How to spring clean your CV

Is the warmer weather putting a spring in your step? Perhaps it’s got you thinking about a totally new career. We ask Victoria McLean, CEO of career consultancy City CV, to answer your questions about career-planning and switching paths

Q: Is it realistic to start a new career at any age?

Age shouldn’t be a barrier to your career ambitions. Financial Times recently declared that over-50s are the new business start-up generation, and Barclays has reported a 67% increase in women over 55 opening business accounts.
Jobs for life are also a thing of the past. In fact, the latest research shows that the average Brit works in six different
roles during their care re-train, having decided that our first career wasn’t right for us. So, yes, with realistic and robust planning, a new career is completely feasible at any stage of your life.

Q: I’m not sure exactly what I want to do. What’s your advice?

You can start by brainstorming your skills, knowledge and motivations. Think about what talents you have, what you’re good at, and what brings you joy and fires you up. What do you love about your current and previous jobs, and what has frustrated you? Then, consider the type of environment that you thrive in and the type of people you enjoy being around. Bring your hobbies and personal interests into the equation. Your answers may surprise you, as they’re likely to have shifted (sometimes dramatically) from when you first started your career.

Q: I need a fresh start after a career break – any tips?

This is a time when many of us re-evaluate our life goals. Whether you’re setting up a new business, going freelance,
or heading back to corporate life, be clear about your transferable skills and the value that you offer. You’ll need this insight to re-vamp your CV. Crafting a compelling, key word-rich LinkedIn profile will also help you to get back in touch with former colleagues and start networking with new contacts.

Q: How do I describe all of this on my CV?

It’s important to take a strategic approach. A modern CV is much more than a job history – it’s a marketing document that outlines your USP and makes a compelling business case. Focus on your target role, relevant experience and transferable skills. I always advise tweaking your CV for each job application; this gives you a real competitive edge, and dramatically improves your chances of getting the new career that you deserve.

If you have any work-related questions or would like to know more about City CV, contact Victoria by emailing victoria@citycv.co.uk www.citycv.co.uk