Just because you are getting up there in years doesn’t mean you are out of luck in today’s job market.
When you put together a brilliant resume where you show how your skills are still relevant, you will still be in the running for the positions you are qualified for.
To ensure that you do get the job you are applying for, you need to pay attention to some of the dos and don’ts of resumes.
What You Should Put on Your Resume to Age Proof It
To stay competitive in today’s job market, you should be doing the following:
Showcase Your Skills
Since you’re up there in years, you have probably amassed a massive amount of skills and employers are eager for the experience that older workers bring. It’s a great idea to list them all on your resume. Make sure you include a few technology skills given how integrated technology is in today’s business world. Many major companies use special software that scans resumes for keywords that the company has designated as important for the position. Whenever the program gets a match, it’s a hit and works to your advantage.
Embrace your experience and illustrate how your experiences can benefit the company. Usually experience wins over education and having both is really invaluable, even in this day and age.
Focus on Your Recent Experience
Place the most emphasis on your most recent experience. Weight your resume towards the most recent 10 years. You don’t have to write the same amount for each position you have had. A majority of your resume should be describing your most recent experience.
Keep Your Resume to Two Pages
Recruiters rarely spend more than half a minute looking at your resume, if even that, before that have a sense of whether to give you an interview. If you are submitting a resume with several pages of work experience, they are going to groan and move on. Keep your resume to a maximum of two pages.
Have a Visually-Appealing Design
Nobody wants to look at walls of text on a resume. These are laborious to go through without that feature. You can demonstrate your maturity by displaying your qualifications in a clear, concise and easy to read format. Update your resume so that it looks visually appealing while still providing all the necessary information to show off your experience. Use bullet points, short blurbs, lines, and differently-sized text for headings. Employers will be relieved that they can quickly see your accomplishments and the talents you possess before ever worrying about your age.
Highlight Your Achievements Instead of Your Tasks
Instead of showing what you have completed on a day-to-day basis, focus on what you achieved during your time at your previous positions. You can put your roles and responsibilities but follow those up with bullet points listing your major achievements and contributions. This information is going to showcase your qualifications. If you can, give some numbers to make your achievements less abstract.
Have a New Email Address
Older workers tend to stick with what they have had for a while, like an AOL or Hotmail email address. If you have one of these, get a new email address ASAP. Signing up for a Gmail email account is always a good option. When you get this new email address, make sure you keep it as your name, either last name followed by your first name or vice versa.
Add Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is the de facto social network for professionals. You will really show you are hip to the modern business world when you provide a custom LinkedIn profile link at the top of your resume next to your brand-new Gmail email address. Most employers will do an online search for job candidates to see what comes up. You want to make sure you design your LinkedIn profile so that it is relevant to the positions you are applying for.
What You Should Avoid Putting on your Resume
To stay competitive in today’s job market, you should avoid doing the following:
Keep Your Graduation Dates Off
It is easy for a potential employer to gleam how old you are based on what year you graduated from college. Keep that off your resume if you want to avoid age bias. Oftentimes, if over 20 years have transpired since you graduated, chances are you won’t be getting contacted anytime soon.
Exclude Any Experience More Than 15 Years Old
This ties into why you should keep your graduation dates off of your resume. When you put any experience from over 15 years ago, you are starting to show that you are no spring chicken. Even if you feel your experience was top-notch from 20 years ago, you are better off excluding it from your resume.
Avoid Including Any Outdated Experience
Listing outdated skills will be another way to determine how old you are and can be an instant giveaway of your age. So, what if you know how to program in FORTRAN. It’s better to only stick to relevant experience that is still in demand today. Besides sticking to up-to-date experience, you also want to only include experience relevant to the job you are applying for.
Avoid Outdated Buzzwords
Another way you give away your age is by using outdated buzzwords. “References available upon request” is not something job-seekers are using anymore. If an employer wants references, you bet they will ask for them on their own. Other outdated buzzwords and phrases you should leave off your resume are:
- “Responsible for”
- “Duties include”
- “Managed day-to-day operations”
- “Out-of-the-box thinker”
Consider using words that show direct action and success. Some examples are:
- I successfully completed…
- My efforts directly saved the company $2.4M annually
- I led a team of five employees that ….
Avoid Using Two Spaces After a Period
Putting two spaces after a period is a dead giveaway that you are over 40. Nobody young knows that a typewriter necessitated two spaces after a period. They may not even know what a typewriter is. You should also put just one space after a period. Word processors make sentences easy to read automatically without you needing to put an extra space in.
To stay relevant in the modern job market, you need to update your resume. Keeping up with the times means ditching old irrelevant skills, using buzzwords that are in right now in the business world, and leaving out ancient experience. When you follow these resume tips for older workers, you give yourself a fighting chance to land a position among all the young professionals in the job market today.