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Steeple Aston

9-2-3 is a recruitment agency that specialises in placing high quality candidates into jobs with hours that fit in around the school run.



Case studies and thoughts on flexible working today.


Filtering by Tag: #northernflex

Time to dust off your old CV?

Helen Wright

If you’re starting to look for your next opportunity but are worried about how your CV is going to stand out, then fear not, the 9-2-3 team have summarised some of the best tips to help get you going.


1. KEEP IT SIMPLE! If a CV is hard to read and understand, it puts people off from the start.

2.   Proof read thoroughly! CV’s that say you have incredible attention to detail do not fill the Employer with confidence. It sounds obvious but correct spelling, grammar etc are really important and if you are going to format it, make sure it is formatted identically the entire way through the document.

3.   Make your CV relevant to the role you are applying for - It’s surprising how many people will send out a generic CV for all positions they apply for. Although it takes longer to tailor your CV to different roles, it could make all the difference when going through the shortlisting process. Don’t leave blanks in your career history.

4.   If you’ve taken a career break to raise your family or to go travelling then include that in your  CV, and think about any life skills you may have acquired in that time and list these as achievements.

5.   Your achievements are important! Telling us about your role is great but expand on this in your achievements by telling us that you tripled your sales budget, for example, this is super duper impressive and will help make your CV stand out.

6.   Photo’s - In our opinion it’s not important to include a photo on your CV, the job opportunity should be about your skills and experience, rather than about your age, gender or how you look. 

7.   A lot of places now scan CV’s for key words etc.... and there are a lot of free tools online to scan your cv which will show you what the key points that recruiters/businesses recognise and  is why you can be a great candidate and not get a look in – obviously you should use 9-2-3 for all your needs as we do not use this approach but even so it’s a good way to see what people get from your CV and also helps to stream line the info!

8.   I also think having a good considered covering letter can really help to explain why your great for a role and why you want a job – the personal touch makes you different but also shows you have taken the time and effort and really want the role rather than just sending your CV out randomly with no care or thought behind it. Not all roles want this but I think its also a good way to prepare yourself for explaining why you want the role should you get to interview!

The CV headlines we often recommend:

PERSONAL STATEMENT (essentially a few lines about why you'd be good at this job; why you’re returning from a career break; why you’re amazing)

CAREER HISTORY (starting with most recent - the places you've worked, and brief details about what you've done) include career breaks too - no need to apologise for them!


INTERESTS & ACHIEVEMENTS (not everyone has this category - but can be a useful place to show off or put something memorable down. Some people put things like voluntary work; number of marathons run; IT skills; language skills ... Plus they can make good ice breakers in interviews.)

The best CVs tend to be no longer than 2 sides of A4. Keep it simple is a good mantra!

You can always summarise early career history in a few lines (and say more details are available on request).

#northernflex - Shouting about the love of flex up North with.....

Helen Wright



1. Tell us a little about you? (work, family, location etc) 

I live in South Manchester with my husband, our 7 year old daughter and 3 year old twin sons. 

I'm a childrenswear designer and have been with the same company for over 11 years. I've worked part time since having my daughter and now work during school hours (so 3 days split over 4 Mon-Thurs). I'm able to do the drop offs/pick ups and be there for that after school/dinner time/homework wind down. These are 'set hours' but if I ever have to shuffle my hours around a bit or work on an evening it's never been a problem. Everyone is a winner in this situation.. I still hit all of my deadlines and do a good job, I miss the rush hour traffic and the kids and I have our valuable time together through the week.

2. Your fave spot in Manchester? 

Probably the cafe at Whitworth Art Gallery... a big glass box surrounded by trees!!

3. How would you describe your ideal working week? 

Close to what I currently work. I would say working during school hours as the core of the job and working during the early evening if I have to shuffle my day around due to school plays/special events etc.

4. Fave Manchester band/song?

It changes all the time but at the minute its Ceremony by New Order.

5. Why does flexible working appeal to you? So many reasons. I've had many conversations with people with and without kids about it. I feel like it's a shift that needs to finally happen to suit our modern way of living. It's great for people's well being and the economy.. it helps equalise the workplace when it comes to working mothers and fathers and ultimately would play a big part in closing the gender pay gap. I want to spend time with my children when they finish school for the day and be proud of my design work.. flexible working allows me to do this.

#northernflex - shouting about the love of flex up North with.....

Helen Wright

Sally Hunter, Account Director at Equator, Manchester.


Here’s Sally at Equator Design (who do some really great stuff by the way..), taking part in our #northernflex campaign. The team here LOVE a work/life balance and are really creative about implementing this. Take a read of Sally’s interview here on her fave spots in Manchester and why she loves working at Equator.

1. Tell us a little about you?

Yorkshire born and raised, came to Manchester to study at University and never left. I am one of 3 sisters, 3 of us are triplets and from a very close knit family. I have a husband called Ian and the love of my life, my German Shepard, Foxy! 

2. Your fave spot in Manchester?

My favourite spot in Manchester.... There’s so many amazing ones to choose from! I love Mexican so Luck, Pistol and Burn is a great place for good food and wine and also Mackie Major if there is a big group. Great place with multiple food vendors and great selection of drinks!

3. How would you describe your ideal working week?

My ideal working week would be a mixture of being in the office and at home, working closely with the team and being in front of the client. Client interaction is my favourite part as you get great satisfaction from this when a job is done well.

4. Fave Manchester band/ song?

Oasis 100%, don’t look back in anger!

5. Why does Flexible Working appeal to you? 

As an agency we pride ourselves on a family environment and flexible working appeals to this culture. We have certain incentives of flexible working such as bringing your dog into work, weekly breakfasts and beer Fridays. All of which are a great way to say thank you for all the hard work they have put in!

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with us at 9-2-3, then do feel free to contact who would love to have a chat with you!