The Magna Vitae (MV) is a new effective yet simple alternative to the traditional CV, now being used across the South West and beyond. Employers and recruitment agencies welcome its refreshing honesty where people, facing the challenges of disability and mental ill health, can say “this is me” in a document written in plain and simple language, is easy to read and straight to the point.
The Magna Vitae invites people to talk honestly about their disability or situation, the impact this has had on their life and the reasonable adjustments that could help them gain and maintain employment.
Already knowing a person’s past minimises unexpected surprises later in the application process. Interviews are less stressful for everyone, and a candid conversation is more likely to reveal a person’s true personality, skills and expertise.
Unlike a professionally crafted curriculum vitae (CV) or application form, the Magna Vitae gives an employer a direct appraisal of the applicant, written in the applicant’s own words, from their perspective. References are often from professionals supporting the individual, as well as previous employers, and there are infographics indicating a person’s ability to travel on various modes of transport.
The range of reactions to reading a Magna Vitae is striking. We are all used to reading tailored, and often inflated versions, of people’s lives – typically on social media, through blogs or on CV’s but when confronted with such an honest and real connection to a person, barriers and preconceptions fall away.
Employers accepting Magna Vitaes as part of a job application process find they create greater diversity within their workforce. Recruiting in this way allows different perspectives and fresh ideas into their organisation, opening doors to people who can inspire other members of their team.
One person, who had made several attempts to take their own life because they felt trapped and useless when a disability caused them to give up a successful legal career, said:
“The thought of an interview and questions about why I had not been employed for the last seven years was daunting. Then along came the Magna Vitae. This enabled me to tell my story to any potential employer, so learning about me and not just my qualifications. That way if they decided to give me an interview, they would be aware of my background and would be interested in my life skills and who I am. I don’t think without the Magna Vitae I would ever consider trying to go back into employment again”
This link takes you to a short video clip describing the Magna Vitae: You Tube – A Guide to the Magna Vitae
This link takes you to a short video about how the Magna Vitae was used to gain work experience at Sainsbury’s: Reaching for Independence: Working towards employment – Joseph’s Story
For more detailed information on any aspect of disability and employment, please go to our Information Hub page. Alternatively, you can contact the project team either via our on-line form or call us on 01392 241124.
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