This week I had the great pleasure of attending a local Ladies, Wine and Design (LWD) event in Newcastle about the dos and don’ts of CV writing. If you haven’t heard about LWD before, it is a ‘monthly event series made up of a limited group of six kick-ass creative ladies. We’ll drink wine and have casual conversations on a wide variety of topics relating to creativity, business and life.’ (Words from the LWD Newcastle page.)
Founded by Jessica Walsh (of Sagmeister & Walsh), LWD now has groups all over the world so if you’re a lady and are working in the design world (or even thinking about it) these could be just the thing you need! Click here to head to their website to find the closest event to you.
Recently, I had been looking for ways to meet other creative in my local area. After moving home from Winchester, within easy commute of London and all the opportunities that provided, to the North East, I found there was very little in the way of networking events or talks. So, when I stumbled across LWD I knew I had to attend their next meeting. Tickets sell out fast mind you, so when I got a notification tickets were available I was stood in the middle of TK Maxx frantically tapping my details in.
Images by Marion Botella - Photographer & Set Designer
Safe to say it lived up to expectations. It was a wonderful evening with amazing wine, to-die-for cheese and nibbles and some really useful advice about writing CVs. I have written out my notes from the event below and, where needed, have explained them in-depth.
Use plain English. Make sure your CV is clear and concise, that means no slang or over-complicated words
Make it short and snappy. Condense it down to 1-2 pages, one of the ladies at the event, a copy writer and viewer of many CVs over the years, once received one that was over 50 pages long! That’s just excessive.
No waffle! Try not to ramble on- get to the point. (But also… mmm waffles)
Talk about life skills. If you don’t have much experience to put on a CV, talk about other things you may have done- do you volunteer? Done any travelling? Been to any interesting talks lately that have inspired you?
Get someone to proof read it. They don’t even need to be a professional copy writer like these gals were. Top tip- print it out and read it over, often you’ll miss things if it’s on a screen.
Do your homework on the company you’re applying too. Make sure you have talking points- what projects do you like? What do you think they could have done differently with that campaign? Why do you want to work for them specifically?
Give a brief description of each piece of work you feature, if you’re sending a portfolio too. This helps to give context to each piece of work and can show your design thinking behind them. Also, look at how the company shows their work on their website, maybe consider displaying yours in a similar way.
Writing a brief overview about yourself on you CV can be really useful if they keep your CV on file for a later date but get rid of your cover letter. Show your personality and keep it short and snappy.
There’s not much need to show all your qualifications anymore. I just have a brief summary of my A Levels and degree qualifications on mine. Although, as we found out from one of the ladies who comes from France, this can vary from country to country.
Make sure you include your skills. If a company is looking for someone who is a wiz at Adobe programmes, make sure to list the programs you use.
All in all, it’s just about creating a clear, concise CV that shows off your experience and how great you could be for the company. Don’t be afraid to put some personality into it, mine certainly needed to be a bit more engaging. All of this was, of course, interspersed with a glass of wine, a funny anecdote, a slice of cheese and some really useful pointers. The ladies were really welcoming and even offered advice about other topics. I highly recommend them. Visit their Facebook page and Instagram for regular updates and more information.
Thank you for reading this post, if you have any more questions about the event I attended just leave a comment below or feel free to email me. Also, do you have any more suggestions for events/talks/meet-ups/fairs near you, in the North East or otherwise? Do you have any more top tips for CV writing? Let me know!