The advice on our ‘Make your CV stand out’ page is useful for everyone applying for a new job. Making sure your CV is clear and concise, tailored to each job, and accurate and professional applies whether you are 25 or 55.
But if you are over 50 and looking for a job, you may have additional questions about writing or updating your CV. Perhaps you’ve been out of the jobs market for a while and you’re worried that employers won’t be interested. Or maybe you think your age will count against you.
Don’t worry. Here are some hints and tips on how to address some of those additional questions to make sure your CV hits the mark.
I’ve got loads of experience, but I’m going to get ruled out quickly because of my age.
- There are lots of businesses looking for employees with experience and life skills. Take a look at some quotes from major employers.
- It’s very likely you have the skills and experience an employer wants, but you need to make sure your CV brings these out. Pick out key words from the job advert and match your experience against them. Focus on the most relevant and highlight your strengths. Don’t be afraid to leave out anything less important.
- You don’t need to put your age on your CV or application form. Nor do you need to put dates against your work history. If you need to mention school qualifications, use ‘GCSEs’ rather than ‘O-levels’. Don’t use phrases like ‘over a number of decades’.
- Use a clean and modern font / typeface like Arial and stick to standard CV headings and sections. There are a range of free templates you can use (do an online search for ‘free CV templates UK’).
If I include all my work history and experience, my CV will be too long.
- Deciding on how much career history to include can be particularly challenging for someone who’s worked for a long time.
- To find the right balance, stick to the recent and the relevant. You should try to limit your work history to the last 10 to 15 years. See if you can group some jobs together, for example, you could say ‘various roles in hospitality’.
- But it’s more important to focus on the experience you have that’s most relevant to the job you are applying for, even if it was over 15 years ago.
The application process is too long and complicated.
- Looking and applying for jobs takes time. Preparing your CV early will help you save time in the long run. You will need to tailor your CV for each job application, but if you have one ready, making changes to that is quicker than starting from scratch every time.
- Planning your job search can improve your chances of find work faster and help to keep you motivated and resilient. Find out more on our ‘Job search planning’ pages.
An employer will think I won’t have up-to-date IT and tech skills.
- Don’t write yourself off. You might have more skills than you think.
- Sit down and list what you’ve done using IT. And not just in previous jobs. Think about things you do in your personal life, your hobbies and on social media. Make the most of them.
- If you feel you need to refresh your IT skills, there are lots of free courses online or in your local area. Take a look at our pages on skills to get you started.
- Technology is important in a lot of jobs, but not all. There are still so many jobs that need, for example, great people skills (like hospitality or social care).
If you’ve been offered an interview, take a look at our interview tips for people over 50.