Are you over 55 and looking for a job? Good news – you offer tons of value to employers.
Your experience, knowledge, and skills are assets that you have earned over time. Your resume is often where prospective employers initially find out about your qualifications. By structuring your resume strategically, you can showcase your experience and tackle barriers to employment associated with ageism in the workplace.
How do you create a winning, modern resume? Follow these expert tips:
The key benefits of hiring workers are obvious through a lot of research and studies that have been conducted over the years. Unfortunately, age might not always work in your favor when it comes to your job search. Sometimes, hiring managers are biased because of myths about older job seekers. Your experience might make you a quality candidate, but age discrimination can make it tough to compete with younger applicants.
You can use strategies to make a hiring manager focus on your experience, rather than your age. By excluding dates for college, certificates, and professional development courses, the employer only sees the positive growth you have worked towards in your field.
Consider listing items non-chronological
To catch the eyes of potential employers, your resume should start off strong. If you list your experiences in chronological order, your resume might not start off as strongly as it could.
There is no rule that you have to list experiences in chronological order. Instead, you could use a functional resume format, which focuses on your skills and experience rather than the order of your work history.
You could also use a combination format, listing your skills and experience above your work history. Doing so helps you answer tough interview questions about career changes or gaps in work because your skills are in the forefront.
Hone in on key experience
More isn’t always better. Focus on the most relevant experience for the job you are applying for. For example, let’s say worked at a fast food restaurant as a teenager. If you spent the last 25 years working as a banker and are looking for another position at a bank, you should focus on this experience because it is most relevant to your goals.
Limit the experience you list on your resume to the past 15 years. Focus on getting past surface details during this time instead of generalizing all of your work history.
Highlight your skills
Your resume is your chance to show employers that your age is not a negative attribute. Instead, it is a testament to your ability to work effectively. Make note of specific skills you have learned that make you the right person for the job.
Do not be shy about your skills. You have a skillset that can only be gained through experience. You also have confidence that comes with age.
Adjust your resume for each job you apply for
Targeting your resume is a smart move at any age. Adjust what information you showcase on your resume depending on the wants and needs of each potential employer.
Read the job description and highlight qualifications that align with your experience. Let the experience, accomplishments, and skillsets that are most relevant to the position you are applying for shine on individualized resumes.
Pay attention to the format
The way your resume looks matters. It should be organized and stand out from the crowd. Hiring managers receive a lot of resumes. Do not risk getting lost in the noise because your resume lacks individuality.
Create a personal brand by using a template with colors and fonts that show your personality (but remember to always keep it professional!). Avoid distracting designs that draw the focus away from your abilities and experience.
The look of your resume has the potential to date you. Some fonts, like Times New Roman, are used less frequently and are somewhat dated. Try using an Ariel instead, which is modern and easy to read.
In today’s workforce, including jobs for seniors, employers want to know that you can use the technology. List relevant computer and technical skills, including email solutions such as Outlook, Microsoft Office, industry-related software such as QuickBooks, and online applications. Look at the job description to see what technology skills the hiring manager is looking for.
Include any recent job skill training, conferences or workshops, and involvement with professional organizations in your resume. This shows that you are willing to continue to learn and develop your skills. Also, include your LinkedIn URL.
Get paid, On-the-job Training
Over 55 and looking for a job? VANTAGE Workforce Solutions can help you overcome barriers to employment while earning a stipend. Work part-time in a non-profit or government agency and learn while you earn. Call 330-253-4597 for details or visit our Workforce Solutions page.
*The information in this article is intended solely to provide general information on matters of interest for the personal use of the reader, who accepts full responsibility for its use. This article should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal, medical, or other competent advisors.
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