If you are 50-60 years old, you can contribute your rich experience to any company. Sadly, when going for job interviews not everyone sees it this way.
Some recruiters, deliberately or not, are involved in “age profiling”, which means judging a candidate not by skills and qualifications, but by generational traits. Many stereotypes exist, like “Older employers do not get the way technology works” or “Their attitude to a job is in conflict with a modern business culture”, “They are too qualified and want to get a higher salary”.
Though, it does not mean that all the cards are stacked against an older candidate. It is just an extra challenge for you, the challenge to assure the recruiter you are worth being hired. This challenge starts from your resume, as it is the first step of an application.
To get an invitation to an interview, your resume should be chosen first. It should dissipate age prejudice of the hirer towards you. It should display your experience and skills and make your age irrelevant.
Here are the main mistakes of older workers when writing a resume.
Your status of unemployed can be a shock to you. Maybe, you worked for ten or even more years for the same employer and never thought you will require the resume again. You are not the only one. Mergers, downsizing and desire to save by replacing higher-paid professional with lower-paid young workers has made a lot of people lose their job and look for a new one.
There can be multiple reasons. Some people are bored with doing the same thing for 20 years. That is why they want to try themselves in another sphere. Your resume should show how your experience on your previous position will be rendered to the new career.
Not writing your age
It is recommended not to hide your age. Each HR manager is aware of this trick, and the lack of a date of birth in your resume is actually a recognition that you are concerned about your age.
Going way back
Write only about last ten years of your working experience. Limit your resume to two pages. Recruiters look at your resume only for 20-30 seconds. Describe your working experience using small fragments: that you improved sales by 20 % or cut some costs. Highlight that you know how to use modern technologies if a position requires it. Select a traditional font, like Times New Roman.
Not refreshing your resume
When you start changing your life, take time to refresh your resume. Remove “extra” dates from the resume – they distract attention from the key points. Make the resume more functional, focus not on the duration of your work, but on the achievements, qualifications, and skills.
Having no social media presence
Social media is created not only for youngsters. People regardless of their age use its virtues. If you have a social media profile, it will show not only that you are aware of its benefits.
If you are still not on LinkedIn, register right now. This profile will provide you with resume supplement and support your statements. Some job hunters add not only name and contact information to the resume but also URL to the LinkedIn profile as well.
Using outdated email
If you use Yahoo or AOL email, better change it. It will show you are old-fashioned. Avoid email addresses, that highlight your age, such as mjones1954. Better create Gmail or Outlook profile. It will show you are in touch with modern tendencies. If need a new email address, you can add your profession to the existing one. For example ‘m.jones.marketer’ or ‘m.jones.accountant’.
Underestimating or overestimating yourself
The question of salary is very important without any doubt. However, do not bring up this issue before your candidacy is approved. Do not specify any particular number on the resume. If the employer is interested in your money claims, ask how much he is willing to offer.
Ann Mosley is a writer at Resume Writing Lab. She enjoys learning new job search tendencies and eagerly shares her ideas with other specialists and her readers.