It can be assumed that I’m writing this blogpost for teens or recent graduates looking for their first job. You are mistaken.
I believe there will be a lot of people out there, who are writing their CVs for the first time, who are beyond this category of CV Learner Writers (I’ve nicknamed them CV L-Writers for ease, hence the title!). I have one client, for example, who has set up and ran businesses, who is super bright and super loving, who loves learning, but has never written a CV in her life. She’s never had to. Having come into the family business soon after O-levels and then being in the business world until she became a mother to two amazing children has meant that she has never had to apply for a job. Now, however, this is something that she is exploring, and I’m here to offer her career coaching help.
Of course, one of the first objectives was to get a CV together. An entirely new concept for my client! There were indeed blockages there when trying to put this CV together, and it became a task that for weeks hadn’t been completed. After coaching the issue out, and understanding the bigger picture, it appeared that my client needed to complete the task in a way that many might not understand. You see, she is a Reflector-Pragmatist blend of learner, and this would make her task of CV writing difficult – especially in lockdown!
So what are learning styles and why are they important for career coaches to understand? I guess I learned the hard way. Our careers are a journey that we are always learning from. Based on the work of Kolb (…), Peter Honey and Alan Mumford identified four preferential learning styles. You can research into their work yourself if you are more interested, but here’s my take on it here:
Which one are you? Or in fact, which blend are you?
My client as a Reflector-Pragmatist first needs to watch someone explaining what they are doing as they create their CV. She’ll take a billion and one notes about it. And then she will apply past life experiences to having a go, but needs to be assisted whilst on the task by a respected practitioner. This had not dawned on me until most recently. It has inspired the content for this post, since others may also be needing some helpful tips on learning how to write their CV bearing in mind their learning styles.
For the purposes of not drowning this post, I simply post up the tips, but don’t point to any particular sources. Notice that NONE of these learners would ever revert to a CV writing service. They will learn their way, and not fob of the task onto someone else.
Tips for ACTIVISTS
My friend… you’ve probably already started on the task and are ready to share your first draft with your coach! But if you’re not quite there yet, here’s a few tips especially for you with love from Claz!
- Get cracking way before your set deadlines so that you can produce multiple drafts if need-be.
- Research your ideal model CV using the various means and methods you have at your disposal.
- Consider taking up a career coach to keep you on track and to give you the feedback that you will be wanting after your drafts.
- Don’t rush the process. Activist learners have a tendency to move on too quickly from one experience to the next. In doing so, they block their own abilities to learn effectively.
Tips for REFLECTORS
My cautious and careful friend, I understand the risks you are imagining in your mind as you begin your CV writing task. But don’t you worry! This practical experience is going to be of great worth to you once you have landed the job that you’re going to be happy excelling in. My tips for you:
- Start. Just start. Once you’re started, don’t stop. Build up your courage to keep going. Creating something badly is better than not creating it at all, if that’s what you’re worried about.
- Hear/Watch others’ stories and ask your network of friends, family, acquaintances to share with you how they went about putting their CV together.
- Watch YouTube tutorials.
- Ask your career coach if he/she has anybody who is currently writing their CV whether you might be able to Zoom call or meet with the CV L-writer to observe how they do it.
- Try to engage sufficiently with others in the process, but not become dependent on them to do the task. E.g. you might want to pay a CV writer to sit with you as you produce your CV (note: you must not have the CV writer do the task for you though!).
Tips for THEORISTS
I love the simplicity of your approach, dear friend. There are many websites out there with clear instructions for you to follow. Many career services will also offer CV-writing support in a logical and theoretical way.
- Get in touch with your local University or Higher-Education College Career Service and make yourself known to them.
- Understand the ideas and the intended concept of what you are reading. Remember that after this process is over, every step lead to an outcome. That’s what you’re aiming for! The outcome being a ready-to-distribue CV!
- It may be worth thinking outside the box about who you might want to work with here. Yes, career coaches can be of invaluable help, as can CV writers. But people who write job descriptions, interview candidates and sit on shortlisting panels could also teach you a thing or two about what would be valuable in a CV.
- Try not to ignore your intuitions and creativity or you may miss out on learning something new.
Tips for PRAGMATISTS
Your openness to new techniques and ideas is a result of your realistic and practical approach to problem-solving, my friend. You also very much appreciate respected practitioner coaches to give you feedback on your tasks.
- You are so capable of completing the task, so continue in perseverance until it’s completed. Don’t become complacent.
- Keep reminding yourself of the ‘why’ you are doing this task, so as not to reject or ignore ideas supporting your task and completing it.
- On the very rare occasion, you will have to learn to do things that might not make sense to you, or that you can’t see the bigger ‘why’. I know it’s not as natural for you, but don’t let this prevent you from your learning opportunities. Life is full of learning, and worth learning even these lessons, that may appear to be insignificant or not of value to you. Don’t lose out. Your opportunity to learn is a gift.
So there we are. I hope that you will find some of this information helpful for you. Feel free to share it on to others whom you feel could benefit! You could also get in touch with questions 🙂
I’m Claz, a Professional Career Coach based in West London, accredited in the UK. I am also a Life & Wellbeing Coach, working with individuals as well as organisations. You can contact me through my website www.touchofclarity.com.