If you’re over 50 and looking for a new job, a career change, or coming back into the world of work after a period of time in retirement, the prospect of job hunting can seem daunting. Although it’s illegal for employers to discriminate against job seekers on the basis of age, it’s still an underlying barrier that needs to be overcome.
Here at Forward Role Recruitment, we want to instill our candidates with the tools they need to champion the ever changing job market. The first step in doing this is to focus on your CV. Although the route into jobs is constantly changing, the need for a polished and up-to-date CV is as important as ever. Your CV is your calling card and will be the first information about you a new employer will see.
Below we have compiled some of our top tips for creating a strong CV that will set you apart from the competition.
Get the look
Although the need for CVs hasn't changed, the style and format has evolved. In order to update your CV it’s important to look at the following areas.
- The Heading - Rather than using the heading Curriculum Vitae or CV, try simply using your name
- The Font - In order to present your experience in a clear and professional way, be consistent and choose a simple font such as Arial, Helvetica or Calibri
- Email Address - If you don't already have an email address for professional communications, set up a Gmail account using your first and last name (if it’s already taken, try using your initial and surname)
- Personal Statement - Summarise your experience at the start of the CV in a brief, concise paragraph
Use your experience to your advantage
Depending on the role you’re looking for, you may be searching for a job that’s an exact match to your existing experience, or a position where your skills may be transferable. In each case it’s important to tailor your CV to match the skills and requirements needed for the particular role you’re applying for. From a recruiter's perspective, we want to match our candidates’ skills with the job description to ensure it’s the right fit for both parties. Try creating CV profiles that are aimed at specific types of roles or sectors. You can then tweak these CVs to match the essential and desirable skills featured on the job description you’re applying for.
If you’ve had instances of unemployment during your work history, either when you’ve been between jobs or if you’ve been in retirement, include them in your CV. But rather than listing these as times you’ve been unemployed, use it as an opportunity to outline activities you’ve been involved in. This can include voluntary and charity work, and participation in committees or groups. By filling employment gaps with activities and experience, you can show how you’ve used your skills in a constructive way and earned new ones.
Draw on your contacts
It’s common practice to be asked for references when applying for a new job, this is your chance to draw on the business relationships you’ve developed during your career. References don't necessarily have to be your previous employers, they can be individuals you’ve worked with who may now be thought leaders in the sector you’re looking to work in. If you have a wide professional network, you could use these contacts to find out about current opportunities as well as asking for recommendations.
If you’re over 50 and interested in new roles in the North West, then get in touch with us today on 0161 914 8499 to discuss how we can assist in your next career move.