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The importance of an updated, relevant CV

With the understandable affect that COVID-19 is having on recruitment, if you are looking for work, logically when some “normality” returns, it is a very good use of your time to really focus on having a CV that is concise, relevant, up-to-date and well presented. Having a quality CV is such a key component of securing a work opportunity and especially if you haven’t been in the workforce for a while

Updating your CV

It’s worth noting that as a mature worker your CV will almost certainly need to be updated and revised for the next role you choose to embark on. Employers will be keeping an eye out for relevant and up to date information, so try to avoid a long chronological CV of all career experience over numerous pages. Be specific and keep your CV short but punchy.

CV/resume tips for mature job seekers

  • Target your CV. Take the time to write a targeted CV that is customised so that it specifically highlights the experience you have which is relevant to the specific job that you are applying for. The same targeted CV won’t necessarily work for every job, so you may need to tweak your CV for each job application.
  • Make your CV skills-based. All your years of experience probably means you’ve built up an impressive skill set. Really highlight the skills that are most valuable. If you can, show some skills that demonstrate that you are comfortable with current technology and the position that you are applying for
  • Limit your related experience. Limit the related experience, (experience related to the job you are applying for) you include on your CV to 10 – 15 years max., leaving older jobs off your CV entirely. As an example, there is no need to let an employer know that you completed your uni degree in 1979 or worked as a sales manager from 1984 -1987 – your relevant skills and experience are what is really important
  • Don’t include dates. Don’t include school and university dates or for any other courses including professional development courses that you took over 10-15 years ago
  • Be careful about years. Don’t list the length of experience you have in your CV summary. For example, it’s not advantageous to say you have 20 or 30 years of experience in anything. This will immediately signal that you are older, and your application may just get put at the bottom of the pile.
  • Consider a Functional CV. As an older worker you may want to consider a Functional CV. A functional CV is skills based and is written, focused and places more emphasis on showing your work experience, knowledge and expertise, as opposed to a traditional Chronological CV where the emphasis is on listing your experience in date order. The Functional CV is developed and organised by your individual skills rather than your previous job titles or chronology – it lists your accomplishments at the top of your CV. You can find numerous Functional CV templates on the internet
  • Polish up your CV. Presentation matters. Make sure your CV is polished and well presented. You don’t want your CV to “look” old-fashioned. As a suggestion, get one of your family to help you with the layout and formatting or browse the various resume/CV sites to find the latest templates that will give your CV a fresh look.
  • Getting ready to submit your CV. Bearing in mind that most resumes are emailed or uploaded to a company website or job site to apply for jobs, email a copy of your CV to yourself, to be sure your formatting doesn’t get lost during the transmission (sending your CV as a PDF file is generally the norm)

CV templates

You can easily find numerous CV templates on the internet. As a summary, ensure that your CV includes the following:

  • Personal summary/accomplishments – this would cover your career summary highlighting your skills, expertise and experience. You are “selling yourself” and covering key attributes which should match some of the “sought” skills in the job advertisement
  • Key skills/experience/expertise – critical to ensure that they relate to the position you are applying for. These should be strong, sharp and bullet pointed
  • Employment history – no more than 10-15 years with:
  • Company name/ dates of employment/ positions held
  • Key responsibilities
  • Achievements
  • Relevant education/qualifications – remember to remove dates if course or degree was completed more than 20 years ago
  • References – either name referees and provide a contact detail or state that they are “Available on request”. Remember to check with your referees that they are happy to be a referee for you before submitting their name and contact details!

For more information or to help your search for employment, check out Seniors@Work