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Navigating the Workplace After 50: Adapting Your CV

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Whether you're embarking on a new chapter, seeking progression, or transitioning careers, navigating the job market after the age of 50 can be challenging for several reasons such as evolving industry demands, societal perceptions, and the nature of the job market itself.

However, writing a CV that can effectively demonstrate your recent experiences, achievements, and skills will help you to stand out as a valuable candidate.

Here, we share our advice for adapting your CV and navigating the job market to unlock new opportunities.

Focus on Recent and Relevant Experience: Emphasise the most recent 10-15 years of work experience. Highlight achievements and skills that are directly relevant to the position you're applying for.

Update Skills: Showcase your up-to-date skills and any recent training or certifications. This demonstrates your commitment to staying current in your field. If this is something you haven’t done yet, consider developing new skills and staying updated with the latest technology and industry changes.

Use a Simple Format: Choose a clean, simple CV format that is easy to read and visually appealing. There are plenty of templates available online. Alternatively, if you are a registered candidate with Opus, we can support you with this.

Keep it Concise: While you want to highlight your experience, skills, and achievements, it's important to keep your CV concise. Aim for a maximum of two pages to ensure it's easy for employers to read and digest. Don’t shrink the font to fit everything in! Stick to a size of 10 to 12 point.

Customise for Each Application: Tailor your CV for each job application by including the relevant transferable skills you have developed from previous roles as well as keywords and phrases from the job description. This shows employers that you understand their needs and are a good fit for the role.

Consider a Functional CV: If you have a diverse background or are changing careers, a functional CV might be more effective. This format focuses on your skills and achievements rather than a chronological work history.

Highlight Achievements: Instead of listing job duties, focus on quantifiable achievements that demonstrate your impact in previous roles. This could include cost savings, revenue increases, or successful projects.

Include Relevant Volunteer Work: If you've volunteered or been involved in community projects, include them on your CV if they're relevant to the job you're applying for. This demonstrates your ongoing engagement and commitment.

Address the Why: When writing a cover letter or attending an interview, it's important to explain why you're interested in the role. If you're concerned that you may be overqualified for the position, you should highlight why you are looking to take a step back. Or, if you’re looking for progression, explain how your current transferable skills can be applied to the role and support your development. Emphasise your energy, enthusiasm, and willingness to adapt to new challenges. Be positive!

Find the Right Fit: It’s important to look for companies that align with your personal and professional requirements. Look for companies that not only offer flexible working arrangements but also actively practice an inclusive culture. This approach ensures that you’re not just a fit for the company, but the company is a right fit for you.

Remember, your age can be an asset, bringing wisdom, experience, and stability to a role. By showcasing your skills and achievements in a relevant way, you can position yourself as a valuable candidate.

We provide CV writing support for registered Opus candidates. If you are looking to find your next role, we’re here to help. Register your details and one of our specialist consultants will be in touch to have a chat with you to discuss what you’re looking for.

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