Q) I'm updating my CV as I want to apply for a new job and I'm not sure how to address my maternity leave. I was promoted after I got back from leave so didn't go back to my old role. Should I put the end date for that role at the point I went on maternity leave or the point I officially resigned to take up my current position? Do I need to mention maternity leave at all? For some reason it feels strange not to."
Meahan Callaghan - HR director at Seek answers:
It's always best to be honest in a CV; you're entitled to take maternity leave and your skills haven't decreased while you were away. We recommend you are succinct and clear with the dates and length of time you spent in each position and the duration of your maternity leave.
An accurate CV reflects positively on you and also diminishes the chance of misunderstanding should a prospective employer choose to seek references from your current manager. Also remember that if you completed any study or training during your maternity leave to add this to your experience - every course you complete shows your willingness to learn and develop new skills.
Advice on updating your CV after maternity leave:
- Promote your skills. They haven't lessened while you were away so don't make the mistake of assuming they have.
- Include any study or training you have done. Every course you complete shows your willingness to learn and develop skills.
- Include detailed references. This allows you to highlight the calibre of people that are prepared to vouch for your ability.
- Tailor your CV to the current needs of the organisation. Do your homework and point out areas of your expertise that can be of use. For example, if the organisation has offices in another country where you speak the language, let them know.
- Keep the big, important stuff upfront. What roles you have held and what your achievements have been are most important - the person reading your CV is reviewing a lot of applications and wants to know who you are within the first few paragraphs.
- Write things like "I have been out of the workforce". Things don't change that much in a few years and you are probably more work-ready than you think.
- Go into detail about roles over 10 years old; these are no longer relevant.
- Go over two to three single sided pages. Recruiters won't read through a lengthy CV
Fairfax NZ News