I have so much to post about GERMANY (said with a hard G) but I keep forgetting to update. Okay, that can wait, for today's rant topic of choice is writing CVs.
I should probably know how to do this by now. It's really not rocket science. You list your education, and previous employment, and then write a bit about yourself which is hopefully relevant to the job you're applying for, stick your contact details on top and you're good to go.
Instead, though, I'm reading loads of German CV websites, which have (by the looks of things) the same 20 years out of date advice as the British ones, (I remember solemnly putting my "health: good" and "non-smoking" status on my application for my first ever job), advising you to include such things as your marital status and number of children. From speaking to my expat group, this seems to exist purely so that they can ask you at interview how you plan to juggle those three children and work. I have a funny little feeling that this question isn't asked of fathers, so I decided to leave that one off. Still, it's not so bad. Apparently 20 years ago it was standard to include your parents' occupations on a CV, so maybe those websites aren't too out of date after all.
So, getting past the issue of personal information, now it comes down to qualifications. The UK is unusual and a bit awkward in that we don't have an overall grade or mark for high school, but separate grades for each subject. This is probably a good thing, but it's a pain when you left nearly 20 years ago and can't remember what grade you got for what or even half of the subjects that you took. I decided to stick with the number and the grade range.
Then it comes to my qualifications after school, which are, to be perfectly honest, something of a giant mess. I've trained in at least three totally unrelated areas, and not finished any of the qualifications except for my CELTA (which I got a kick-ass grade in, so YEAH!) Have added most of those on the hope that the names they give you for crappy half-finished qualifications won't be understood by anybody who hasn't been educated in England or Wales and I can blag that it's something more important than it is.
Then comes the most dreaded part: personal interests and hobbies. Oh, please. One day, I will fill this section in honestly and say "In my free time, I like to eat crisps and refresh facebook and feedly endlessly in an exhausted sort of manner. If I'm feeling really indulgent, I might even have a bath instead of a shower, that is, if I can be bothered to remove 38 assorted plastic toys from it first." But no, instead you have to invent all sorts of interesting hobbies that you probably would do if you had the time. One site even told me to avoid putting any extreme/dangerous sports in, such as skydiving. Well, god forbid you come across as too interesting!
Anyway, wish me luck!