Can anyone offer some advice please? I'm trying to get back into work after 10 years of casual jobs/ sahmdom and I don't know how to best present my hopelessly out of date cv. I was a lecturer/ management professional with lots of experience. I don't even have a relevant reference now! I'm 54, so feel time is running out. Salary is not that important: how do I present myself in a positive light?
I'd have thought you need to have in mind a job you think you would be good at, and then put yourself in the shoes of the recruiting manager. Why would they like someone like you to work for them? Which skills/experience/tasks from your work and SAHM life would be most relevant and reassuring to them? What makes you better than someone with a more continuous or "obvious" CV?
Then, rather than avoid anything or add woolly statements, I would be absolutely clear about the dates of your employment/SAHM (no gaps in your timeline to prompt questions) but then present each thing that you have done in a positive light. Focus on what you DID and LED rather than what you heard or contributed to. Paint achievements in a strong way. And if some jobs are less relevant, just make those a one-liner or group them together. Don't assume your mostly SAHM time is in that category though.
I would then write a very specific covering letter for each job that you really want to apply to, explaining (a) why that job excites you and what brings you to be interested in it, and (b) how your skills and experience fit with their requirements and so why you would be good at the job - including what both you and they would get out of it.
Do you have any friends who recruit people at your sort of level? Would they help you
Cheers Catilla. That's great advice. I feel I should be paying you commission! Part of my problem is not knowing what I want to do. Yes, I have a friend whom I've asked about my cv, but she wasn't all that positive. I feel a bit better now, so thanks.