Tips for resume writing for older job seekers

Updated: Feb 28

For older individuals looking for a second career after retirement, it is important to tweak your resume to suit the job that you want to apply for. Here are some tips for resume writing for the older job seeker to combat ageism in hiring:

Focusing on your relevant skills, experiences and successes is a good way to start writing your resume. Employers want to see that you have the skills that are most relevant to the job that you are applying for and experiences that align you with the company. A good way to highlight your skills is to tailor your resume for each different job application to provide a custom list of skills and experiences that best suit the job description and requirements. Another way is to highlight transferable skills that you have obtained through your prior job experiences, especially if you have been through career changes. Transferable skills reflect professional growth and are highly sought after by hiring managers. Also, include your relevant training, conferences and organisations that show that you are continuously learning new skills.

Show that you are connected online by including a link to your Linkedin on your resume. Having an updated Linkedin shows that you are able to network and stay connected with your professional life online. Having a LinkedIn profile also exposes you to online recruiters and gives recruiters easy access to your past companies’ information.

One mistake that older job seekers make is leaving in irrelevant work experiences from eons ago. Employers are most interested in your most recent work experiences, not your first job from 30 years ago. A good estimate of how far back to go in your resume would be to go in reverse chronological order when writing your experiences and avoid going further than 15 years from the present. If you must include earlier experiences, grouping older positions together in a brief Early Career Section would be ideal.

Avoid including years in your resume to avoid workplace ageism during the hiring process. Employers do not need to know which year you went to school/University. Also, it is okay to put “experienced in” but it would be good to avoid “over 25 years of experience”.

In conclusion, there are many ways to tweak your resume to avoid being daunted by ageism in the modern hiring experience. Keep in mind that your experience in the professional world is an advantage. Remember to highlight your most relevant skills and always tailor your resume for the job that you are applying for. Good Luck!

Source: Monster, the balance careers