’ve spoken before about how much I loathe the tiresome, repetitive job of writing my CV, mainly due to the fact applications are so often ignored and no feedback given.
You never actually learn whether the way you wrote your resume was correct, you never get a response from recruiters to let you know how you can improve.
It’s frustrating beyond belief and this time around my nerves have increased dramatically as I face a dilemma over how on earth I explain my current situation.
Here’s a quick summary, in case you haven’t caught my earlier blogs:
In January 2016 I was made redundant from my job. I’d been working hard to build a career in PR and had come somewhat close with this last one, I was gutted.
And there is a twist to the tale, it’s the reason I am feeling so apprehensive: at the time I lost my job I was ten weeks pregnant with my first child.
It was a horrendous experience, but, like a lot of people who go through the same thing, I decided to use it as a chance to refocus my career on writing – the thing I’d wanted to do all my life.
So why do I need your help?
I’ve no idea how to explain all of this!
How much does a future employer need to know?
How do I explain being out of full time work for nearly eighteen months?
How risky would it be to send off my ‘honest CV’ that I wrote as a blog and which has received some really great feedback!?
How do I highlight the things I’ve been doing in my own time, starting up a blog and fitting in some freelance writing around looking after the baby?
How do I sell myself now, not as someone wanting to develop her career from a reasonably decent position, but as a new Mum who is starting all over again and now has limitations on her time and availability?
I have always been a firm believer that the best way you can improve your CV is by sending it out to people you know who can offer you the feedback that recruiters never seem to have the time to give.
That’s where you come in…
I’ve decided to do something either really brave or really silly… I’m going to post my CV below and ask for your tips.
And then, once I’ve collected all of your comments, I will publish another blog with all of the advice so that together we might be able to help others.
Because I know how lost I feel at the moment when I open up that Word document and stare at the section titled ‘Personal Statement’.
I know how lost I felt last year when I was having to write a CV I’d never expected to be writing, didn’t want to be writing, because I wanted to still be in my old job.
And I know how lost I’ve felt over the many, many years of job searching and job applications that have gone unanswered.
So here it goes:
A freelance content writer with experience in PR and Marketing, Amy is looking to return to work following a year away from her career spent with her newborn son.
She specialises in social media management and blogging as well as charity campaigns, having worked in the CSR team of a major national retailer.
During her time away from work, she has continued to develop her writing skills, launching a new blog and writing for a sports magazine.
- Social media and blogging: Currently managing content for client of Leeds based PR agency.
- Project management: Managed multiple activity moments throughout the year, including World Book Day, Christmas and others.
- Communication skills: Demonstrated throughout career in communications and PR related roles.
- Charity and community: Three years experience working in the CSR department of a large business managing charity activity.
March 2017 to Present
Planning and publishing the social media content for client across the platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- Plan content based on promoting the company to potential companies and championing Leeds as a desirable place to live.
- Schedule posts to be sent during the week, with up to four posts a day on Twitter and one a day on each of the other platforms.
- Produce report providing insight into reach of posts and level of engagement with potential customers.
- Increased the number of page views on Facebook by 56%
- Increased the reach of posts on Facebook by 51%
- Increased the number of impressions on Twitter by 55.4%
- Increased the number of likes on Instagram by 73%
October 2016 – Present
After producing an article for Suffolk based East Anglian Daily Times, Amy was invited to write for new football magazine ‘Kings of Anglia’. Has now been employed as regular columnist for the magazine, writing one article per quarter on a subject related to Ipswich Town.
March 2013 to February 2016
Managing charity activity relating to the CSR programme of a large business.
- Proposed and implemented a social media trial, training 200 staff on the use of Twitter to engage with more community members.
- Supported the set up of a new internal social media site and coached colleagues in using it.
- Created regular content for internal social media site, also using it to source case studies for use on the business website and social media platforms.
- Developed relationships with key stakeholders within partner organisations.
- Managed the charity element of the business’ Christmas campaign which reached over 15 million people.
- Planned and managed new activity to support national charity partner, raising £250,000 and achieving social media coverage.
- Produced successful applications for Business in the Community awards.
February 2012 to March 2013
- Began working for the above business as part of the administration team for the legal department.
- Learnt about the business, its beliefs and the potential opportunities to develop towards a PR related role.
- Secured work experience at a nearby football club assisting the press office.
- Interviewed players and other staff at the club, wrote and edited articles for the match-day programme, produced content for the website and ran the social media account on match days.
- Uploaded articles and relevant images to club website using content management system.
- Continued to write articles for the programme when she returned to her permanent job.
October 2010 to February 2012
- Permanent role working for a Cafe owned by a family friend, as they developed the venue into a Bistro.
- Used communications skills developed at previous roles to support the re-invention of the business.
- Created all content for the new website, updated it on a regular basis and set up a Facebook account.
- Wrote articles for the trade magazine, leading to further work writing reviews for other local restaurants.
April 2009 to October 2010
- Promoted recycling to encourage residents to reduce their waste.
- Planned and managed promotional events in town centres.
- Secured work experience in the council’s press office.
- Wrote press releases, content for the website and newsletter and supported work for the social media accounts.
January 2008 to December 2008
- While studying, secured work experience at radio station in Ipswich. This developed into freelance work.
- Recorded interviews in the studio and on-location, edited them and wrote the copy to go with them in the news bulletins.
Broadcast Journalism Masters degree, graduated 2008
- Modules included Radio, Online, TV and Sports
BA single honours English degree, graduated 2006
- Modules included Journalism, Creative Writing, TV and Film Studies
At the beginning of this year, Amy launched a new blog which discusses her experience of being made redundant and her journey to find work and rebuild her career.
Having recently attended a ‘Bloggers Bootcamp’ workshop run by Styled Social Media, she is currently re-branding her blog, as well as branching into Vlogging and guest-blogging on other sites.
Have you got any tips to help me write a really good CV? Please comment below and I will use your feedback in a future post to help others.