For parents who’ve been out of work for a period of time, it can be difficult to get back into working. It’s important to take things one step at a time, and updating your CV should be first on your list. To make things easier, we’ve put together some handy CV writing tips for parents.

CV Writing Tips for Parents

If it’s been a considerable number of years since you last wrote a CV, or even applied for a job, a few things have changed that you’ll need to take into account. Most significantly, every job vacancy is likely to have hundreds of applicants. And with such a high volume of applicants, talent acquisition specialists spend on average just 5-7 seconds looking at a CV.

Therefore, your CV must stand out from the crowd. This might seem intimidating, but as long as you follow our quick tailored tips below and remain confident in your abilities, you have little to worry about.


As we previously mentioned, employers can go through hundreds of CVs a day. A good CV should be easy to read and follow a clear structure and format. If it’s poorly structured, the recruiter may miss your relevant experience and qualifications. Taking the extra time to make your CV as clear as possible could make all the difference.

This will mean keeping your CV short and to the point. Aim for a maximum of one A4 page. If you’re applying for a highly advanced role, it can be between two and three A4 pages. This will allow you to include a description of all the relevant qualifications, skills, and experience.

Tailor to the Job

If your CV contains information that is irrelevant to the specific job posting, the employer could assume that you aren’t dedicated to this career path. You should have various versions of your CV, with each version tailored to the job you’re applying for.

Here’s where it will be necessary to do some research. Study the job description and highlight some of the keywords that appear, such as “candidates must work well in a team”, “be highly organised”, or “multitasker”. By adapting your CV so that it includes some of these relevant keywords, you’re much more likely to be called for an interview.

Skills Over Experience

An employer will notice that you’ve been out of work for a period of time. And although this is not something major to worry about, it’s important to highlight the transferable skillset you developed during that time.

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

If you are worried about your work experience, you could write a functional CV. This type of CV doesn’t focus on work experience. Instead, it’s structured around the skills, characteristics, and qualifications that make you the best candidate for the role. This gives you a greater chance of being called for an interview where you’ll be able to explain your time away from work in a more positive light.

Achievements Other Than Parenthood

After spending so much time with their children, it’s not uncommon for some parents to lose sight of their identity outside of being a parent. Of course, being a parent is an integral part of who you are, but employers also want to see that you are multifaceted. It may be necessary to do some retraining to help you upskill beforehand.

Remember to include other aspects of your identity and skills in your CV. For instance, what qualifications make you the ideal candidate for this role? Did you achieve anything in your career before starting a family? What knowledge and experience can you bring to this new role? Although an employer will respect the hard work and dedication that goes into raising a family, it shouldn’t be everything you highlight.

Key Takeaways: CV Writing Tips for Parents

Returning to work after being a full-time parent can be daunting and quite overwhelming. Creating a stand-out CV is the first key step in getting your foot in the door at your next potential employer. Although being a parent comes with its own set of skills and expert knowledge, remember to highlight other relevant skills and achievements outside of parenthood too. After all, employers are looking for adaptable, reliable, hard-working employees. These are all common traits of every parent, you just need to know how to emphasise them in a different context.

For further information, be sure to check out our Support and Resources section. It’s packed with all the information you need to get back into the workforce as a parent. Our job application tips for parents will help guide you on your journey to job success. Be sure to check out our dedicated jobs board for parents to help you find opportunities in your area.

Feel free to contact our team if you have any questions. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter using the form below for all the latest from Refreshing a Career.