Returning to Work? My Top 5 Tips on Updating your CV

I sometimes think that the most painful part of job search is writing a CV, especially after a career break. Let’s face it, it’s a pain to do but a necessary evil! People worry about making it too long, the formatting and, being British, the torture of having to sell you! Then, when you also take into account that you have been on a career break for however long, it can make the whole process even more daunting. But fear not, we’re here to help!

For some general advice on writing a CV, take a look at our other blog article here but here are my top 5 tips on polishing up your CV after a career break.

  1. Before you start – do some brainstorming. What makes you, you? What is your Unique Selling Point (USP)? What can you offer employers that no one else can? What achievements did you have in your last few roles? People, on the whole, hate shouting about themselves. If you’re finding it difficult, ask a close friend or ex-colleague whom you trust, what they think your best qualities are. Or think, what would my ex-boss say?
  2. It’s important to add your career break onto your CV and include the dates to ensure there are no gaps in your work history. But this is also the perfect opportunity to let potential employers know what you have been doing. Perhaps you volunteered to help at your children’s school, or joined the pre-school committee or even started your own business. What skills did you learn that you think employers should be aware of? Try and link the skills that you have learnt, back to the job you are applying for.
  3. I would advise against adding in ‘multi-tasking’ or ‘managing the household budget’ as working parents who chose not to take a career break, do this as well. Try to keep your skills quantifiable if possible, so if you’re asked for examples in interview, you can give honest, focused answers.
  4. Try to be in a positive headspace when you’re writing your CV. It’s very easy for confidence to have taken a dip whilst you’ve been on a career break, but it’s really important that this doesn’t come across in your CV. Look back at the achievements you wrote down at the start of the process and really be proud of yourself. It’s important that the language you use portrays you as capable, confident and passionate, as this will help others (as well as yourself!!) to believe that you could well be the person that they’re looking for!
  5. Once you’ve finished writing your CV, take a break then proofread and proofread again. Don’t just rely on spell check. A good tip is to read it aloud to yourself. This will help you pick up any silly mistakes, but it’s also a good test for readability and flow. 

That’s it for now, I hope you found this useful – if you would like to find out more, drop me an email, subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on social media and check out the other articles on our website.