Wednesday, 21 August 2019
Hoping to pad up your CV with your small jobs and side gigs? Wondering how “Tesco cashier” translates when applying for your dream job? Here’s a handy guide on how to hype up your babysitting, tutoring and etsy-selling.
We’ve all done odd jobs here and there while we studied, but how do you translate “I helped my sister with her Spanish homework” on a CV for your dream graduate opportunity? Simple.
Change your outlook. Stop thinking as an applicant and start putting yourself in your potential employer’s shoes. What skills do they want from you? “I’ve used my expertise and tutored in subjects I did well in, noting improvements in their own academic performance and adapting accordingly. This helped expand my communication and leadership skills and I also developed an even deeper understanding of the subject from my tutees’ questions”.
Deconstruct your role. What were the key parts of the job you held? Rather than “I mow my nan’s garden every summer”, say: “I was given responsibility for heavy machinery, learning how to operate it, use it effectively and maintain it. This also taught me independence and how to self-manage, as key decisions were left to me in the use of this machinery.” You can mention that this is on a voluntary basis and even that your efficiency has led to it becoming a regular opportunity instead of a one-time job.
Don’t undersell yourself. A CV is not the place to be overly modest. Women in particular have a tendency to not want to brag about their achievements but there is a real difference between bragging and knowing your strengths. Be confident - all of the small jobs you’ve done have given you important skills that you should be proud of. “In doing my National Citizen Service, I helped build a community initiative to bring neighbourhoods together and felt I made a real difference in the lives of all who were involved”. Recognising your own achievements is a skill in itself which will come in useful in your professional life - when asking for a raise or promotion, for example.