The employment market can be tough for anyone these days, but if you are aged over 50 and looking for work, you probably feel that it’s a lost cause. The Sloan Centre at Boston College have called this generation the “new unemployables” with an increase in involuntary part time work and possible age discrimination. Fear not though, as in many cases age is irrelevant and in some, it is even viewed as positive. Experience is the trump card that this generation can rely on, and employers love it. But even though you may have this experience it can be difficult to know how to represent this smartly across your resume, particularly if you haven’t written one in a while. There are ways you can tailor your resume, such as a resume builder, to suit your broad experience and ensure employers don’t write you off at first glance.
The format of your resume should be clear, concise and only contain relevant details. For example, there is no need to include your date of birth or your marital status; these are no longer details that employers should be concerned about. You should ensure that employers can clearly understand who you are and what you do within a few minutes of reading the resume, instead of a career obejctive list your years of accumulated skills at the top of your resume, You may find yourself instantly rejected if your resume is in an uncoordinated format such as chronological instead of reverse chronological or it is unclear what you actually do.
Length of Experience
Many candidates over 50 are unsure how far to go back with their experience, without the resume becoming messy. You should aim to keep your resume to no more than 2 pages in length and only go as far back as 10 – 15 years. If you must go back any further than this and have had a varied career in multiple industries consider using a chrono-functional resume – also known as a combination resume. This will allow you to mention your jobs further back while still including all your skills at the top of the resume. That said, using a reverse chronological resume is still the best. If the employer queries your past experience, you can always go into more detail during the interview.
Age is irrelevant when it comes to how up-to-date you may or may not be with technology; some over 50’s have much better skills in this department than the younger generation. The resume is the place to let employers know that though. If you have experience in all the latest software and you keep updated in social media trends, make sure this is highlighted at the top of your resume, view these resume samples for ideas. For example, using Microsoft 365 or accounting software or updating social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+. The employer only wants to know that you have the skills for the job, they are not really concerned what age you are (or they shouldn’t be anyway).
Cover Employment Gaps
If you have been working for over 30 years, you will probably have at least a few employment gaps on your resume and it is important to ensure you cover these, especially if these are recent. If you have been out of work recently, make sure the time won’t be perceived as wasted, as an employer will be concerned that you will be nervous about returning to work. Some examples of covering employment gaps are any skills you learned, such as learning a new language (verbal or programmatic), caring for family or volunteering. This can include charity work you have perhaps been involved in or any sports you may have undertaken – however non-strenuous they may be. Not only do these gaps provide a better understanding of how motivated you are but are also a great talking point at an interview.
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