Last year, my mother-in-law was made redundant but was getting no response to any of her applications. She was born in the 1950’s and is one of the women who have lost as much as six years’ pension due to increases to the State Pension age. I am not a careers adviser but suggested we open up Labour Insight to gain some insight, and see if we could improve her CV accordingly.

Pinpointing her key skills using Labour Insight

She had spent much of her career working in high pressure sales but wasn’t too keen on such a fast paced role anymore, preferring to move into customer service. When I asked her what skills she had, she replied “I’m not sure”, a response perhaps not uncommon in ladies of her generation.

I loaded up the ‘Customer and Client Support’ Skill’ Cluster (which lets you look at clusters of skills that share similar functionality, can be substituted for each other or are often trained together) to use as a list of suggestions. I asked her to have a look at the list and let me know which of the skills she had. Her face lit up as she happily selected her skill set. It was wonderful to watch her confidence grow as she talked.

We then de-selected the customer service skills cluster and ran the job titles and locations reports, honing in on the job postings that really suited her and which she had a real chance of matching. We downloaded the results so she could use the links to apply.

This took care of the jobs that matched her skills but the next step was…

…getting her CV noticed

During a previous Labour Insight training session with a careers adviser at a college, I’d had a very interesting conversation about getting a job application past the automated software (known as the applicant tracking system – ATS) to a real human being. He said that he is constantly advising his clients to be aware of this, often demonstrating that their CV would be rejected by putting it through the college application software. When I asked if he had anything that could help, he sent me this very helpful link on how to format a CV to beat the bots by including very specific keywords for skills and qualifications, avoiding “fluffy” terms which won’t be automatically recognised.

With this advice in mind, we carefully added all the Specialised Customer Service Skills (identified earlier) to her CV. The skills report in Labour Insight also shows co-occurring skills, all the other skills that employers have listed at the same time. This was really helpful to highlight additional skills that she might otherwise have forgotten to mention.

The next step was to switch over to the Baseline Skills shown in the image below. The beauty of Labour Insight is that it is the voice of the employer with a database going back to 2012, from the horse’s mouth so to speak. My personal favourite is Communication Skills, we all think we are so good at communication but clearly, employers don’t share our view! Once again, we added the most appropriate skills to her CV.

Baseline skills

She uploaded her new CV and within 24 hours she had two interviews and was successful in one of them!


Implementation and Support Consultant for Labour Insight


Tel: 01256 848 636 or 01256 464 749