If you have been out of work for some time you may feel a little rusty at writing CVs. Not to worry, we’ve got you covered.

Rewriting or Updating Your CV for the First Time in Years

If it has been a considerable number of years since you last wrote a CV, or even applied to a job, a few things have changed that you should know about. Most significantly, every vacant job is likely to have hundreds of applicants.

That means things that seemed less significant 5, 10 or 15 years ago could now be really important. Your CV will have to stand out amongst hundreds of others. This might seem intimidating, but as long as you follow our quick tailored tips below, you have little to worry about.


Employers may go through hundreds of CVs a day. If your CV isn’t in a clear structure and format, they might not read what you want them to.

If they are interested in a particular qualification, skill or experience and they can’t find it instantly they may just assume you don’t have it and move. Taking that extra 20 minutes to make your CV as clear as possible could make all the difference.

For the same reason, we also advise that you try to get all the important information into one page, and to not have a CV longer than two pages.

Tailor to the Job

If your CV has anything that is irrelevant on it, the employer may immediately assume you aren’t dedicated to this type of job as your career. Furthermore, it demonstrates that you don’t want the vacant job enough to take 5 minutes editing your CV.

Little details like this might seem irrelevant, but employers pick up on them.

Skills over Experience

An employer will recognise that you have taken a while out of work. Although this is not something major to worry about, you may want to highlight that you did continue to develop skills in that time.

Read our job application tips for some ideas on transferable skills that parents often include in their CV.

If you are really worried about your work experience you could write a functional CV. This is a type of CV that structures the CV over the skills, characteristics and qualifications that make you best for the role, instead of the experience. In turn, the fact you have time off work becomes less obvious and so are more likely to get a chance to explain why you were off work in an interview.

Achievements Other Than Parenthood

Some parents, especially if they have just spent a long time with their families, think that that is their entire identity. Although some parents may feel that way in their personal lives, employers want to see that you are multifaceted.

This is because, if you have let go of other aspects to your identity and skills, it suggests you will be disinterested in your work and are only wanting the job for the pay-check. Although an employer will be interested in your dedication and hard work into you raising a family, it shouldn’t be everything you highlight.