There are certain elements every CV should have so I’ll start by mentioning them:
It should be simple to read
In chronological order within each key category i.e. education, paid employment, placements (probably only necessary at the beginning of a career), volunteering experiences
Show you are able to work in the UK (or wherever you are presenting it)
Clear contact details (this is a whole topic on its own but we advise not to put your home address on the CV)
Dates should always be accurate
Your reason for leaving a previous employment should be accurate (or it comes back to bite when references are taken up)
The nuts and bolts:
If this will be your first experience as a career child carer then you will need to create or find places to tell your story, for example, why you want the change or have made the choice. There are two natural places, in the ‘Interests and Key Skills’ and ‘About Me’ sections. I’ve given the sections these titles there are others you can use but this is about what you put in them!
If your childcare experience has come solely from family experience then ‘About Me’ is the place to explain your motivation and the details (if you were not paid by a family member this cannot be defined as employment) .
If you are beginning a childcare course in a few months time, put the details in Qualifications with course name, and start and end date. Make clear you have not qualified yet. In the ‘About Me’ section cross reference this information to show that you are not only interested, but that you understand that you need to gain the underpinning knowledge for a career with children. If you have voluntary experience again cross reference this in the Interests and Key Skills section.
Does your experience come solely from placements? Early in your career when you cannot supply references from paid employment, placement reports and knowledge gained takes on an extra importance. For example, if you are applying for a job with babies be sure to mention the experience gained, if you worked in a baby room. Similarly if you worked in a school – broaden out your details about the age group you were with and the experiences you gained.
If you are any of these or similar: have an arty streak, love to cook, are sporty either actively or as a fan, an avid reader, these details should be added but in no more than three sentences within the About Me section, it does matter as it shows how well rounded you are and open to ideas and it will help your interviewer broaden the interview and helps you to respond on a topic of interest.
We think sending out detailed references containing the named children and their photos with an open speculative CV is not a good idea, it breaches the privacy of families and for the sake of safety gives specific information to complete strangers that you might not wish to work for ultimately. If a family gives you an Open Reference then just clear it with them in advance of attaching it to speculative CV’s but again don’t include photos. References supplied upon request is an entirely professional and acceptable sentence to put on a CV.
There is heaps more tips and the key thing is connecting the CV to a great presentation at the interview.
If it is of interest we do offer one-to-one CV and Interview coaching sessions which you can attend for a one hour or two hours. Drop us a line if you would like to learn more about it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope this helped!
Co Founder Riverside Cares
Visit our Parenting Hub http://www.riversidecares.co.uk/parenting-hub/ for sessions, suggestions, opportunities to learn paediatric first aid life saving skills and our events page http://www.riversidecares.co.uk/events/ for pop ups and know how sessions around London. Riverside Cares trains professional childcarers and supplies at home care and nursery staff to early years settings
Join us on April 20 at Stepney City Farm for a very special morning (info on our events page)