We recently had a question from a Wonder Woman. It was “Hi ladies! Loving your emails :-) I’d like to know how to build my CV while running my company. If I want to return to the job market in a few years, what should I be doing now?”
No matter what role you are doing there is a place for that role on your CV. Whether it’s taking time as a stay-at-home parent or carer, working for yourself, working in a different sector, or travelling the world.
Our first piece of advice is to put it on your CV. Be proud of everything that you are, have done, and are doing. It is your unique set of skills and experiences that makes you you and sets you apart from the other candidates. Nadine used to run her father’s business for him and then she went on to be a supermarket manager for both Aldi and Lidl. This had been hidden on her CV until Eugenie persuaded her to be proud of them and show her off numerous Wonder Woman skills that she attained while running a business and supermarkets. What conservation scientist has strong management skills and experience? Or business experience? Or customer relationship experience? Our strong connections within the supermarket industry. Not many! And yet those skills are valuable within our sector and sets Nadine apart from a host of other job candidates. Also, keeping your experience off your CV leaves a gap which potential employers will question. So be loud and proud :-)
Secondly, think about transferable skills. What transferable skills did you gain in that role? No matter how unrelated you think the positions are, there will always be skills that you have acquired which would be useful for your potential new job. Think carefully about all aspects, even the ones that seem obvious to you - its important to get these skills into your CV for all to see.
Be clear on the reasons why you are now changing roles. For example, “I went travelling around the world as it was something I had always wanted to do. It was a great experience but by the end of it I knew that I wanted to get my teeth into a new challenge.”
A question that is often asked in interviews but we’ve only ever heard poor responses (with the exception of when we ourselves have been interviewed ;-) ) is “Why do you want this role?” This is your chance to shine! So grab it with everything you have got (i.e. all of the above blog post). The wrong answer is “Because I always wanted to be a lecturer (or whatever role you are going for)”. The right answer is “This organisation is inspiring. I have been particularly impressed with your work on x, y, and z. And I would love to have the opportunity to work in such an inspiring environment. In addition, with my set of skills and experience in [insert your unique set of transferable skills and your experiences] I know that I can make a difference in this organisation - specifically in this role - and could hit the ground running.” Something along these lines :-)
Whatever your background - be proud of it when applying for new jobs, be upfront about why you want that particular role, and wow them with your amazing set of transferable skills and unique experiences.
Did you know we have a range of CV, interview and LinkedIn services for professional women? Click here to find out more.
We Are All Wonder Women is an international movement for female conservation professionals to be inspired, connected, and empowered to create an authentic, fulfilling and happy career.