For older job seekers, the search process can feel daunting. You may worry about your ability to keep up with recent graduates who are fully aware of the latest technology and industry trends. You may also fear that hiring managers will see your age as a disadvantage. In reality, older job seekers are just as eligible and in demand as younger workers. In fact, older job seekers often have advantages over those who are new to the business. However, older people who are back in the job hunt should keep these points in mind when it comes to resume writing:
Keep your skills relevant
Some would-be employees worry that they don’t know as much as younger searchers. While this may be the case, it doesn’t have to be. Many community centers, continuing education facilities, libraries, and schools offer low-cost or free classes that can help an older job seeker keep their skills sharp. This may include learning the basics of web design, getting comfortable with programs such as Excel, or learning about social media. An applicant who fears that their skills have been far surpassed by the younger generation should make a proactive approach to change this.
Know your accomplishments
If it’s been a while since you threw your hat into the job hunt ring, it’s time to analyze your skills and abilities before you submit a resume. Think about some of your major career accomplishments, and make sure that you articulate these abilities well. If you need help, consider asking a close family member or friend about how they view your career. They may be able to offer a new perspective on the accomplishments that matter the most.
Read up on industry trends
For those who are far removed from school, it’s important to make sure that you’re still aware of any major industry developments. These details may come up in an interview, so you should be able to speak intelligently about them. Whether it’s a major merger in the field or a new type of technology that has recently been introduced, knowing what’s going on is important no matter what year you graduated.
Make it relevant
Having plenty of experience in the field is usually a positive thing, but you have to know how to position it correctly. When you’ve worked for a long time, your resume can get lengthy and overwhelming for a hiring manager. Instead of adding every summer job you had when you were a teenager, trim it down and keep only the important and relevant experiences. This will put the focus on the work you’ve done that matters most.
Many recent graduates highlight their educational experience front and center since it is often most relevant to the job they’re hoping to land. This isn’t the best strategy for older job seekers. While you should still include your educational background on your resume, more of the emphasis should be on your accomplishments and important career moves. Use your experience to your advantage and make your resume really pop.
If you’re an older job seeker, what have you done to make sure that your resume stays relevant as you continue your hunt? Share with us below.
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Brady Withers