How to be a successful mum – advice on creating the best CV and becoming a mumpreneur

Article by Linda Plant, BBC The Apprentice Interviewer and Founder of The Linda Plant Academy

Working mumFor all the mums out there who are working or thinking of starting their own business, can you still be a good mum and run a business? – the answer is yes.

I started my business when there were really no women at the forefront of business, but I can tell you this, did I feel a bit guilty? Yes, but it’s the quality time that counts, not always the quantity and letting your children know they are really loved. Kids are much more resilient than we think. I know that today there are so many working mums, but I am still asked the question many times.

My children grew up really respecting me.  As long as you instil good values then my advice is don’t worry because you are laying the foundations to give them a better, brighter future. My three boys could not be prouder of their mum and yours will be too.

If you’d like more advice from me, I have personally written a no-nonsense guide to starting your own business called The Linda Plant’s Business Blueprint Course, which includes an invaluable chapter on starting or building a business in uncertain times.

If you’re applying for a job, avoid using the following clichéd phrases on your CV such as…

  • ‘My interests are music and socialising’ – as this doesn’t really tell you much about the person.
  • ‘I work well individually but I’m also a wonderful team player’ – cite real examples of good team work instead from previous roles.
  • ‘I’m very keen to gain experience ‘
  • ‘Passionate’
  • ‘Exceptional’ – can come across as over confident and look like you’re over-selling yourself. Write your CV so that the employer can form that decision after reading the evidence.
  • Avoid including obvious skills such as proficient at Microsoft Word, Excel, and other similar programmes from your CV.
  • Don’t use the word ‘dependable’. Instead quantify why you’re dependable, perform well and reliable and use examples from previous jobs to demonstrate it.
  • Many people include the phrase ‘results driven’. Perhaps replace this sort of phrase with experience from previous jobs that prove your drive for results.
  • Avoid using the word ‘hard worker’  – everyone adds this. Instead demonstrate by real examples. How your hard work has helped a company that you’ve worked for.

The key thing here is actions say a lot more than words.

  • “Make your CV short, no more than 2 pages long.
  • Make your strong points at the beginning.
  • Make sure you point out you have transferable skills so that it’s obvious you can adapt to other roles.
  • Tailor the CV to the job you are after.
  • Small changes can make a big difference.

So many people don’t know how to make a CV really count. I can personally critique your CV and make it stand out. You can order your detailed CV assessment from me on the Linda Plant website.

Linda Plant
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About the author

Linda built her career from humble beginnings to become one of Britain’s most successful business leaders.  She is now helping others to forge their own career and business path too, with her Linda Plant Business Academy and her personally written Blueprint Business Course.

Linda is known as ‘The Queen of Mean’ for her no-nonsense interviews of BBC The Apprentice’s final five candidates, providing advice to Sir Alan Sugar over 5 seasons.

Her passion for business and entrepreneurship has also been recognised with a number of business awards and as judge of the top female entrepreneur for HSBC’s Panel of Forward Ladies.



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