Ever had a job that just didn’t work out?

This week saw David Moyes unceremoniously removed from his role as Manager of Manchester United.  His ousting made big news – after all, his high profile role was one carried out very much in the public eye, with not just one boss but a global stadium of Manchester United fans to answer to.

Looking back over his time at the helm, did Moyes really have enough time to make his mark at Old Trafford, or was he always just going to be known as the Johnny-come-lately who followed in Sir Alex Ferguson’s rather large footsteps?  Whatever the answer, the team’s recent performance in both the Barclays Premier League and the Champions League left something to be desired, leaving frustrations running high and morale ebbing low.

With less than 10 months of employment as Manchester United Manager under his belt, Moyes is now left in that awkward situation of having a job on his CV that just didn’t work out.  He isn’t the first to be in this scenario, and he certainly won’t be the last.   So how should he tackle the situation on his CV to transition to his next role?  Here are some top CV tips for when your latest role just hasn’t worked out:

Be honest and open. 

There is no point in denying what just happened.  Even if the recruiter doesn’t have an internet connection this week, he’d have to be a hermit to avoid hearing this news.  Although your job that didn’t work out may get less press coverage, there is little point in a cover up.  Saying that, you just need to simply state that the job has come to an end – your CV is not the place for a long-winded, soul-bearing explanation.  Save that for a beer with your close friends at the pub, maybe choosing one without Sky Sports if you are Moyes.  You don’t have to over-justify yourself on your CV or in person.  It is what it is.

Maintain a positive mindset. 

It is essential to ensure that a glum outlook and poor self-esteem don’t spill over onto your CV.  Negativity breeds negativity and your CV should present you as a confident and positive individual, with the potential to become a real asset to your target employer.  Life happens.  It’s what you do next that counts.  Stay focused, stay driven and get mentally ready for the next challenge.

Identify and leverage what you have learnt from the experience. 

It’s natural to feel a little blue about this kind of situation, but you don’t have to accept those feelings.  The ability to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start again is one of the most valuable skills you can ever learn and it really is the best approach in this scenario.  Let’s face it, you won’t be the right fit for every role or company, but you can learn something from everything you try and apply it to your career going forward.  Life is all an experience and from every situation, good or bad, there will be something you can take away.

Take in the whole picture.  

David Moyes is recognised as a great talent in British football, with knowledge, passion and a great energy for his subject.  10 months in a 16-year football management career is really a drop in the ocean.  A three-time winner of the League Managers Association (LMA) Manager of the Year Award, Moyes’ career history speaks volumes about his dedication and ability to deliver results.  In time, the Manchester United role will be just a blip on his CV once he resumes a role that reflects his true capabilities and aspirations.  Your latest role will only be a fraction of your career as a whole.  Think about what you have achieved throughout your career and things will look brighter.

Present your most relevant experience and achievements. 

Rather than dwelling on what just happened at Manchester United, Moyes would be better to concentrate on conveying his most relevant skills and experience for his target role.  Using a Relevant Experience section on page one of your CV is a great way to outline your strongest experience as suitable for this specific opportunity, so that this is what catches the recruiter’s eye first, even if it is not your most current or recent role.  This section can follow your Profile and Key Skills on page one, with Other Experience (including your current role) to follow on page two.

Position yourself in the recruiter’s mind. 

Headlining your CV to position yourself in the recruiter’s mind is another tactic which can work well.  To keep the recruiter’s eye on the ball, Moyes’ headline might say Award-Winning Premier League Football Manager.  A confident professional headline confirms to the reader from the outset that it is worth their while to continue reading your CV.  Craft your headline to reflect your overall experience and show that you are what the recruiter is looking for, rather than feeling you need to be uncharacteristically defined by your current role.

When a job hasn’t worked out, and you find yourself job searching much sooner than you expected, remember that it’s not the end of the world.  Recruiters are people too, they understand that life happens.  It’s how you handle it and what you do next that counts.

Lis McGuire

Lis McGuire

Lis McGuire is a professional CV writer at Giraffe CVs. She has 15 years of experience gained delivering interview-winning CVs and cover letters for professionals at all levels, helping individuals to stand out from the crowd in a highly competitive job market.
Lis McGuire
Lis McGuire