Regardless of your age, these Resume Tips are essential…
But particularly if you are over 45 so you won’t be discriminated out.
The No 1 Resume Tip: Multiple contact details are essential – be easily reachable…
Make it easy for the employer! Put your mobile, your email and your LinkedIn address on the first page of your resume.
It is essential for you as a modern professional to be available on your smartphone and to check your email frequently. This is especially important for older people who most young recruiters believe don’t ‘get’ technology.
If your current or previous employer is not a household name, briefly describe their size, market sector and turnover.
Even if they are well known, it helps to provide an idea of the structure of the department/division you worked in to give the employer a better understanding.
Reverse Chronological order…
Display your most recent job first and then work backwards giving less space to each job as you go. What comes first is the most important in any list, which includes your resume – what you did five or eight years ago is much less relevant.
Putting the title of the person you reported to in each position can also provide a useful perspective.
Include date ranges in your employment history section, along with the full details of the companies that you worked for and your job title. This will help you stand out in a long list of applicants, particularly now that many use Application Tracking Software.
Use bullets for listing them – rank them in order of importance for this application, for this employer.
Tailoring each application is time well spent – if you follow the ideas in this article, you will only be applying for a few jobs anyway. And please, if you have more than five or six bullets, delete some by using an A, B, C ranking system and then dropping off the Cs. Ten or twelve bullets won’t be read or remembered.
Note: You would also select different points, and in a different rank order, if you are applying for two very different types of roles. This often happens when also seeking a career change.
Always try to show you have continually improved yourself and are continually learning – vital in the 2020s as the pace of change is now so fast.
It is important to try to include at least two achievements for every role – make clear the impact you had to the organisation and team.
Most Australians are conditioned not to blow our own trumpets (ignore this bit you Americans, particularly you Donald T) – writing about achievements can be hard.
Also, when we are good at something, it tends to come easily, and we underestimate it’s value. However, it is essential – future employers want to know what you can do for them. And older people have a wider range of skills than the young.
Sometimes it may not, at first glance, seem like a lot. Here’s a list of some not-so-obvious but important ones that may not have been part of your paid employment…
Being selected to represent the company at conferences
Recruiter reaching out to potential applicants
Bringing in new processes; making operations more efficient
Doing community service; organising a staff social event
Winning an employee award (though don’t overstate its importance – a slight gilding is enough!)
Some sports achievement – being captain; running a half marathon; winning something
Rarely being absent or sick – particularly when this is a problem in your industry (and remember the myth about older workers taking more sick days: FAKE NEWS)
Doing well in exams or succeeding in fields seemingly unrelated to your career – we older people have many more types of experience, including volunteering
Managing a project for your company that is outside your normal work
When applying for a job, turn over in your mind the ad and figure out the types of skills that the recruiter is looking for.
For example, if a recruiter is hiring for a senior accountant, they are most likely looking for those who are good with numbers, who have high attention to detail and who are diligent.
Put some effort into thinking about what they are looking for and then make sure your resume shows you have it – don’t make it easy for the Ageists to screen you out.
Competencies are important because they are usually keywords that employers will be looking for in your resume. They must be customised to this application.
There are numerous extremely popular ones that are commonly included in job ads. Try to work these in if they are relevant (they usually are). They are…
Attention to detail
Ability to handle pressure
Ability to take the initiative
Does your Resume have these Mistakes?
Strange or fancy fonts; jokes; photographs; landscape (printed sideways); 3+ pages; First page just your name and address; a new page for every section; clip art drawings; fancy bullet points
Research of recruiters and employers shows that these mistakes all reduce your chances of getting the interview.
There are always exceptions to some of these rules if you’re an artist, designer or architect. You still need to come across as professional so there are limits to being ‘arty’!.
If you are required to send a paper copy of your resume, don’t use fancy paper colours and elaborate binders (or in fact, ANY binders). For every person who likes one of these fancy items, there will be many, many more who don’t.
OK, do you live in Australia and have the wisdom of years?