CVs - what they really think

From an 'Opinion' column in today's Telegraph; Max Hastings (not wholly unfamiliar with the the military) and his opinion of IDS:
"The Conservatives could have plucked anyone from the ranks of 10,000 not-very-successful former Army officers with reasonable table manners and that awful bit on his cv about "experience in managing men" and made him leader, with comparable results."
Somehow very true, where leadership's concerned. I've had CVs from many a former born leader cross my desk, uniformly they've been compiled with the advice ringing in the writer's ears that having been awarded a stripe or pip or whatever the writer is somehow able to hypnotise the masses with personal charm, thereby compelling them to give their all in the name of the Company's Bottom Line. Although in general I think it's a good bet, it ain't always the case, and there've been one or two horror stories along the way. Anybody else?
Very true Bruce. In my line, plenty leave at the end of their time (sometimes prematurely) to go into a similar line of work. They profess to be the 'be all and end all', as they commanded men in this line of work. No they didn't. A good few of them fell on theri arrses on the outside, because they thought it wouldn't be much different from the inside.....WRONG! They had no concept of management to begin with, overwhelmed their respective employers with inflated CVs and found out that sitting on their arrses doing nothing.........doesn't work in civvy street and you don't get promote for it either.

On reunions, there's plenty of networking , but most of the time it's just hot air and showing off about their annual income. Frankly, they bore me. I said it on another thread and I'll say it again here, the Army is a place where fools can hide and prosper and I doubt that many on this site would disagree. There's many a good leader still in and they'll hopefully prosper from their endeavours. But they have to chop their way through the 'thicket' (pardon the pun) before they reach the light at the other end of the wood.
PS. Many of them fell for the 'professional CV's written' ads in the Soldier mag etc, plus the crap that some ressetlement officers tell them about equitable qualifications/expereince.
The main disadvantages for Officers and NCOs taking their leadership/management skills (real, embellished or imaginary) in to Civvy Street are; civilians.

Civilians are different. They need to be handled differently. Military mores in the workplace don’t impress most civilians, even the ones who burble McNabisms down the pub.

Civvy Street, are you flexible enough?
Ma_Sonic said:
On reunions, there's plenty of networking , but most of the time it's just hot air and showing off about their annual income.
Not kidding. I suppose if you've landed a plum it's worthwhile giving your own ego a boost, though. Just watch out for the cigarette ends burning their way through the back of your suit jacket (saw that at one 'seminar' a few years ago, you know who you are!)

Had to work out what a 'McNabism' was - see a lot of it; you'd think the entire former population of the services were seasoned steely-eyed killers sometimes, not clerks with nous (who would be more employable, mostly).
#6 it! Very apt sometimes. Your right about civvies being different to us. Some RQMS's/QM's seem to think that because they had a civvy storeman/driver in the department, that that qualifies them as having managed civilians. The civvies in the stores tend to be ex squaddies anyway, who haven't yet found out what a Union is and operate like they're still in. Bugger all learned there. Not very many Officers/WO's/SNCO's pursue management qualifications either and of those who do, sometimes thhe wrong qualification is sought. connection/relevance?

As for showing off down the pub, well, what would you rather have them believe of you, that you were a former 'steely eyed killer' ..........or 'Combat Dental Technician?' :wink:
I’ve sat across from that so called steely-eyed dealer of death. A few choice questions soon exposed a REME tech who had never left camp during an eventful time in province.

Not putting the REME down as I once took a VM on ptl and he was no different from the rest of my team. After a short walk in Cross he had the right to give a bit of chat down the pub.

Plus he got me a cheap distributor cap for my MK1 golf.
Recently heard a bloke holding court on matters military in the pub. Subject,

“….. blah blah… crap piece of kit…that’s why McNab used an M 16 for slottin’ and double tapping and going ballistic in “the Regiment” when shi**ing in a poly bag and tabbin’ on ops, no drama”.

Not verbatim but you’ll get the idea.

Bloke works in a mobile phone shop. Military experience? Sea Cadet at 13. Oh and he probably owns all McNab’s works in hardback.

I've already got a phone.
Just carrying on in that vein.....
The Americans are under the impression that anyone with a services background has to have been "Special Forces", and they don't half go on about it. If it's denied, then obviously the guy is in deep cover, grounds for great respect. I blame Schwartzenegger and Stallone and every other prat who ever wore a cam sweatrag in a flick.

...oh, and the McNabs of the world, too.
Brucefeller & Ma Sonic, at the risk of dragging this thread back to seriousness....

I get out at COP 04. I'm pretty damn good at being a 'man-manager' (I believe) but I'd admit a certain trepidation at falling into the 'usual' pitfalls'..!? 8O

Presuming that there are a few good points to take on board, I'm sure that I and others would quite genuinely welcome some clear (not '-speak') direction...!

I have seen this from all sides (remember trying to write my CV when I left and have interviewed ex-Forces since) and have some sympathy with the difficulties experienced. I, for one, can pick up when a CV has been produced by someone other than the person himself, as Ma pointed out, and I don't like them.

As for comparable qualifications - a Management NVQ means more to me than an Army qualification.

Seadog's point about treating civilians different to the soldeirs you left behind is absolutely true. Civvy bosses may take you on because they hope that your perceived self-discipline and work ethic will rub off onto the rest of their employees, but in reality that never happens - you just p*ss everyone off!! Spend the first 3 months observing before you try changing anything.
I think there's a great danger of people making a big deal out of skills which, frankly, the average GM isn't particulary interested in, unless the position actually calls for a motivator. More usually, when picking through the CVs, he (or his clerk) is looking for the technical abilities which are going to add value to his bottom line. The 'leadership' stuff sometimes just looks like obfuscation to cover a lack of those abilities. IMO the bs which people put at the top of the page to try and summarise themselves (maybe that's the worst sign of the professional CV-writers' efforts) doesn't do any good whatsoever, unless it's to register a buzzword with the CV-scanning software some organisations use.

Prodigal's advice - "Spend the first 3 months observing before you try changing anything" is excellent. Wish I'd observed it in my first job after leaving!
Prodigal, your comment about Management NVQ vvvv interesting, only because we have an oppo next week to be briefed on getting a Level 4 in same. Was going to bunk off but will now pay attention!

To you and anyone else reading, I'm sure a lot of serving personnel would be delighted to know the real value of a lot of the current quals bandied around....the last time I spoke to someone seriously about NVQ's they laughed and said "Not Very Qualified". You can now call me "Very Very Confused". 8O :?
Basically - the more civvie qualifications you can have to your name the better - so long as you can back them up with sensible and well documented experience.... also the qualifications should reflect what you are trying to aim for.... :twisted: lots of money :twisted:

I think you should go to that briefing. NVQs have had something of a painful start in life since they were brought in 10 - 12 years ago BUT have been improved, tightened up etc and there are, thankfully not so many cowboys involved in them as there used to be (both civilian and ex-military..............don't get me started) and they actually mean something now.

If you get the chance to do one in service, do it, because you will pay a lot of your own money doing the same thing once you are in civvy street. And take them seriously - if you are tasked with producing some work, then do it.

There are some big companies on this little island of ours that spend a lot of money on their senior managers getting them - so they have value.
You will probably be asked to cough up some cash for the qual and the army is unlikely to pay although you may get the chance to use your learning credits to off set the cost. It is well worth getting the qual now as it will cost you twice as much in civvies street or may not even be available to you once you leave.
Thanks as appropriate to all. Will post info after the event as perhaps many other would be interested in the score....

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