Writing your resume gives you the right to subtly brag about your work-related achievements. After all, resumes are written deliberately to impress whoever reads it, particularly your future employers. However, what we all need to remember is that there is such a thing as “over the hill” when it comes to writing your resume. Sure, you want to tell your reader all about you but you do not have to make it seem like your personal memoir; if you do, you are certain that your resume will go to the bin even before your reader finishes reading your name. There is a fine line between crafting an impressive resume and an overdone and lengthy but unsubstantial one and many, unfortunately, create theirs that fall into the latter.
How to Ensure Your Resume Doesn’t Look “Over the Hill”
Being older and having more job experiences, it is understandable that people our age would have resumes that would not fit just a page or two. However, this does not excuse us from having overdone resumes. Simply put, lengthy resumes are boring. You would want to engage your readers when they read your resume and you could not do it if yours consist of ten pages. Here lies the dilemma of everyone who wants to revise their resumes: how can you write a resume that showcases all your skills and accomplishments without it ending up being ‘over the hill’? It may seem such a simple question but when you begin writing your resume, you would then realize how difficult it is to craft the perfect resume. In order to do so, I have listed some ideas and reminders to guide you in updating your resume:
Focus on your accomplishments. Employers nowadays look at a prospective employee’s work accomplishments more than the length of time one has been working. They want to know about what sets you apart from the other candidates. Yes, you may have decades worth of experience but if your competition shows that he or she is much more adept at a managerial position, the employer may likely pick him or her over you. You need to show that your accomplishments in your previous positions have proven you capable of doing certain tasks required for the job.
Keep it simple. Trying to impress the prospective employer by using big words will not show that you are intellectual and that you are fit for the job; it will backfire and will likely make you seem pretentious. You do not need him or her to go and grab a dictionary while perusing your resume because he or she does not understand what you are trying to say in your resume. You also need to be straight to the point.
Mention only the most relevant information. Stating that you were the champion of your previous company’s annual bowling tournament ten years ago is just clutter to your resume that you do not need. Stick with the basics. The most vital parts of a resume are those that highlight your skills, experiences, and accomplishments so focus on those parts. You would want your prospective employer to know how you were able to successfully achieve in having hundreds of sales in a short period of time, not how many bowling trophies you have collected over the years.
State only your most recent work experiences. For someone who has been part of the workforce for over thirty years, you do not have to mention each and every single job or position you have had since you started working. You can just enumerate the positions you have held for the last decade, which is the most ideal. But if you have some work experiences that date back earlier than that, you can include another section with a brief summary of your previous work experiences without mentioning the dates.
Updating your resume does not only mean adding your latest experiences. We are currently living in the digital age so there is absolutely no reason for you to submit a typewritten, or worse, handwritten resume. Gone are the days where you have to go from building to building just to pass your resume and hope that the receptionists would pass it along. Most companies prefer receiving resumes through email so it is advisable to do so. Emailing your digital resume shows that despite your age, you have been able to keep up with the times and that you are perfectly capable of handling the latest technology, which is something that other people believe people our age have difficulty in.
Tailor fit your resume’s content according to the position you are applying for. Being considered overqualified for a certain position is one of the major problems that jobseekers our age face. Our experiences often make it seem that we are “too good” for that position. To avoid this, you should highlight only your experiences and accomplishments that are relevant to the position you want. You have to show that, yes, you may have been working for such a long time and have a lot of experience but you are still the best person for the job because you have the skills they want.
Bonus Tip: If you are utilising LinkedIn to find a new job, here’s an advice from LinkedIn’s Career Expert, Nicole Williams:
@seniorprnr I'd include all relevant work experience. It's the energy & style you write your profile that will help you appear up to date.
— Nicole Williams (@thegirlontop) January 7, 2015
In short, the challenge in writing the resume for older job seekers like you is how to trim down your resume to include only relevant information that would make the prospective employer not think twice about contacting you for an interview. Let your new resume be a better reflection of your hard-earned skills, talents, and expertise.
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