Getting back into the job market after years or even decades, can be an over-whelming task ahead. Don’t worry though, you’re not alone and the most important thing to remember, you really do have a huge amount to offer with your varied life and work experiences. However if you’ve blown the dust off your CV and unveiled a glossy-bound 15 page dossier, then it’s time you updated things to hit todays job market.
Make your CV short and relevant
Todays CV’s are mostly 1 page to maximum 2 or 3 pages long. Recruiters will probably spend around 20 seconds glancing over it, so it needs to appeal in that time. It has to tell the story of your life but remember, it also has to be relevant to what they’re looking for.
Don’t waffle – cut to the point quickly, effectively and succinctly
Employers are most interested in your most recent 10 to 15 years of experience. Think of it more like an advertisement, not a biography. No one enjoys or really has the time to read your whole life story spanning four to five decades.
If need be, you can always package your earlier experiences into one paragraph at the end of your CV with a sub-title « Other Experiences” omitting dates and just use the work history that’s relevant to the job you are applying for.
Bring out your achievements
If the position is for a Retail Manager then don’t just say that you held that position – tell them what you achieved there and that you continually reached targets and lowered staff costs by 20% for example. Make sure that your past job criteria and achievements match the key criteria they have mentioned in the job ad.
Watch the gaps
Don’t leave holes in your employment history, even if you did quit the work-force to be a carer/mother/father/volunteer or to get more education. These are all added value and skills that have made you into the person you are today so shouldn’t be over-looked – they should be marketed.
Maybe you can even give them titles – supervising other volunteers could be a « project manager » Tracking down best possible doctors and medical care could have made you a « researcher » and if you were in charge of paying all bills and insurances etc this could have made you « financial manager ».
One of the best examples of this is a friend of mine who printed a business card with the letters DHA after her name. Everybody who received the card was greatly impressed and many hardly dared ask her what the letters stood for – maybe it was some sort of degree she’d earned or a position they’d never heard of and so they didn’t want to appear ignorant..
She was in fact a full-time mother in charge of her house-hold..she was therefore of course Director of Home Affairs…!
Today’s CV has also to be an online one
Create a strong LinkedIn profile. This cannot be stressed enough. In today’s world, people will « Google » you. Therefore, in an ideal situation, what comes up first would be your impressive Linkedin profile.
By creating this profile you are also showing you are up to date, which will in turn help the employer not to be anxious that as an older worker you are going to be tech-hip enough and able to work effortlessly online. Do also make sure you include a good photo on your profile showing an energetic and positive image of yourself. You want to re-assure potential employers you will have enough stamina for the job.
Your profile will help make you visible in today’s world. Through this you’ll also be able to network with like-minded people from your profession and also seek out job opportunities, some of which could even land straight in your Inbox as Linkedin profiles are constantly being scanned for potential fits.
Good luck and go for it !
Gillian Lana has been helping job-seekers of all ages find confidence for job interviews for over a decade. Browse through the web-site www.gillianlana.com to see which Package suits your needs and get in touch, so you too can be on top of your game.