Friday, 11 October 2013

Updating your Expat CV and Autumn is upon us

Seeds of thought for the Future....

I love to grown and collect the seeds of this false Physalis which seems to love growing in the sandy soil here. They reflect my thoughts here at the moment, looking to the future...

Updating your CV 

Never a job for the faint hearted, with plans afoot to return home after more years than I care to remember away from the UK, it was time to get out my CV and update it. I have seen a few jobs recently that were attractive, but when I looked at the person and job specification it was clear that times have changed since I last looked, and I had no idea how to put down what I had to offer. 
It seemed all the more difficult when recent work experience has been "out of country" following career paths that I hadn't exactly planned on... 
I trawled the internet, pestered friends for inspiration and examples and came up with the following tips that can help if you are faced with the same challenge: 
Take your time, have a clear head ( usually after a good dog walk or similar!) and find some space and peace and quiet, or as close as you can get to it.... 
  • The first page of your CV is the most important. Most selection panels only take 30 seconds looking at your application before going onto the next, so you have to make an impact! Work out what are your strongest personal qualities and put them in a list. This will form the headline/ first part of your CV or Personal Qualities statement. Try to get as much information in as succinctly as possible  
  • Using this list for inspiration, note your skills and achievements. Highlight specialist skills here too and sing them out loud! This will form your second section: Skills and Achievements. If you are an expat worker take the time to think about all the challenges you have handled, the networking, communication and negotiating that goes on every time you move, not to mention logistic skills! Group skills in the same activity area together, for example training achievements together even if they were at different times
  • Education and Training comes next
  • Work Experience in date order with most recent first. Use of bullet points and semi colons to list experience takes up less space 
  • Check your grammar, keep the tenses the same, so work in the past is written in the past. Obvious I know, but it can get tangled up 
  • Think about the language you use, keep it sharp an focused, every word has to earn its place in your CV. Always double check and proof read it
  • Send it out to those you trust for genuine feedback   
I put off doing this little job for ages and finally completed it this week. It has been a really positive exercise, and I wish that I had done it ages ago! It has been a great way to boost confidence and look ahead with relish. 

Autumn Gold
Autumn colours are taking off here just now, and last week we went out on the bikes and collected beautiful leaves on the turn. Mr C is part of an online photo club and he had the bit between the teeth to get some good shots. I was really pleased with what he came up with. 



  1. Good luck with your CV, I remember doing one a few years ago (God knows why) and had help with it from a 'professional ' friend which was a real eye opener! I didn't think I had anything to offer, but he showed that everything if put down in the right way is helpful, and shows useful qualities! I hardly recognised myself ha ha x

  2. Yes it is amazing isn't it. It really boosts the old soul, or should I say ego? ! Thanks