Stand out from the crowd
Employers receive hundreds of CVs and many use the same cliches, such as ‘I work hard’, ‘I work independently’ and ‘I’m proactive’. Generally speaking, most employees will say they have these qualities – it’s your unique qualities, examples, and experience that will set you apart.
Try to avoid using cliches. Instead, tell employers what you’ve done that others may not. Mention specific achievements in past roles and give clear examples.
A cover letter to accompany your CV is also a must if you really want to make a lasting impression. Our article, Tips for writing a cover letter when you’re over 50 can help with this. We also have a few different cover letter templates available here.
Keep it clear and professional
Your CV needs to grab future employers’ attention and huge blocks of text will be off-putting, so try using bullet points and sub-headings to make sections clear and concise. Employers will be sifting through hundreds of CVs, so the easier it is to read yours at a glance, the better.
Keep your CV classy and professional by sticking to one colour: black. Colours on screen displays and printers vary, so by using other colours in your CV, you risk making it difficult for prospective employers to read.
Also avoid using backgrounds, borders or fancy fonts because this is unprofessional and distracting.
Highlight technology skills
When CV writing over 50, you should aim to reassure employers that you can work with technology and understand its value. You should name specific software you’ve used, explain what you’ve used it for, and highlight recent or future training to show you’re a keen learner.
Technology is constantly evolving and things become outdated quickly, so do your research to ensure that the skills and software you list on your CV are still relevant in modern technology. Our article 8 digital skills that you can learn from home might come in handy if you want to brush up on your IT skills.
If you don’t have LinkedIn, now is the time to set up your profile. Once they’ve read your CV, it’s likely that an employer will search for your LinkedIn profile, to judge the quality of your online presence in the professional world. You should include a link to your LinkedIn profile on your CV, to show employers that you are up to date with current technology trends. But, make sure that the information on your LinkedIn profile matches that on your CV.
For more advice on how to use LinkedIn to help with your job search, you might want to take a look at our article: Changing careers – how to use LinkedIn to get a new job.
Use the right tone of voice
Your CV should radiate confidence and energy. The use of action verbs (e.g. ‘achieved’, ‘participated’, ‘accomplished’) can help to emphasize productivity and bring your CV to life.
When talking about yourself, also use the first-person pronoun ‘I’ to connect with future employers on a personal level.
Remember: You don’t need to include your date of birth or dates relating to professional experience
Age is nothing but a number and when it comes to your CV, this couldn’t be more true. There is no reason to include any information that gives away your age. Give employers the chance to judge you on your skills, knowledge and experience – not on the year you were born.
Photos are unnecessary
Unless you’re applying for a modelling or acting job, what you look like is irrelevant. Photos take up valuable space and give employers additional information about you like age and ethnicity, which shouldn’t be taken into account when judging the suitability of individuals.
As a general rule, there’s no need to include any work history that dates back further than 10-15 years, as this will be less relevant, and will make it harder for an employer to make assumptions about your age.
Use a professional email address
Employers will take you more seriously if you have a suitably worded email address to put on your CV (e.g. [email protected]). You should also avoid using an email address that gives away your age if you want to be judged on your skills and experience alone.
Proofread (and again, and again)
A well-written CV is one that is grammatically sound. Bad grammar and spelling mistakes suggest a lack of caring or poor attention to detail, which will discourage employers from inviting you to an interview.
Read your CV at least three times to check for errors. If you’re still unsure, you can give it to a friend or family member to proofread with a fresh pair of eyes.
Consider using a CV building website, or our free CV template
If you’re short on time and looking for a fast-track route to creating a CV, then you might want to consider using our own CV template.
We also offer a number of CV review and rewriting services. If you’re unsure which service you want to use, then you can book a free 30-minute call with one of our coaches who can help you choose the right package for you. To find out more, you can visit our page on getting help with your CV.