The Importance of a Well Written CV

A candidate’s CV is the first thing that anybody sees in the recruitment process. That includes the agency as well as any clients or prospective employers. We all understand the importance of making a good first impression, and in terms of finding that perfect job, your CV is the first impression. Despite the importance of possessing a well written CV there is a growing trend of CVs which are poorly constructed and quite often, have not been proof read.

That being said, CVs are not the be all and end all of your job application, but it can be the difference between getting an interview or not. It is therefore vital that you portray yourself and your work history in a clear and concise fashion. Long CVs inflated with large amounts of content may seem like a great idea and we appreciate that you want to convey as much about yourself and your work history as possible, but in our experience, less is often more here. Recruiters can potentially read thousands of new CVs each week. This ultimately means your CV needs to make an impression in the first 20-30 seconds. That’s not to say recruiters will ignore a lengthy CV, far from it, but you don’t want to make this process more difficult than it needs to be and if you are going to provide lengthy information, pay close attention to how the CV is laid out so that the recruiter is able to quickly build a picture about you without necessarily needing to read the CV in its entirety.

The best CVs we receive show comprehensive contact information (believe it or not, this is often overlooked) and clearly lays out previous work experience with accurate dates, easy to read job titles and concise descriptions of the roles. Any qualification or education information should be listed in a similar and concise fashion. Skilful use of proper fonts and strategically placed bold text can also help to draw the eye to important information quickly and easy. Ultimately you want to get the point across as quickly as possible and make sure the content is easy to understand and informative.

Personal profiles and summaries can be useful, however avoid using repetitive terms that probably appear on everyone’s CV. “Trustworthy” or “hard working”. One would hope that these things go without saying. So ask yourself if you really need to put it on your CV. After a while recruiters and employers start to look past these repetitive phrases. We aren’t saying that you shouldn’t include a profile summary, but keep them short and sweet and avoid repetitive ‘buzz’ words that probably appear on everyone’s CV. Try and use this space to convey something truly unique about yourself that may genuinely be relevant to the type of job you are applying for. If it’s starting to look a bit generic, we would suggest you leave it out and just focus on the facts of your employment history instead.

Lastly, and we can’t stress this enough… Proof read, proof read, proof read! It still astonishes us how many CVs we receive with glaring spelling and grammatical errors. We live in an era of spell check and the internet. There is really no excuse for this and it is important to keep in mind that the person reading your CV will notice any errors like this and will assume that if you can’t be bothered to double check your own CV, how much due care and attention will you be applying to the job they are recruiting for? 5 mins to double check your CV will pay dividends in the long run.

Marshall Harber does provide a CV advice service to all successfully registered domestic household staff. For more information please ask your consultant about this during your registration interview.

For further information about Marshall Harber’s registration requirements for candidates you can view our Candidate page.

For a full list of our currently available vacancies, you can view our Jobs Page.

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Registering with a Domestic Employment Agency

Are you looking for private domestic work? Are you registered with a domestic staffing agency? Are you considering registering with an agency?

Registering with a recruitment agency can sound and feel like a chore. There are so many to choose from, and candidates can start to feel like they are just cannon fodder in the recruitment machine. To a degree, there is probably some truth to this. There are many agencies that will employ unscrupulous recruitment techniques or will simply waste a candidate’s time unnecessarily. Unfortunately this can be the nature of recruitment but there are ways in which you can mitigate this.

Marshall Harber will always be as up front as possible with regards to registration. Saying that, just because an agency doesn’t have the right job for you at that time, it doesn’t mean that you should avoid registration entirely. The fact is that the agency can’t actually allow you to go forward and meet their clients until they have completed their due diligence. So by completing your registration, it means that you save time later on. Worst case scenario is that your CV needs a minor update, but all the ‘right to work’ checks and the registration interview are out of the way so you can be put straight forward for a job as soon as it becomes available or appears on the Jobs Board.

When an agency takes on a new instruction from a client, they immediately search their own databases and advertise the position. If you are not yet registered, you are already on the back foot because you are competing with candidates that have and can be sent forward immediately. Clients are very often looking for ASAP starts, so being registered already gives you a clear advantage over any candidates that aren’t.
In order to meet the Conduct Regulations which govern the business of employment agencies, we are required to carry out certain legal checks, such as a ‘right to work’ check. Part of the registration process will be checking your ID and visa status to make sure you are able to work in the UK. This may not be relevant for candidates applying to roles outside of the UK but we treat each application on a case by case basis.

Now, admittedly the process of registration can appear drawn out, especially as you potentially have to repeat this process with more than one agency. Our advice therefore is to do your research. Find out which household staff agencies have the best reputation. Find out how long they have been operating for. Private domestic staff recruitment is not an easy industry, so if the agency has been around for a while, this is generally a good sign. Then it becomes about prioritising. Select the agencies you would like to engage with (we definitely recommend more than one) and then invest a bit of time getting your registrations complete. Once you’re done, you should hopefully never have to endure more than basic file and CV updates in the future and the agency will be able to send your CV forward immediately to any jobs you want to apply for. You will also show up when our consultants search for new CVs in the database further improving your chances of finding that perfect job.

Marshall Harber has gone to great lengths to evolve this process making it more efficient for our household staff candidates. We have removed the need to attend our offices (although you still may attend our and we welcome face to face interactions with our candidates by appointment) and we have the added option of conducting the registration interviews using various video-meeting platforms. As the internet gets faster and more stable and as modern lives become increasingly higher paced, we need to leverage technology to our advantage.

If you would like any more information about our registration procedure or requirements please see our Candidate page and for a list of the current vacancies we have available please visit the Jobs page.

We do hope that you choose Marshall Harber for your recruitment needs and we look forward to welcoming you in the future!

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Considering a Career in Private Domestic Service

Have you considered a career in private service? Being rejected by agencies and not sure where to start? You are not alone. This can be a catch 22 situation. Domestic staff agencies typically will not accept candidates with less than 3 years previous experience working in private domestic positions and yet many of the most desirable vacancies are advertised with agencies. So where do you start?

A career in private service is not a decision to be taken lightly. We see lot of people considering cleaning roles to be a ‘stop gap’ or a way to fill their time whilst they progress their careers and until something better comes along. This is not the case and certainly not at this level. Roles for household staff may be a niche sector, but some of the typical housekeeping salaries can be nearly double what you might expect to earn in an unskilled office based job. We are generalising of course, but what we want to convey is that these are serious careers that require commitment and dedication. It is by no means “easy money”. These roles are demanding both physically and mentally and they are certainly not for everyone. Employers will expect to see a certain level of commitment and longevity from candidates in return for these high salaries. But if you have what it takes, it can be a very lucrative and rewarding career.

As a household staffing agency, we need new domestic staff to enter the market all the time and they obviously need to start somewhere. The advice we give to new applicants that are considering this career path is to engage with privately advertised positions. Not all employers require the services of a recruitment agency but they are still looking to employ permanent domestic staff in their homes. These employers will tend to advertise positions privately on job boards or in publications such as The Lady Magazine. Due to the fact they are not incurring agency fees, they are more inclined to accept applicants with little or no experience. You may have to consider a lower starting salary in this instance but ultimately this is about developing your career, setting the foundation and getting your foot in the door. Once you have established a few years of experience with checkable references, then you can consider registering with domestic employment agencies like Marshall Harber to further your career.

We have focused on the housekeeping element in this article, however there are other paths available depending on the discipline you choose. Butlers and nannies for example may engage in formal training programs at the start of their career and many of those programs offer placement services. Marshall Harber has also registered candidates with extensive experience in the hospitality industry. No two situations are the same and we will go into more detail about the different categories of staff in future articles.

You can find full details of our registration requirements on our Candidate page and you can view a sample of the typical jobs that become available to you when you successfully register with an agency on our Jobs page.

We hope that this is a career path that you do seriously consider and we look forward to welcoming you to Marshall Harber in the not too distant future!

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