Shrewsbury CV writing experts on how to write a CV following a career break
31st May 2016
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If you are returning to work after a career break, which may have been to raise a family, travel the world, study etc., it can be very difficult to know where to start when writing a CV.

If you intend to return to same kind of role, then it is relatively straightforward and you can write a CV in the usual way. If you have undertaken any voluntary roles during the break, add that as your first entry under ‘CareerHistory’ and add ‘Voluntary’ in brackets after the job title.

If not, add a brief sentence to explain what you have been doing, which may include renovating a property, travelling, studying, looking after an elderly relative or raising a family.

Functional CV format

If you are not looking for a similar role, you may want to consider a Functional CV, which unlike a Chronological CV, focuses on skills and experience rather than previous roles, responsibilities and dates. First start with a powerful Professional Summary, tailored to a specific role, which highlights relevant experience and knowledge.

The next section titled ‘Key Skills’, forms the basis of this CV and requires a list of four to six relevant skills e.g. communication, relationship management, leadership, administration, problem solving, team working, sales, project management etc. Under each of these headings, add bullet points to provide further details. For example:

Relationship Management 

•   Established and developed solid client relationships during two-year tenure at marketing consultancy,         and increased portfolio from 30 to 50 accounts within six months.
•   Worked closely with key suppliers and negotiated reduced rates to minimise costs.
•   Liaised with c-level executives of multinational companies as Sales Executive for advertising agency and secured multiple high value accounts.

Once you have compiled this list, add a brief career history including job title, company name and dates (including months).

Account Manager – X Marketing  May 2012 – Jun. 2014

Sales Executive – Adamantium Advertising  Jan. 2009 – Apr. 2012

Customer Service Advisor – Rogue Telecom  Aug. 2005 – Jan. 2009

Sales Assistant – Grey Jeans Retail  Nov. 2000 – Aug. 2005

If you have recently completed studies, you may want to add the ‘Education and Professional Development’ section under ‘Professional Summary’, if not this can go after ‘Career History’.

To finish your CV, add IT skills, voluntary roles you have may have been involved in previously, community activities and fundraising events.

CVs don’t tend to list personal interests anymore and there is no need to add a list of references or even ‘References available on request’.

About the Author

Meg M

Member since: 22nd May 2013

I am currently director of Red Recruitment Solutions and owner of Red CV Writing, a professional CV writing service which also offers LinkedIn profile writing. For more information, please visit

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