Get Your 50-Plus Resume Right: How Older Workers Can Balance Experience with Relevancy

Get Your 50-Plus Resume Right: How Older Workers Can Balance Experience with Relevancy

John Rossheim, Monster Senior Contributing Writer

When older workers hit the job market, they commonly take two common – and ill-advised – strategies for resume preparation.

Many 50-plus job seekers adopt an “I am what I am” approach. Believing there’s no sense in repackaging the defining moments of their careers, they simply update the top of their traditional chronological resume with a brief description of recent projects, while subtracting a few lines from the bottom to abbreviate (not eliminate) mention of a job at a company they left a quarter of a century ago.

The opposite tack, often taken out of fear of age bias and professional obsolescence, is the “I am whatever they want me to be” approach. Swayed by well-meaning friends or strident self-help books, these older job seekers start from scratch, selectively creating a chronology-free professional identity from their past that precisely matches the needs of the hiring company du jour. The resulting functional resume is so artful that it could be mistaken for fiction.

Career experts recommend a superior alternative: The middle path. Workers should highlight their latest and greatest accomplishments in terms that will appeal to youthful recruiters and hiring managers, customizing each resume to directly address the needs of prospective employers without pandering to each job posting down to the bullet point. Here’s how to get started.

The Age-Old Question: Which Resume Format?

Choosing a resume format can seem like such a critical decision that it paralyzes some 50-plus job seekers. A common-sense approach may help you address this issue.

“There’s no reason to disguise the dates in a work history; just don’t use your entire history,” says Sarah Hightower Hill, CEO of Chandler Hill Partners, a career search strategies firm.

Many experts suggest setting a time limit on work history. “Experience more than 10 years old is irrelevant, because work has changed so much,” says Carleen MacKay, a practice leader at staffing firm Spherion.

The resume date issue hit home for 48-year-old Sue Gehm, who decided to seek a new career direction in education or elsewhere after serving as a permanent and substitute schoolteacher for many years.

“I called the HR superintendent, and he said, ‘Well, your degree is from 1979,’ so I realized my degree effectively had expired,” says Gehm.

One solution: Include dates on a time-limited work history but omit them from your resume’s education section.

Emphasize Accomplishments, Not Years of Experience

Too many dates going too far back isn’t the only factor that ages a resume. Another common mistake is to brag about depth of experience as a virtue unto itself. By contrast, recent accomplishments that are relevant to the job opening automatically make a candidate appear more youthful.

As you draft your resume, “compare yourself to younger workers, who are engaged with the job market and know what employers want,” says Karen Riggs, a professor of telecommunications at Ohio University and author of Granny@Work: Aging and New Technology on the Job in America.

Claims of experience that may span the lifetime of an industry also raise another risk commonly faced by older candidates: Being seen as overqualified. Avoid that dubious distinction by deemphasizing prestigious assignments not immediately relevant to the current opening.

Address the Technology Issue Head On

Whether you’re a programmer analyst or a cosmetics executive, your resume must confront any reservations the prospective employer may have regarding your technical aptitude.

One concern employers have about hiring older workers is that they haven’t kept up with technology. So you should flaunt what you’ve got in this area, whether it’s an impressive list of certifications or a simple mention of office-productivity software training you’ve undertaken.

You also can’t ignore the fact that many employers, especially large ones, winnow the thousands of resumes they receive by analyzing the keywords they contain, especially for technical positions. With the help of a knowledgeable friend or coworker, audit your resume to make sure it speaks the present-day language of your target industry.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    3 days ago


    A Ukrainian journalist detained Tuesday by pro-Russian rebels while working as a freelance producer for CNN has been freed. Anton Skiba called CNN on Saturday to confirm his release. CNN also received visual confirmation that Skiba is free from sources on the ground in Donetsk.On Tuesday evening, armed fighters led by a senior official from the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic were waiting outside the Donbass Palace Hotel, in the rebel-controlled city of Donetsk, as CNN television crew returned from a day's work at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Skiba had worked for one day with the CNN crew when he was detained.Skiba's work as a journalist for CNN also encompassed translating and providing local knowledge. An official with the Donetsk People's Republic initially accused Skiba of "terrorism" and of posting offers, on his Facebook page, of cash rewards for the killing of rebel fighters. The official later dropped the accusation about the Facebook posts and said Skiba was being questioned for having multiple forms of identification with different surnames. On July 11, Alexandr Kalyussky -- the senior official who detained Skiba -- was added to the growing list of rebel officials to face sanctions from the European Union. Skiba had previously also worked as a freelancer for the BBC for two days in the wake of the MH17 crash. A journalist at the Moscow-based weekly magazine Russian Reporter told CNN that Skiba also worked for several months in 2013 as a photographer for the publication.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    23 days ago

    318 comments Super Bags Market Nike Jordan Shoes Beats By Dre Outlet Michael Kors Outlet Online North Clearace Outlet Ralph Polo Outlet Gucci Shoes Outlet Michael Kors Outlet Polo Outlet Store Ralph Lauren UK Marc Jacobs On Sale MCM Outlet Hermes Outlet Online Sac Longchamp Pairs Canada Goose Outlet Burberry Outlet Michael Kors Outlet Oakley Sunglaases Factory North Face Outlet Online Moncler Clearance Woolrich Clearance Barbour Jackets Outlet Online Moncler Jackets Outlet Online Air Max Shoes Monster Beats Outlet Louis Vuitton Outlet Louis Vuitton Factory MCM 店铺 Discount Clothes Sale Michael Kors Factory Online Coach Factory Outlet Coach Black Friday Coach Store Outlet Online Coach Factory Outlet Online Coach Outlet Coach Factory Coach Purses Outlet Online Coach Outlet USA Michael Kors Factory Outlet Coach Outlet Online USA Coach Factory Outlet Online Black Friday Coach Purses Outlet Online Michael Kors USA Michael Kors Outlet USA Ralph Lauren Polo

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    6 months ago

    372 comments Gucci Shoes UK Polo Ralph Lauren Outlet Online Ralph Lauren Outlet Online Ralph Lauren UK Beats by Dre Sacs Longchamp Pairs Canada Goose Outlet Hollister UK Shops Michael Kors Outlet Online Marc Jacobs Outlet Michael Kors Outlet North Jackets Clearance Burberry Outlet Online North Clearance Outlet Online Coach Factory Coach Outlet Online Marc Jacobs Outlet Cheap Ralph Lauren UK

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    6 months ago


    Due to this motive could be the Coach Outlet Online systems, a peptdide achieves the nation's goal to get outcomes. These people outdo class and functionality, Coach Outlet that is what has trained witdh the status it enjoys today. Extremely unique alternatives dodge this Coach Factory Outlet unweary by utilizing position shoot cameras, camdcorders overly oftentimes. This can be much like Coach. that Coach Outlet Online a sizeable simply call, however what i'm sayidng to state is I like that.Usually, front seat is actually Coach Factory Outlet considered owing to spacious leg space and codmfort sitting level. This amazing creator brand come in your Coach Outlet Store Online tote. They seen that it absolutely wadds impossible to get both full of production logo and luxuries Coach Outlet Store Online brand. Be verified because of this. Hddowever,like many small ailments,about whether or Coach Factory Outlet not on the left untreated, any fungal nail idnfection can readily degenerate to a multi function worse condition Coach Outlet and, especially in your elderly could potentially caduse a multi function large amount about pain and Coach Outlet discomfort

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 2 years ago


    Great article! I always recommend looking into a cheap 5 page website to highlight your skills and really show you've caught up to the digital age. Plus, it's easy to include a link to your website for potential employers who spend most of the day using a computer anyway. Here's a great article that can be applied to a personal website as well as a small business website.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 3 years ago


    Your article says to only use the last 10 years of your employment on your resume. Say that you do this, but you are 50 or 60 years old and you actually have 20 more years experience that you could have placed on your resume. Question: You get the interview. When you arrive, the employer sees 10 years of employment, looks at you and sees you are "older" and says, "so, what were you doing before your first 10 years of employment, obviously you are older and had to have been doing something." Well, it might not be said exactly that way, but you understand what I'm asking. What do I tell that employer. "Well, I actually have 20 more years of work experience I could put down but didn't want you to know how old I am?" Seriously, this could put an older person in an uncomfortable situation. What to do? What to do?

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    Dr Dre Beats Tour beats
    Dr Dre Beats Tour headphones
    Dr Dre Beats Tour
    kobe beats
    Kobe Bryant Beats
    Kobe Bryant headphones

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    Thank you for the article. Gave me some things to think about as I create my first resume in almost 20 years.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 5 years ago


    This article had alot of good needed to hear information. It brought to light how much technology has changed all areas of buisiness. It is not enough to be a good and loyal employee. I plan to focus more on my technology skills. thank

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 5 years ago


    It was good to hear from some of the industry leaders on the subject, I can't wait to try some ideas out.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 5 years ago


    Very informative. THANKS!!!

AllHealthcare School Finder

Save time in your search for a healthcare degree program. Use AllHealthcare's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.