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Friday, January 13, 2012

8 Ways to Age Proof Your Resume:

Preparing a resume that emphasizes your value is a good first step to preparing for your job search. Here are eight ways to age-proof your resume:

1. Don’t provide your complete work history: This is the number one mistake job seekers make. If it’s before 1990, employers probably don’t care. Hiring managers are most interested in what you did recently, so concentrate on your recent career. If you feel compelled to delve into earlier experiences, create a section called “Early Career” and provide just the highlights and no dates.

2. Watch your language: Avoid age-revealing statements such as “35 years of experience” or age-defining clich├ęs such as “seasoned professional.”

3. Stick to a “combination” resume style, leading with a strong “Career Summary” section: You may have been advised to mask your years of experience with a functional resume format. But employers do not like to see functional resumes because they are often used by candidates who are trying to hide something. You don’t want employers reading your resume and searching for a possible problem. Unless your work history is extremely spotty or you are completely changing careers, stick to a chronological format.

4. Show that you’re current with technology and industry trends: Are you proficient with Wang or an expert at BASIC programming? While these programs were once cutting-edge, they have been replaced with new technology. Show that you’ve kept up with the times by removing antiquated equipment, programs, and tools, and highlight your knowledge of modern technology.

5. Consider dropping dates of education: This is a tough call, because hiring managers who want to know a person’s age will go right to the “Education” section and do the math. If your education occurred in the 1970s or earlier, it might be in your best interest to eliminate graduation dates.

6. Keep your school names updated: If you graduated from a school that has since changed its name, include the new name. If you are concerned about discrepancies in case an employer asks to see a transcript, write the former name of the school in parentheses.

7. Show that you’ve been continually learning or taking on new roles: The key is to demonstrate that your skills are fresh and in demand. It is important that you show that you are flexible and willing to adapt to organizational changes.

8. Quantify and expand on your achievements: As a professional with a long work history, this is your chance to accentuate the positive. You have what younger workers may lack — years of practical experience. Provide examples of how your performance contributed to your employers’ goals, mission, and bottom-line results.

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Anonymous said...

In South Africa we have this totally incredible Constitution which makes it an infringement of one's constitutional rights to ask someone's age or gender when they are seeking employment. Very heavy on age or gender discrimination. Which sometimes makes it awkward if you are looking to employ the right person for the right job without going through dozens of unsuitable interviews, but great if you are seeking employment! S.Africa rocks.

Nancy Wichmann said...

We have that in the USA as well, but it doesn't work well. If someone wants to discriminate, they just find other ways.

To the author: Please use proper case. All upper case is harder to read, and usually indicative of shouting.

Chris said...

Good advice - but STOP YELLING! ;>)

oceanflash08 said...

Fixed the format. Some weird HTML error. thanks,

Anonymous said...

No matter how you change things to fit in there will always be someone that will find a reason why they feel you are not fit for the position. Most of the time it is because they are so intimidated by your interview. Turn the table around and be quick on your feet think smart and play the game. Have that Poker Face on and leave them thinking.

Richard Vasquez said...

Great advise. Thanks.

Carol Moore said...

Anonymous you are so correct! If they really want someone that will automatically buy into their philosophy because they (the candidate) doesn't know any better. I prefer to be honest particularly in this day in age because first and foremost experience is the best teacher. Experience in the workforce makes your knowledge invaluable, you can spot the pretenders and you become more adept at displaying the reasons you are an asset to an organization. Unfortunately salary restrictions and sometimes organizational arrogance makes it difficult for a "seasoned" candidate to get interviews and/or offers because the interviewers are intimidated by your knowledge. I find the authors insights to be less useful in that, I believe a candidate with a breadth of experience that covers decades to be very insightful and useful. If a person knows fortran, pascal, basic or another antiquated (by their perspective) programming language and the person has transitioned to other platforms or programming languages it indicates if the indiividual understands logic and programming constructs which are very useful and relevant particularly if you are dealing with historical data or possibly companies that may still be dinosaurs in the workplace. It also allows those individuals to bridge gaps that someone who is "cutting edge" may gloss over as unimportant. Someone with experience with more antiquated programming languaages can also understand much more scientific applications. The past is our instruction guide of what to do and not do in the future. There is no usefulness in denying its existence! And until employer's representatives lose their intimidation to candidates that exhibit a broad base of experience then things will not change.

Unknown said...

Its sucks to be 55 and looking for a job.

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