The ideal CV for a mid-career professional


Change is difficult. Even for the most seasoned of job seekers, and the task of undertaking a CV overhaul can be daunting. After all, the effort and dedication that go into writing a CV tend to make most of us reluctant to go through the whole process again. However, it is best to face the music head-on. There comes a time in your career when you need to rewrite your CV, and if you are at the mid-level of your career, that time is now.

Do not lose yourself to senseless worry. Things are different now that you have all that experience and all those accomplishments under your belt. You are not the same professional you were at the start of your career and you have so much more to offer than you did then. Your CV should reflect that and it should also reflect your potential to grow even more. In order to make this process as quick and pain-free as possible, shares a quick and easy guide to rewriting your CV for mid-career positions.

It’s Time for a Trim
When you have accumulated over five years of work experience, it becomes necessary to trim any unnecessary weight on your CV that could prove to be more distracting than complementary. The work experience racked up over your college years as well as the part-time work that is irrelevant to your desired position or industry are probably taking up valuable space on your CV. This space could instead be used to list more accomplishments from your most relevant and recent jobs, focusing on the skills you have developed, and responsibilities you have held that make you more qualified for your chosen career.

Remember, even when applying for mid-career positions, which usually accommodate CVs that are longer than a page, your CV should still be relevant, concise and straight to the point. Even taking your years of experience into account, the employer will not want to waste too much time scanning your CV for the information they need.

Accomplishments vs Skills
At this point in your career, your CV should have more focus on accomplishments instead of a mile-long list of unverifiable skills. With this much work experience, you should be able to prove your skills through achievements and quantify these accomplishments wherever possible. Ideally, this should also reflect a progression that demonstrates you took on more responsibilities and achieved more over time. It might seem unflattering if you point too sharply at a decline in achievements and tasks as your career progressed.

You should still have a list of skills in your CV to ensure it passes automatic application systems, but make sure that your job details point towards your accomplishments so that employers can get a fair idea of what you have actually done and are capable of. This will speak volumes more than a multitude of buzzwords without evidence. This applies to listing responsibilities as well. Listing some of your responsibilities is okay, but an employer is going to be more impressed with how you met these responsibilities, what targets you achieved and any growth you have contributed to.

Education or Work?
This is an area that allows for some discretion in the format of a CV. When you are still in the spring of your career and have recently graduated, your education will be the main selling point in your CV. Once you have accumulated years of experience and achievements, you can choose to move your education after your work experience.

The way your CV is organised signifies which sections of it are most important to you. When you place your education above work experience, you are subconsciously directing the employer’s attention to your academic background. However, at the middle of your career, you should be prioritising your work experience over your educational background. Unless your educational background sells your qualifications for a job better than your work experience can, you should switch their order so that your work experience is listed first.

Personal Details
When you were fresh in the job market, there were a lot of things you could get away with. For instance, sharing certain personal details such as hobbies and interests or embellishing your CV with personal touches. For someone in the beginning of their career, this can be chalked off as creative. But, once you are moving up the career ladder, you will need to polish everything and ensure your CV is more professional than quirky. Make sure your email address is professional and clear. It is best to opt for an email address that solely features your name, but if you can’t bag that email then you can add a relevant number, hyphen or underscore.

The second-most important thing is having a professional-looking CV photograph. This cannot be stressed enough. An unprofessional or unclear photograph leaves a very bad impression, especially at your level of experience as it exhibits a certain air of carelessness. The photo on your CV should be a simple headshot with either a smile or neutral expression. It should also have a plain background and feature you dressed in professional attire. You would want to provide a neutral and professional impression. Selfies, mirror shots or otherwise unprofessional pictures are better left for social media.

With the assistance of some polishing up and a change of perspective, you can take your CV to the next level with ease. The main thing you need to guarantee is that your CV is focused, accomplishment-oriented and polished. Then, your experience can do the talking for you. If you’re still struggling with the idea of writing a golden mid-career CV, you can always opt for a professionally written CV that is sure to knock the employer’s socks off.

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