Back to Blogs

Mid-career CV as stale as an old loaf? Here's how to revive it.

  • Publish Date: Posted about 1 month ago
  • Author: Katie Marshall

Does your CV still list your bronze lifesaver swimming award? What about that summer job collecting glasses at your local? Or maybe you’re still listing ‘proficient in Microsoft Word’ as one of your key skills. If so, then you’re in desperate need of a mid-career CV update.

In the early days of your career, it’s tempting to include anything and everything you’ve done to bulk out academic achievements and limited work experience. However, as you progress and look to take the next steps in your career it’s a good idea to give your CV a thorough spring clean.

To give your mid-career CV a much-needed update, it's important to take a critical look at it. Here are some fresh ideas on what to keep and what to get rid of, as well as how to make your CV stand out to employers.

What to keep

Cherry-pick your career

Your work experience is the most important part of your CV, so make sure you highlight your most recent and relevant roles. Employers want to see evidence of your achievements and accomplishments, so be sure to include specific examples of projects you've worked on, results you've achieved, and challenges you've overcome. A simple list of responsibilities won’t cut it if you’re looking to stand out.


It's also important to show how you've developed and honed your skills over time. This could include examples of times you've used feedback to make improvements or even times when things have gone wrong as long you can show what you learned from the experience!


Training or credentials you have earned that are specific to your role and aspirations are great. They can really set you apart from the crowd. Equally, if you belong to any professional organisations make sure you include these in your CV update as they demonstrate your commitment to your profession. That Duke of Edinburgh Gold award, however, can probably stay in your mum's attic.

What to chop

Irrelevant details

Up until now, you may have included every aspect of every job you've ever had on your CV, but by the time you reach mid-career that is likely to be too much information for potential employers to process. Remember, they only have a limited amount of time to spend on you don’t make them wade through information that isn’t relevant. Leaving out the aspects of previous roles that don't relate to your current career goals means that employers will more easily be able to see why you are the right person for the job.

Entry-level skills lead to entry-level roles

Avoid listing entry-level skills or achievements, as it will make you look like an entry-level candidate. Instead, focus on the ones that are most relevant to your current career goals. By showcasing your higher-level expertise, the basic stuff will be given.

TMI: Leave personal details out

While it's important to include your contact information, you should avoid including personal details such as your marital status or age. These details are not relevant and cannot be considered part of your application for ethical reasons.

How to stand out to employers

When describing your experience and achievements, use active language that highlights your accomplishments. This can make your CV more memorable to employers and demonstrate that you have a proactive approach to your work. It’s also an opportunity to showcase the soft skills and qualities that make you a great leader, collaborator, or strategist. Think about who you are and what makes you unique and let your personality shine through.

Whenever possible, use numbers and data to quantify your achievements. This can help you demonstrate the impact you've had in your previous roles and show that you're results-oriented.

Finally, tailor your CV update to the job you’re applying for. We know you have probably heard this one before and for good reason. Highlighting the skills and experience that are most relevant to the position and demonstrating how you can add value to the organization means that the hiring manager will be confident that you qualify for the role and that you are a serious candidate who really wants to work for them. So, make sure you customize your CV to the specific job you're applying for.

We know that searching for a new job can be stressful, but now you have the tools you need to give your mid-career CV the update it deserves!
You can also get inspired by others: Pathfinders is a Morson original series uncovering squiggly career journeys, unexpected opportunities, professional pivots, work/life challenges and successes, to showcase that there is no such thing as a ‘typical career path’.
Before you go, don’t forget to check out our latest jobs, we’ve got lots of opportunities for candidates looking to take the next steps in their careers.