Some older people believe they should easily be able to get a new job because of their extensive experience. While that seems reasonable, there’s a lot more to take into consideration. A lot of companies today are looking for younger people out of college with a few years of experience and new ideas. The general perception is older people won’t come in with those new ideas and may be difficult to train. Here is a quick guide for older employees embarking on a new job search.
(Career Confidential offers a free training webinar on 5 Tips to Beat Age Discrimination in a Job Search.)
What to Put In a Cover Letter
The best resume writing services will suggest not bragging about your experience. Instead of indicating how many years of experience you have, simply state your “significant” experience. Also, avoid re-stating your job history in your cover letter. Even though your approximate age will be evident in an interview, you don’t want to show your age on paper. You should consider emphasizing your willingness to learn and adapt to new ideas and combine that with your proven experience and results.
(Download a Free Podcast on How to Write a Great Cover Letter!)
Brushing Up Your Resume
There is some gray area when it comes to what information to put on your resume when you have 25+ years of experience. It’s easy to list out all the jobs you have and their corresponding dates, but it’s also easy for a recruiter to add up your age. While age shouldn’t play a big factor in the job search process, the unfortunate reality of “ageism” is there. Many executive resume services will tell you to focus on results in your resume. Besides, if you have so much experience to talk about, potential employers want to know what you accomplished with that experience. You can also summarize your early experience into a paragraph that lets the reader know what you did without the redundancy of jobs going back 30+ years.
Be Honest, But Not Too Extensive
You shouldn’t lie about your age, but you also shouldn’t give it to a potential employer willingly unless they ask for it. If you aren’t sure how to portray your age on paper, the best resume writing services can help you out. Lying on your resume or cover letter is the worst thing you can do. Sometimes you just have to be creative in order to get your foot in the door for an interview. At that point, it’s up to you to nail the interview!
Your Online Presence
Older employees may or may not be on professional networking sites like LinkedIn. Having a complete LinkedIn profile is great for adding accomplishments you don’t want to put on your resume. However, you have to also be careful with your LinkedIn profile development and avoid putting too much information out there. The use of keywords is critical when creating a LinkedIn profile. Sometimes people will overlook your age if they see you have the exact amount of experience they are looking for.
By Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW, BS/HR, a Certified Professional & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, Inc. She has achieved international recognition following nominations and wins of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award. Find Erin at http://exclusive-executive-resumes.com.