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My journey to becoming a CV writer

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

Why, how and when did I start writing CVs? What was I doing before, and how can you be confident that I'm experienced and skilled enough to support you?


If I told you that until recently I held a stable public sector role which I actively chose to leave in the middle of a global pandemic to make it on my own as a CV writer having never been self-employed before, you might question my judgment. Or, alternatively, consider me strange breed of shark in the murky waters of the Covid job search, feasting on the misfortune of others.


Well, I'm definitely not a shark - but I do accept that making a significant life change is certainly uncharacteristically off-piste for someone naturally risk-averse, but hear me out...


Back in the early noughties after university I signed up to a graduate programme and before I knew it I had spent 14 very happy years with one employer, blissfully head down for much of it. I worked hard, met life-long friends and achieved great things thanks to some fantastic opportunities. I abseiled down cliffs at week-long residential training, opened new stores fuelled by midnight pizza and represented the business in press articles, at events and in networks. I never considered leaving, and to be honest was a bit fearful at the prospect. Fast forward a few years and I started to feel the need to be challenged in a different way and this, combined with the demands of having two very young children by then, meant I needed a change.


As naïve as this sounds now, I thought that my length of service with a leading retail brand would be enough for me to sail into a new job. Spoiler: it wasn’t, and I found out the hard way with a stack of rejections, which left me feeling demoralised and unable to articulate the qualities I knew I could offer. Refusing to admit defeat, I persevered with rewriting my CV over and over, crafting personal statements and populating application forms while my then 6-month-old napped. Somehow, I also squeezed in a PRINCE 2 certification to give my professional credentials a boost, swotting up on stakeholder analysis as I puréed orange vegetables.


Overall, I underestimated how tough the whole thing would be, because although my CV was OK, it wasn't making the right impact. I didn’t even know that CV writing was thing so I soldiered on, and after many redrafts, edits and a lot of late nights, my CV (version 326…) finally landed me a dream opportunity. From there, I went on to deepen my leadership experience, accrediting it through professional qualifications and growing my network of connections – this time, keeping my CV up to date and ready for action.


My experience in cracking that career change inspired colleagues and friends to reach out and ask for my advice, and I was happy to share what I had learnt. A few years later, I found myself itching to make my second significant professional shift and started freelancing at a leading CV writing company whose experienced, supportive and personal approach with clients aligned with my values. Not only was I good at it, but I absolutely LOVED the work - speaking to people who do fascinating things on a daily basis and helping them to tell their story is a genuine pleasure and privilege.


By October 2020 and 6 months into Lockdown, I experienced a profound re-evaluation of how I want to live my life. After much soul-searching, I took a deep breath and finally made the full transition into self-employed, sessional and freelance work. The CV Bee is core to this, and is what I do as well as tutoring HR and Management qualifications, business lecturing, assessing and being a charity Trustee – all of which means I am in constantly touch with industry and continuing to develop my own professional practice, adding relevance, insight and value to my work with clients.


So no, I didn’t start CV writing in 2020 to make a quick buck from people who have found themselves facing redundancy, nor am I entirely bonkers for making a pandemic-driven lane change; the seeds of this journey were sewn a long time ago. One feature of my approach as a CV writer is that I have full empathy for anyone who is making a career transition of any kind, having experienced the challenge, the restlessness and the joy of it myself. The timing of this, like so much in 2020, is the part that has been bonkers!


I learnt about the importance of a winning CV the hard way, and I wouldn’t wish those lost evenings on anyone – I can bring the benefit of my experiences to your job search by writing you a CV that will get you results, without the frustration.


If you think my personal experience, professional insight and writing skills can help you, please get in touch for a chat, hello@thecvbee.co.uk.

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