As an older worker, it’s probably been a while since you write your last CV. That’s why we’ve created this easy guide of CV writing tips for older workers to take the stress out of updating your CV.
We’ll take you through how the modern CV screening process works and how you can ensure that your CV makes it to the top of the pile.
The CV Screening Process
The UK economy is changing faster than ever, and that includes the way employers recruit. The vast majority of job vacancies are posted and applied for online through professional job boards. This streamlines the entire process for recruiters, allowing them to sift through hundreds of CVs per day to find the best talent.
Talent acquisition specialists will spend on average 5-7 seconds looking at a CV. Therefore, it’s vital that you make your CV stand out from the crowd. We’ll show you how to make that happen below.
For more general tips on applying for jobs, see our dedicated guide to job applications for older workers.
CV Writing Tips for Older Workers
We’ve put together some of the most important points to keep in mind when writing or updating your CV as an older worker.
Start from Scratch
You may be tempted to try and salvage your old CV, but we recommend creating a brand new one. That way, you can ensure that everything you include in your CV is 100% relevant to the job you’re applying for.
As we mentioned, recruiters spend just a few seconds scanning a CV. Therefore, you should avoid adding irrelevant content that doesn’t showcase why you’re the best candidate for this particular job. You may even want to rethink the format, highlighting skills over experience. We’ll look at this in more detail later.
Make Your CV Relevant
Consider two things: what the employer is looking for in the ideal candidate and the assets you possess that make you the ideal candidate. Do your research about the job and the industry to find out this information. As they say, knowledge is power. By looking for commonly repeated ‘keywords’ that are associated with the job, you can apply them to your CV where relevant.
On that note, remember that a “one size fits all” CV won’t make the cut. You’ll need to modify your CV so that it’s relevant to each job you apply for. With an average of 250 applicants per job posting, your CV needs to be tailor-made.
The unfortunate truth for older applicants is that age discrimination sometimes does take place. Therefore, instead of including dates in your education section, just leave them out completely. The important information lies in your skills and relevant experience.
That being said, try to only include relevant skills and experience from the last 10 to 15 years. Job experience from before that time tends to be a little obsolete.
Include Transferable Skills
Throughout your working life, you have built up an array of skills that can be transferred from one job to another. These don’t have to be technical, job-specific skills, but rather soft or transferable skills like communication, problem-solving, analytical skills, etc. By including these transferable skills in your CV over your experience, you’ll give yourself a better chance of being selected for an interview.
For further information, we’ve developed a detailed guide on explaining your transferable skillset to an employer.
Demonstrate Openness to New Technology
With a massive skills shortage affecting the UK, employers are in desperate need of highly skilled workers to fill vacancies. As an older worker, it may be necessary for you to do some retraining before you can begin applying for these jobs. Consider signing up for courses that will improve your knowledge of the common software used across most businesses like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace. It’s always a good idea to refresh your skills.
The inclusion of a link to your LinkedIn or other professional networks will show employers that you’re up-to-date with current trends. With more than 90% of talent acquisition specialists using social media to screen candidates, it’s important not to neglect your social media presence.
CV Writing Tips Summary
By following these helpful CV writing tips for older workers, you can boost your chances in the job application process by helping to avoid bias. When searching for jobs, try Refreshing a Career’s career jobs board for the latest job postings in your area. We offer support and resources for older workers looking to make a career change. Visit our pages for guidance on popular career routes or dealing with CV gaps.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions, we’d be more than happy to help. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of the page for all the latest from Refreshing a Career.