Getting CV savvy

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Your CV is the gateway to your skills, so it’s important it makes a lasting impression. One recruiter shares his unique perspective of leaving the Armed Forces and expertly tailoring a CV.

The road to employment after leaving the Armed Forces may be long, in fact, research from Openreach revealed it can take on average seven months to acquire civilian employment. However, with the right support the hunt for employment doesn’t have to be disheartening.

EMPLOYED

William Sim served in the Royal Navy for three years, before being medically discharged. Now director of Connect Appointments – a leading recruitment agency – William has not only found a role he can excel in, but is helping others find theirs, too.

“When it became apparent I was going to be medically discharged, I was pointed towards the resettlement officer who tried their best to guide me into work on civvy street, however their knowledge of what recruiters want was limited,” William explains.

Your CV is a highly important part of the recruitment process: your time in the military has equipped you with plenty of talents and experiences that can be highlighted on your CV and applied to the civilian recruitment market.

TRANSFERABLE SKILLS

“The Armed Forces always instils the mentality to work towards your next achievement, no matter how tough or how far away it might seem,” continues William.

This mindset and the wealth of transferable skills obtained during your time serving should always be displayed proudly on your CV, to show employers how you’ll be an asset to their company.

It’s also a good idea to translate your skills from military terms into language that civilian employers with no Forces background can understand.

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Posted by RFEA Ex Forces Employment Programme on Monday, 30 September 2019

ADVICE

“Think about what you really want to do in your new career,” advises William. “What makes you happy? What do you enjoy? What will keep you motivated in later years?

“These are really important questions to ask yourself when writing your CV. Once you have the answers, utilise
the Forces resettlement teams to seek advice as to how to achieve a role – no matter what level – within that chosen field. It might take re-education; it might take time, but it will be worth it in the end.”

What really makes a great CV is tailoring it to a company and industry that you’re passionate about and want to progress in. This more than anything else will shine through to recruiters and see you into employment.

TOP TIPS

• Keep your CV concise – it shouldn’t be longer than two sides of A4

• Proofread to make sure there are no spelling or punctuation errors, or ask someone to read over it for you

• Make your CV easy to read – use key words from the job advert and bullet points to catch the recruiter’s eye

• Be honest – you don’t want to exaggerate your skills and be caught out on your first day

• Don’t leave gaps in your CV. If you have a period of unemployment after returning to civvy street, explain why

Connect Appointments can assist with your recruitment needs – visit their website today.

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