Over 50 and More Experienced: Resume Advice
Thursday, January 16, 2014 • 1:31pm
They’re out there – armed with freshly-minted MBAs and other advanced degrees, up on all the latest social media, with fancy smartphones and tablets, willing to work for very little – and they’re competing with YOU for jobs. In today’s challenging job market, facing less-experienced competition, those over 50 years of age meet more challenges than average job seekers.
A well-written, concise resume demonstrating your value and experience is what you need to stand out among this group. Assemble a resume and job search strategy to keep up with current hiring trends and the present needs of hiring managers.
Quality, not Quantity
Highlight your achievements and accomplishments, particularly if they demonstrate your deep experience and success in a specific industry. Quantify your details and showcase your significant career contributions. For example:
- Identified and implemented a cost savings program that saved XYZ Company more than $200 million over 10 years by integrating multi-functional experiences.
- Improved manufacturing efficiency by 15% in the past 5 years through strategic management of a highly stable team.
- Authored three company whitepapers that reviewed industry changes and outlined future business opportunities.
- Increased new client base by 40% through industry networking, making the firm less vulnerable to loss of business.
- Include specific information around how you did something – and the results – to give hiring managers more insight into what you offer.
Modernize Your Knowledge
Having a college degree is beneficial. But when you graduated does age you – and you can leave out your “Fraternity Brother of the Year Award” if you left school 20 years ago. It’s fine to not include when you obtained your degree; it’s acceptable to remove the year if it’s more than 10 years old. However – don’t leave your credentials off altogether! Your educational level is very important; if asked, you can provide your graduation date later. On your resume, put your education details near the end, as this becomes less of a highlight as your career progresses.
Strengthen this section by adding your technical knowledge and capabilities. These could be certifications, credentials, and other skills you have specific to your field, and which are NOT outdated (this can show your age in a negative way). For example – HTML, language proficiency, Photoshop, MySQL – are all timely and highly marketable skills. And if you’re currently taking a course, include it! Demonstrating your desire for learning is beneficial to an employer … especially as a more experienced job seeker.
Less Is More
You’ve built your career AND your resume, and have more details, but it shouldn’t be longer than two pages. Remove descriptions older than 10 years … especially if they have nothing to do with your current search and job goals. Hiring managers are looking at your most relevant and latest experience to see how you’re a good fit for what they currently need.
Add in Today’s Social Currency
Include your social profile links – show you’re keeping up with the younger competition – but only if the content is professional! LinkedIn is a must; a Twitter handle is even stronger. Add in your blog or Instagram account, or show how you create buzz on Tumblr. This demonstrates that you’re current with the changing pace of communication – and have joined the crowd.
Your resume should showcase the value you offer and what you bring to the table, especially as a seasoned, experienced job seeker. Emphasize your capabilities and latest accomplishments, and incorporate today’s social media networks – using good judgment on what you include. The focus isn’t necessarily on your number of years in the workforce, but on what you’ve achieved in recent years in your career – and how that applies to the job you’re now seeking.
Your experience can work in your favor … and give you an edge over your less-experienced competition!
AnnMarie Quintaglie McIlwain is a former marketing executive with Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson and consultant to several Fortune 100 companies. Now, as Founder and CEO of CareerFuel.net, she is a social entrepreneur who connects people with the information and inspiration they need in order to get jobs and start businesses. CareerFuel is the only site that gives people what they need to know to find jobs or start businesses plus blogs and short films about real people who made it happen.
A recipient of numerous civic and leadership awards, AnnMarie is a Board member of CFIRA.org, was a participant in the first White House Entrepreneurial Session, the recent WeOwnIt Summit, and the first Alley to the Valley Event. She is also a member of 85Broads and Startup America.
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