Looking for a senior level role? Have you got a biography?

ARTICLE BY SALLY CLARE, HEAD OF DIVERSITY SERVICES AT AMBITION
 
In my previous blogs I highlighted the challenges of the current flexible working recruitment market as well as the reasons why a 2 page traditional CV can be problematic for individuals with a broad and varied skillset. 

I stated in my last blog that rather than using a traditional CV that doesn’t do them justice, it would be beneficial for experienced professionals to create a biography instead.

 
What are the benefits of having a career biography?
 
A biography will serve as your CV but rather than giving a sterile, generic overview of your career history, it will tell your career story. This will enable employers to gain an overall understanding of your key skills and what you could bring to the business.
 
How to create your career biography
  • Start with a brief statement summarising who you are and what experience you have, followed by any notable achievements

e.g. A qualified accountant with specialist knowledge of US tax restrictions and the challenges of US business relocation. In 2010 recognised as the go-to expert in this area by accountancy age magazine.

  • Summarise your professional experience or expertise
e.g. After graduating from Bristol University with a degree in Property Management, I started my career at Deloitte Drivers Jonas. Working within their specialist project team I expanded my skillset which later enabled me to transfer my knowledge to the banking sector, with Morgan Stanley. This was followed by a number of contract roles across the Insurance, Asset Management and Property industries.
  • What key skills do you have?
e.g. Having been through a number of mergers and acquisitions, a vast amount of my experience has been around change management and the internal/ external communication of this. 
  • How this skillset / knowledge would be put to best use? 
e.g. This expertise is hugely valuable for any company going through change and struggling with the correct communication. It also lends itself to businesses looking to deliver a new message or create / market a new business service line. 
  • Any other experience
e.g. During my sabbatical I worked internationally (in the USA) where I was responsible for the events of a large business. Utilising and honing strong organisational skills I was co-ordinating up to 100 people a day, both employees and guests. Having this experience improved my staff management and customer relationship skills as well as develop my ability to manage time efficiently. 
  • Summarise how you want to work
e.g. After a period of time freelancing I am now looking to secure a position where I can work flexibly, ideally 4 days a week. 
  • Concluding summary
  1. Summarise your key skills 
  2. What you are interested in 
  3. Why you would be an asset
  4. Include a statement about your personality and what you are like to work with 
e.g. As a Real Estate Lawyer with experience both in practice and in-house with proven managerial skills, I would be interested in managerial positions on a contract basis within Property Management companies.  Having worked in both large and small organisations, I am used to navigating the corporate minefield and have often been commended for my positive outlook and proactive business acumen. 

Your biography should be about a page long in total. 

On the back should be an ‘appendix’ of the jobs you have had and where you have worked.

List the company names, dates and job titles you have held, as you would in a traditional CV.

If you are an experienced professional and would like to find flexible work then please get in touch at diversity@ambition.co.uk. We can help you find challenging flexible work at the right level, where you can use your experience and knowledge to work in a role you enjoy. 

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