For most workers above 50, writing a resume turns into a real challenge. Not only you have to condense the decades of extensive experience into two pages, but also to downplay your actual age. Unfortunately, age discrimination exists. Employers are wary of older candidates for multiple reasons: they assume that the person is overqualified, they doubt their tech skills and the ability to fit into the younger team.
Whereas it’s hardly ever possible to erase the 10 or 20 years off your professional history, trimming a resume and highlighting the traits that the employer is looking for can fix the situation. Today, our online resume writer will give you a handful of suggestions on how to downplay your resume age and get your foot to the door faster.
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When it comes to resume writing, the older job-seekers typically have two challenges. The first one is prioritizing their extensive experience so that the most relevant and important content is in the spotlight. And the second is showing that you keep your skills current and aren’t stuck in the past. Here’s what you can do to accomplish both of these goals:
Your resume is a marketing document, not an autobiography. Listing every single job you’ve had since graduation will make the document unnecessarily long. Moreover, hiring managers aren’t typically interested in overly dated jobs. Going back to the most recent 10-15 years is sufficient to give the employer a glimpse of your expertise and credentials. This will make your resume more focused, concise and informative for your target employers. At the same time, keep the resume relevant. You might want to remove the experience which has little to do with your target role and be more detailed about past successes that relate closely to the position.
At the attempt to hide their age, many job-seekers simply remove the employment dates. However, this tactic works against you. The hiring manager might assume that you want to hide your age or short job tenures, and will be more skeptical about your resume. The only exception from this rule is the dates for your earlier jobs – the ones you had over 15-20 years ago. For your early jobs, it’s okay to only list job titles and company names.
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Whereas it’s strongly not recommended that you delete employment dates, it’s perfectly okay to remove the year you got a degree. Being detailed about education is important for recent graduates. However, as you gain professional experience, you can limit this section to a school name and degree. This simple trick will also draw the attention away from your age, and if your resume appeals to the recruiter, the exact graduation date won’t be a big concern for them.
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Due to the ATS, targeting your resume for a job ad is a must. Otherwise, however well-qualified you are, your resume won’t make it to the hiring manager’s table. Use the same language and phrases that a job posting uses for skill names and qualifications. Mention the required qualifications closer to the top of the resume. And, most importantly, concentrate your resume around the skills that a job ad specifically asks for. If the role requires heavy customer interaction, you might want to downplay your administrative office tasks and focus on dealing with clients.
There’s a common misconception that older candidates are less tech-savvy than the younger applicants. Whereas this might not be true in your case, you’ll still need to address this issue in your resume. Mention any technical and software skills the employer asks for in a job posting as well as general tech skills and the industry software. It will be helpful to indicate the level of proficiency, especially if your daily work assumes heavy reliance on this software. Also, remove the outdated tech skills and programs which are no longer used – you don’t want to look stuck in the past.
Whether you are continuing your career path or thinking to turn your passion into a successful career, note that the resume writing rules have changed in the recent years. Given that a hiring person spends little time reviewing your resume, it should be easy to read and look through. Use bulleted lists instead of paragraphs, and don’t write more than 6 bullets for each job. Make sure there’s enough blank space on the page so that the document is comfortable to look through. Do you feel productivity stints in the mornings? Check out how to start your mornings productively: http://resumeperk.com/blog/7-morning-routines-for-better-productivity.
Your age is one of your biggest assets. Older workers are valued for personality traits which young employees typically don’t have – patience, breadth of experience, credibility and stability in judgement. So, make sure to subtly highlight these skills throughout the resume. The best way to show your soft skills is through describing the situation when you put them into practice, or by sharing the result you’ve achieved due to a certain skill. To make your skills more visible, include them closer to the top of the document.
Note that your personality will be judged based on the way your resume is written. Today’s employers don’t tolerate mistakes, errors and vague writing. Thus, in addition to prioritizing the resume content and removing what’s outdated, you’ll need to edit the resume and make it easier to read. The pompous writing style is no longer popular, so use simpler language instead of sophisticated phrases. Break down the long sentences into shorter ones. Also, you might want to use the tech tools to polish the written resume from mistakes. Try the Hemingway app or Grammarly.com – both are paid, yet they’ll help improve the quality of your writing.
Regarding of your age, a successful resume should be packed with achievements. Consider creating a separate section for them, or add at least 1-2 accomplishments for each job you had. Make sure to use figures, percentages and context to clearly show your impact. An accomplishment-driven resume will generate more attention from the hiring managers.
As you see, downplaying your age on a resume takes much more than simply deleting your old jobs. You also need to improve the quality of your resume in general so that the employers won’t question your ability to keep up with the current workplace trends and your communication skills. If you are confused about how to structure the resume or prioritize the content, consider working with a top executive resume writing service. Our resume pro will help reconsider your experience and draw the attention away from your age, concentrating on what makes you a perfect fit for the role. Check out our prices and packages – they are affordable for any budget.
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