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 CV tips

Writing or re-writing your CV?

Our top tips

We know that it can be daunting when writing a CV to return to work after retirement. But it doesn’t have to be. Returning to work after retirement is becoming more and more common. These simple steps will walk you through producing a job winning CV.


Step 1: Get the perfect structure


Employers receive hundreds, sometimes thousands, of CVs for a job application. You need to structure your CV so that it stands out from the crowd.


  • Contact details - Include your name, phone number and email address (that you check frequently). Your home address is optional.

  • Personal summary - Write a short paragraph explaining why you want to return to work after retirement, your skills and what sort of work you are looking for.

  • Experience - This is main event. We cover it in more detail below.

  • Education - Include all of your qualifications but don’t feel you need to include dates. You should also include courses that you many have done since retiring.

  • Personal interests - An employer is looking to hire a person, not a robot. Include some interests or hobbies to show that you will contribute to the work environment.


Step 2: Choose the right format to show your experience


There are two ways to structure the experience section of your CV.

  • Chronologically, where you list experiences in order. You may feel chronological makes the most sense for you. If you do, make sure you only list relevant experience. The recruiter doesn’t want to trawl through a five page CV.

  • Functionally, where you show experiences relevant to a certain skill you want to highlight.  Functional CVs are good if you are returning to work after retirement because you can curate relevant sections for the job that you are applying for.


Step 3: Show relevant skills and experiences that set you apart


Understand the job that you are applying for. If you were hiring for that role, what attributes would you look for in a candidate? Make sure you emphasise these skills and experiences when writing your CV.

Remember, these don’t have to be professional. Plenty of people have done amazing things in retirement. If you took part in a round the world sailing race, certainly include it. You will show the recruiter you are determined, adventurous and a team player.

Step 4: Grammar and spell check


Recruiters hate to receive CVs with poor spelling or grammar. Don’t make life harder for yourself. Print out your CV and read through it slowly marking any mistakes with a pen. Once you’ve made your corrections, ask someone else to do the same thing. They will spot anything that you haven’t.


Step 5: Get a Gmail account


Whatever your thoughts on Google, having a Gmail account shows that you are engaged with modern technology. An, or even addresses can appear less modern. Registering for a Gmail account is really easy and can be done at


Step 6: Ask for help

It can be difficult to write a CV to return to work after retirement. If you get stuck, ask for help. Friends and family who are in employment can be a great source of advice. If you don’t have friends or family that can help then work coaches at your local Job Centre are there to offer guidance or check out resources at your local library.

CV ready?
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