According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, unemployed job hunters ages 55 to 64, spend a median of 34.5 weeks looking for jobs, as compared to 22.2 weeks for all job seekers.
If you’re an older (or more experienced) job seeker, you need a modern looking, attention-grabbing resume’ to showcase your valuable work experience. Simply changing a few dates and descriptions on your current resume’ will not be enough. You need to consider your resume’s style and design, otherwise, your resume’ could appear dated, which potentially reveals your age. Here are some great resume’ tips for more experienced job seekers.
In a recent AARP survey of workers age 45 and over, three-quarters cited age discrimination as the reason they didn’t find a new job.
Take a look at your resume’ and get ready to completely revamp it to avoid these eight mistakes:
1. Outdated Formatting
Today’s resume’s require style, design, color, and are visually & esthetically pleasing. They provide an attention grabbing stage with which to market your work experience as well as your professional accomplishments and values.
One resume’ tip is to add a pop of color to your resume’s
Design tip: Use two fonts at most, or use just one font but bold it (or italicize it) in the headings. Leave plenty of white space on the page so reading doesn’t cause eye-strain.
Including graphs and charts is a good idea to add visual interest and to demonstrate how you’ve positively impacted previous employers.
Here’s an example from my own resume’:
2. Listing every job
“Recounting unrelated experience from the distant past is a surefire way to make your resume’ seem dated,” says Fortune 100 recruiter and author of Signs of a Great Resume’, Scott Vedder.
“There’s no law of resume’s that says you must include every job you’ve ever had”, says Vedder.
Highlight your jobs from the last 10 to 15 years, and include a “quick nod to a job from long ago when it relates to the opportunity you’re pursuing,” says Vedder.
This helps keep your resume’ to two pages or less, with one page being best.
3. Outdated skill-sets
Employers prefer professionals who have current and relevant skills. Stating a proficiency in old software or in an irrelevant program will draw unwelcome attention. If you need to brush-up on some skills, or learn completely new ones, it’s OK to mention what you’re doing to bring yourself up-to-date.
The same idea pertains to soft skills such as “good listening” or being a “problem solver.” Employers should be able to ascertain that you have these skills based on your work experience.
It’s not a good idea to list obvious skills such as those required for Microsoft Word. Everyone is pretty much expected to have those skills already.
4. Your email address
A professional resume’ writer, Dawn Bugni in Atkinson, N.C. says “It’s ridiculous to think something as innocuous as aol.com at the top of the resume’ will knock you out of the running, without further consideration, but there is a chance that it might.”
Instead of outdated hotmail or AOL addresses from the 90s, get with it and create yourself a free Gmail account. You’ll thank yourself later.
5. It’s hard to reach you
To save a prospective employer the hassle of searching for you online, make it easy for her by including a link to your LinkedIn profile and your professional social media accounts. I put them right in my header.
Create a hyperlink on your email address too, so it’s easy to contact you.
Design tip: Create a custom LinkedIn URL to your profile page by going to“Edit public profile & URL”.
If you’re in a creative field, it’s a great idea to link directly to your online portfolio or work samples.
See ImageandAspect.com for ideas on how to get an affordable online portfolio, resume’ or CV. Online, you can express yourself uniquely and in ways that aren’t always conducive to paper.
6. You have a “career objective”
Get rid of the career objective already. It’s ridiculously outdated, irrelevant and takes up valuable space.
Instead, use this resume’ tip: write a headline describing your profession and level of experience. Lead with your focus on the prospective employer’s needs and compose a career summary to show how you’re able to meet those needs. Explain your skills, experience and what you’ll bring to the company, in about 50 words, specifically how you’ll add value.
7. Inadvertently revealing your age
Although the Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits employment discrimination against persons 40 years or older, lots of over-50 workers see how discrimination can still be a problem.
In a recent AARP survey, 44% of respondents who’d applied for a new job in the past two years reported that they were asked their age or graduation year.
Dont include your high school or college graduation dates on your resume’. I’ve done this as a 50-ish job seeker and I began to wonder if it could be the reason I wasn’t getting any calls, even though I was fully qualified for each job.
I decided to “experiment”, by leaving off my oldest degree and graduation date (1982) and including only the 2 most recent from 2003 and 2013.
If you had to guess my age using my resume’, it would appear likely that I’m in my 30’s (having graduated from college in 2003.) And guess what? I started getting called for interviews.
The best approach is to simply leave those dates off if possible. When applying online, the application won’t move forward to the next screen until you fill in those dates. And of course lying is out of the question. So, there’s still THAT particular obstacle to deal with.
If you have experience with that, or have ideas about how to deal with that scenario, I’d love to hear from you.
Fair? No. Legal? No. But it happens.
For tips on answering age-related interview questions, check this out.
8. Wasting resume’ real-estate
The phrase “references available upon request” is no longer commonplace. You’re always expected to provide references. Don’t waste valuable space on your resume’ with this one.
Other articles you might like:
About the author
I developed Image and Aspect because I believe that professionals need to have an impactful web presence. One that showcases their unique talents, skills, and abilities as well as their values and style. A presence that focuses on social engagement and connection.
I’m passionate about what I do; I like helping fellow humans, I like having all kinds of social connection with others, and I want to give back, to make the world a better place.
I do much of the designing and coding myself, and I also have a wonderful network of professionals that may contribute as well; photographers, copywriters, branding experts.
I love designing and coding beautiful, elegant and responsive web creations. I ALSO teach and help others who want to learn how to do it themselves.
‘Tips and Snips’ is my blog, and it’s full of information and inspiration to help transform any online persona from “meh” to AMAZING! Sign-up HERE to get blog posts right to your in-box every Friday! I write about Design, Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Branding, Vlogging, Color Theory, HTML5, CSS3, Bootstrap, WordPress, Social Media…anything you’d want to know to get yourself noticed online.