From CV crisis to confidence

By Katie • 11 August 2021

Katie shares with us her experience of using the Work It Out CV and job application service. In this blog she explains how she went from frustration with her CV to believing she has something valuable to offer a future employer. 

Let me know if you recognise this feeling.

It is late at night, the world is quiet outside and you are sitting at your desk. There is a cup or mug or can of something unwisely high in caffeine at your side. The blue glare of a laptop screen slowly intensifies the ache behind your eyes. The screen in front of you is split. On one side is an internet browser with a thousand tabs open, full of examples and tips and blog posts about how to write a CV. On the other is a big white page with far too much space on it and, worst of all, a little flashing black cursor, ticking away, mocking you.

This was me not so long ago. I had opened up my CV for the first time in five years and was not exactly thrilled at what I found. I had a challenging start to my career, including an entire year off for health reasons and a return to higher education. While others my age were getting their first management positions, I was starting an internship (albeit a brilliant one). This was through Leonard Cheshire’s Change100 programme, which is a fantastic scheme for recent graduates with disabilities.

Finding help from Work It Out

A couple of years had passed since then and I had managed to convince myself to start looking for more opportunities, or at least refreshing the required paperwork, hence this late night crisis. I stared at the old CV, tried again and again to think of something worthwhile to add, and failed.

So, I looked for help from Young Women’s Trust. I had attended some of their YWTeas, online webinars on everything from networking to self-care. So I already knew that they offered sound, reliable and personalised advice.

Applying for help was very easy. All I had to do was complete an online sign up form and upload my CV. I worried for a long time about submitting something less than perfect, which was completely unnecessary, because that is exactly what they are meant to help you with!

Kind, understanding and knowledgeable advice

I was very quickly put in touch with one of the brilliant CV feedback volunteers, who emailed me a page of detailed notes and feedback about which areas of my CV needed tweaking. She helped me to realise that my CV had no direction. I was trying to squeeze everything I had ever done into one page and was trying to show experience for every job I could vaguely imagine applying for.

Through her feedback I realised I could streamline everything, reducing some experience to a sentence so it could come up in interview. As a result, my CV rewrite ended up being so much less work than I thought it would be. Plus all my old notes are still there, waiting, if I ever need to add them for a particular application.

Would I recommend this service to other young women? Absolutely. We are a restless generation – constantly aware of the range of opportunities available to us. No matter what our current situation we believe there is someone who has ‘made it’ bigger, better, faster, than we have. Sometimes, the best way to relieve that pressure is to hear from someone kind, understanding and knowledgeable. Someone who tells you that what you have is a good start and that you really do have something valuable to offer the world (or at least your next employer).

If you are feeling stuck you can build CV confidence just like Katie, with Work It Out.

Our CV and job application feedback service is free to young women aged 18 to 30 who live in England or Wales.

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