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Home » Blog » 5 practical tips for building your CV and applying for jobs online

5 practical tips for building your CV and applying for jobs online

As someone who’s gone through the process of applying for jobs recently, after a nine-year career. I’ve read every bit of useful, up to date information Google has to offer.

I’m sharing this with you in the hope it may be of use to someone out there in the same position. 

Redundancy and a mental breakdown forced me to change my circumstances, to avoid a negative impact on my mental health moving forward.

applying for jobs online

What it was like job hunting after nine years

I won’t lie, it was a daunting process. Simply because so much has changed since the last time I applied for a job. It’s clear businesses use technology and match keywords in applications to weed out great candidates. Whilst I don’t blame companies for doing this, it means you need to be vigilant when matching your experience to the wording in the role profile. You have to put quite a lot of work in just to get past the initial selection stages and it’s brutal.

The current job market

My rants about the state of the job market in the UK are for another post. We are told there are lots of jobs on offer. However, having gone through the process of making regular contact with the DWP, I have grave concerns over whether they are correctly helping people. Essentially, I took a lot of initiative when applying for jobs, predominantly because I am an organised person and I enjoy working. But what about the people who are unable to do this? They need the correct support and I don’t think they are currently receiving it.

Watch this space for a blog post about my experience of dealing directly with the DWP!

What information will I find in this post?

Because I’ve done my research, I will be including useful links to help you build your CV and apply for jobs. I will also be including some practical tips which worked for me and resulted in a successful application for my part-time job.

Let’s start with a cover letter

There is mixed information online about whether a cover letter is required. For all the applications I recently sent, I included one and tailored it to the employer in question. There are some tips for how to write a cover letter and also how long your CV should be.

Useful links for building your CV

If you need a CV template to get you started, click here. Maybe you want to change careers? It is exactly what I did recently and you can too. There are several resources online if this is the route you want to take.

Some tips for writing your CV can be found here. Because I was in my last role for nine years, I needed to find an article specifically for updating an outdated CV.

My strategy

Because I was changing careers from financial services to the charity sector, it was vital I took my skills and made them transferrable, in absence of experience.

To give some background, I previously volunteered for a charity and was part of their befriending scheme. Since then I wanted to change my career and work in the third sector but honestly, I had the lack self-confidence to do it.

Redundancy and a mental breakdown forced me to change my circumstances, to avoid a negative impact on my mental health moving forward.

Here is a list of skills which are transferable to any role:

Communication skills

Able to work independently

Performing complex calculations

Attention to detail

Decision making

Dealing with finances

Working as part of a team to reach an end goal

Investigative skills

Implementing change

Customer service

Empathy

Troubleshooting and testing skills – IT

Identifying priorities

Communicating with various partners

Fast-paced office environment

Forward-thinking

Working as a team

Productivity

Maintaining quality in my work

Problem-solving abilities

Computer proficiency

Multitasking

Leadership experience

applying for jobs online

Download the PDF version of this infographic

Because I started my first blog in July 2021 and this one recently, I was also able to discuss the skills I had picked up from completing a range of tasks:

Managing time effectively

Computer proficiency

Communication skills

Decision making

Search engine optimization

Writing and editing

Creativity

Negotiation skills

applying for jobs online

Download the PDF version of this infographic

Including personal experience on a CV or in a job interview

As my situation drove the change of career, it was a bit difficult not to mention it. However, I would say it depends completely upon the role you are applying for and your personal preference about how much personal information you share with a prospective employer.

I touched on my financial difficulties and the struggles of juggling parenting in my application, but only because it was relevant to the role profile. During my interview, I also talked about these aspects and professionally explained what had gone wrong in my last role.

It’s completely your call on whether you mention your circumstances. However, the feedback I received was that my personality shone through in the interview and I think being open and honest helped me get the role. And I am so happy employers are interviewing people in this way.

In summary

We are all just people, experiencing difficulties and working to pay bills. Everyone is in the same boat and it is about teamwork, but also selecting and working with the correct team. A job has to fit your needs as well as the employers.

After working in a toxic work environment for so long, it’s refreshing to speak to lovely people and I am excited about my new role.

Check out the earlier posts in this series:

Let me know your thoughts on this series so far, or whether you are going through a similar, job-hunting process at the moment – I would love to hear from you 🙂

WORKING MUM
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6 Comments

  1. April 27, 2022 / 2:40 pm

    Great tips! I cannot imagine going job hunting after 9 years. I would probably be terrified! I’ve had my current job going on 4 years now and it’s been a while since I’ve had to apply to anything, but I know a lot of people are struggling. It’s ironic really because even though a lot of companies are hiring…no one gets called back. With the cost of living being incredibly high and the jobs not paying enough to survive? It’s a nightmare to say the least. I loved your helpful tips though! Definitely incredibly beneficial to those looking to up their application to the top spot.

    • May 2, 2022 / 3:57 pm

      Glad you found the post helpful and I totally agree, the current situation is rubbish at the moment.

  2. April 27, 2022 / 6:28 pm

    I’ve just been through the process of applying for a new job online. Not because I had to but because I wanted to explore an out. The most frustrating thing was that there was no salary on the job posting. Turns out it was 30% less than my current salary. So all the time I spent preparing my CV and writing a covering letter was wasted.

    • May 2, 2022 / 3:56 pm

      It is annoying when this happens. I think businesses should advertise salaries upfront!

  3. April 27, 2022 / 6:32 pm

    This is such helpful advice! I love your list of transferable skills – I’ll definitely have to go through my CV and see if there are any I can add – and I also love the idea of including your blog on there too! Thank you so much for sharing x
    readandreviewit recently posted…The Falling In Love Montage Book ReviewMy Profile

    • May 2, 2022 / 3:54 pm

      It’s always a great idea to update your CV, especially in this unstable world we currently live in. I would also include the blog in my experience from now on.

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