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farming toolsLast week I started on the serious business of job hunting and went, armed with my CV, passport and swimming certificate, to sign on at a couple of employment agencies.

The CV was a bit of a challenge, as most agencies insist on having your complete job history, your complete educational history, a complete list of your Girl Guide badges and the name of your pet hamster; all of which should fit on a piece of paper no larger than an Andorran postage stamp. I’ve got mine down to four sides of A4.

One of the many limitations of the agency approach is their insistence on a standardised CV. In practice, you really need to be able to customise your CV to the job that you’re applying for. My preferred approach is to include a summary which picks demonstrates how I meet the experience and competency requirements for that particular job.

I can be very creative. I once used the example of working towards my yellow kung fu sash to meet the “must have a ‘can do’ attitude” competency – I didn’t get the job, but I like to think that I brightened up the interviewing panel’s day.