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Top CV Tips for “Older Jobseekers.”

There can be no denying that the economic situation has had an extremely detrimental impact on the ability of younger people and graduates to get jobs.  It’s difficult all round – they may have the qualifications but not the required work experience and proven abilities in a commercial working environment. But what about those who do have just that…the older and experienced workers and older jobseekers?

Many of them have now suddenly found themselves to be actively job-seeking for the first time in years. And in such a tough and competitive jobs market it can be extremely frustrating to be applying for jobs yet seemingly not getting anywhere. In an effort to help with that, we have today  put together our “Top CV Tips for Older Jobseekers.”

Use a modern CV template.

Make sure that your CV doesn’t “date” you. Remember that your CV is your best opportunity to get in front of a potential employer. There is no point in simply sending out the CV that you last used 10 years ago simply with your most recent jobs added on. Spend time on it and update it properly. There are countless online CV templates that you can use to help you create a modern contemporary CV which is what an employer is looking for. And remember too that it is absolutely essential to have a few versions of your CV. Your CV will need tailored and adapted depending on the job you are applying for.

Sell Yourself.

Nothing can sell you better to a potential employer than how you brought value to a previous employer. Don’t just list the job duties that you had. Instead, focus on the achievements and accomplishments you had within the role. If you won company incentives, how you increased sales revenue, how you performed against targets etc. These are practical and tangible achievements and are your proof that you are an asset to a employer and would be a worthwhile addition to a team. These are the things that can make you stand out.

Look at your “relevant” work experience.

Remember there is no need to include every single job you have had since you left school. The last 10 – 15 years is usually suffice. It is much more important to include only the relevant work experience that you have had rather than your entire work history. You can however include your earlier work experience simply by having a concise couple of lines on your CV, simply summarising it as previous / early career or even additional experience. This of course is not in any way meant to negate your previous employment or be dismissive of it. The fact is that potential employers want to know about your recent work experience not what you did quite a while ago.

Be aware of the “dates”.

Remember, It is not mandatory to include your date of birth or the dates you achieved particular educational qualifications on your CV. Although employers and recruitment agencies are legally not allowed to discriminate based on age, the harsh reality is that it sometimes does happen. Whilst we would in no way promote you deliberately omitting dates on your CV, simply be aware that unfortunately including them can on occasion be to your detriment. What you want after all is to be considered for the job based on your skills and experience only.

Be Conscious about Outdated Skills.

This is particularly important with regards to technical skills. If you are still listing proficiency in computer packages which no longer are in use, then it is time to update things. Make sure you include the most up to date and current technical experience you have had – the systems you have used, the more sought after I.T. skills. If you get to interview, of course you can expand on the range of packages, systems you have had knowledge on, but for now , focus on what the employer wants you to have knowledge of today. Include any inhouse training courses you have attended if you haven’t got a formal qualification. Look at the job advertisement and identify what skills the employer is looking for and make sure that you highlight accordingly your relevant abilities and experience in these.

Remember…these tips are simply some additional pointers to help ensure that the CV you are sending out is doing the best job for you i.e. getting you in front of an employer.

Above all however, the key thing to remember is that it is indeed a difficult and competitive jobs market. However with your proven track record and work history you have that most valuable of assets – Experience. Never forget that…..You are TheEmployable!

CV ready to go? Why not send it to the professionals and get a free CV review before you send it to the employer or recruiter?

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6 Responses to “Top CV Tips for “Older Jobseekers.””

  1. All good tips, and I can add a few more. Many recruiters spend no more than 30 seconds looking at a CV before coming to a decision. And most will only read the top third of your CV on a computer screen. So you’ll need to deliver a compelling message in your summary profile.

    Many CVs are scanned for key words, so if the job description calls for Six Sigma or Prince 2, be sure to include it in your profile.

    Also, we recommend using a ‘hybrid’ CV where your profile, skills and achievements are highlighted at the top of the CV, with a chronological list of employers and jobs further down.

    Make it brief — two pages only. Page One: Profile, Skills summary, Employment History Summary. Page Two: Detailed Employment History (but follow the rules suggested by Alistair above), Education, Professional development and Memberships.

    Posted by Robin McKay Bell (Finding Work After 40 -- Bloomsbury) | December 14, 2011, 3:32 pm
  2. If you miss dates out (even the months, for a period less than a year), agencies will ask for them. “Resistance is futile” in the words of the Borg from Star Trek!

    Posted by LC Jackson | December 15, 2011, 12:03 pm
  3. Now a days the best selling point is your work experience as every job opening I see requires work experience. Now what do the freshmen do ?

    Posted by faisalmasud | March 27, 2012, 4:11 pm
    • Hi there, cheers for your question and a good one too – we have done some posts on what to do as a Graduate / Freshmen trying to find employment. However, and this has always generally been the case, recession or not, that you have to start near to, or at the bottom. A degree qualification (certainly in the UK and Ireland) unless specialist or vocational, does not guarantee you a high level job. There are graduate schemes or placement schemes and grad level jobs, but again this is specific UK level advice

      Kind Regards


      Posted by theemployable | March 27, 2012, 8:54 pm


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