Are you telling your whole story in your CV? What you do outside of work and study counts

Your hobbies
Help your job application stand out from the pack

Our Head of Marketing and Career Mentor, Aysha Cincotta, gives you her top tips to ensure your CV stands out from the pack and why you should take the time to paint the whole picture of who you are on your CV.

As a career mentor, and a long-time hiring manager, I’ve seen and spoken to a lot of people about their CVs.

One of my top tips, apart from keep the language you use simple and making sure you focus on your key tasks and achievements for each role, is that some of your own personality and interests also come through.

It is easy to focus on how much work experience you do or don’t have. But, our work life is a large investment of time, and we all want to get along with those that we work with - and have a little fun along the way. So, it is important to also give employers an idea of the other parts that make you you - beyond your technical qualifications.

Volunteer work?

This shows initiative, community spirit and a heart. You’d be very surprised at the types of synergies that you can draw from this experience for paid roles. For eg, my volunteer Career Mentoring for headspace was a perfect fit for this role at Lode, as I am helping young people in their early career.

Work in a family business?

I worked in my family fruit shop growing up. It taught me about financials, customer service, sales and marketing. This has been so well favoured by businesses, especially small ones who know that you’ll contribute like it is your own.

Started your own business?

Regardless of how that business went, it shows initiative and you can demonstrate what you learned along the way. Even if it wasn’t profitable or didn’t last long, there was still learning experiences that helped shape you as the potential employee that you are.

University Student Groups and Other Associations

Cricket Coaching, Debating Team, Entrepreneurial and Innovation Groups, all great experience - demonstrating leadership, willingness to learn and collaboration.

Taking lessons in anything, just for fun or personal development?

Coaching, Spanish, Painting, Yoga teacher training, Blogging and Social Media, Photography, Personal Training… all helps paint the picture of who you are outside of work. They’re conversation starters for interviews, too.

Make sure you keep each section short - and, once you’re done, take a look over your CV and ask yourself if it conveys more about you than your experience and qualifications (or ask a loved one to do it for you.).

Good luck.