Writing a CV when you are 50plus

It seems so much easier to write a CV when you are 5 years out of university. People tell you to write a CV of 2 sides max, but what do you do when you have 30 or more years work experience?

Why do you want the job?

The first step is to be clear on the job you are applying for and if you are applying for different jobs Ė possibly accountant, possibly financial analyst, possibly project manager you need a different CV for each.

Style of CV

A typical CV is a chronological CV with jobs listed in date order. Fine when you only have 2 or 3 jobs, less good when you have many jobs, and there is some repetition between jobs, or the most relevant example is from a job a few years ago.

In most cases it is best to opt for a skill based CV. In this case you pick out the key skills required for the job you are applying for and choose examples from different jobs, making sure that these are achievements, not just lists of what you did.  You then list your work history, but only got back 10 or 15 years.

If it would be better to opt for the chronological CV, don't go back further than 15 years and summarise any previous work history into just one paragraph.

Education and date of birth

You would need to include actual dates if asked to complete an application form but on a CV you have more flexibility. I suggest that you leave off your date of birth from your CV, you don't want any one making an initial decision purely on this. For your education if it is 20 or more years since you took your degree, then I'd probably suggest you leave the dates off.

However if you have taken academic qualifications or attended short courses more recently I'd definitely put the dates on to show that you are keen to develop yourself and keep up to date.

Computer literacy and use of new technology

We may be mature, but that doesnít mean we donít understand technology, so be sure to say that you are familiar with the Microsoft Office package, and make sure you are. Donít forget to include an email address.

Have I missed anything, ask me a question via the forum