CV tips for mid-life career changes
These are uncertain times and many of us have found ourselves in a very unfamiliar situation. Stable ‘jobs-for-life’ suddenly look insecure and reliable industries like aviation, oil and gas, and hospitality face massive change, at the very least. From a recruitment perspective, it’s not all doom and gloom. Many companies are hiring and there is still a huge skill shortage in emerging sectors. For those willing to adapt there are certainly opportunities. These are our tips for building a CV for a mid-life career change.
Don’t be ashamed of a career change. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed, it means you are making positive decisions to improve your career (and life). Focus on the future and what you can bring to the hirer and be positive about the past too. Your CV is your introduction and you don’t want to bring in a drop of negativity. You may have actively decided to change careers or perhaps you lost your job but it doesn’t matter on your CV. Lots of people are feeling down, confused and worried about their careers at the moment but don’t let that come out in your CV.
We all have transferable skills, it’s just a matter of working out what they are! If you have management experience you can easily transfer from one sector to another as long as you’re aware of how company cultures and procedures may be different. If you’re wanting to join a sales team, any people-facing experience, including client meetings or customer support work is transferable. Try to look at your past and future roles in broad, abstract terms – hands-on, detailed, fast-paced, analytical – and find the threads.
There are some very young, very innovative companies out there that could really benefit from genuine workplace experience. These businesses, especially in emerging technologies, are often set up by recent graduates with exceptional ideas and talent but with little practical knowledge of how a company needs to function. As we always say, carefully tailor your CV to the business and the role. Don’t labour the point that you have so many years of experience but add the experience that they may feel is a weakness to the company. For example, you may have led in-house training sessions about new legislation or been involved in hiring decisions (this is often really difficult for start-ups). Get a feel for the company and assess what they may be lacking outside of the job description itself.