Regardless of the strength of the economy and the competition in the job market, your resume is the only chance you get to make a great first impression on a hiring manager. Whether you are fresh out of college or exploring a career change after thirty years doing the same thing, you must do something within your resume that commands attention and basically forces the hiring manager to call you up for an interview. And landing that interview can be a bit more difficult for seniors. There is definitely a certain amount of ageism in the corporate world, and regardless of your wealth of experience you will have to overcome this bias. Here are five tips to help your resume rise to the top of the pack.
First and foremost, keep things simple. Resumes are typically one to two pages, but if you can keep it to a single page you’ll be better off. And keep the details you convey about each of your jobs simple and focused. Go with bullet points to lay out the highlights instead of including whole paragraphs that might drag on and cause the reader to lose interest. And make sure you note the most important details to that particular employer right at the top.
Along those lines, make sure you start the resume with something that will really grab the reader’s attention and not let up. Put your most impressive foot forward in a series of highlights. That could be your education, but consider what you have on your side as a senior that younger employees don’t have, and that is a long career full of achievements. Don’t be concerned that your extensive career will turn people off due to your age. Instead, show the reader how you have used those years in the best possible ways.
While you probably do have an impressive list of career achievements, the last thing you want to do is lay out your entire lifetime of work history. That could lead to a resume that is too long, unfocused, and a real turn off to hiring managers. The best choice is to tailor your resume based on the company you are applying with. Include relevant job information only, and change it up to fit the specifics of the job. Feel free to mention that you have several other positions you can detail, but just keep it to the most recent position and your career highlights.
While you don’t want to lie on your resume, there are certain omissions that are understandable. One of those is the date when you attended college. This is an area where ageism can really come into play. If your college career was several decades ago, just note the school you attended. If you are applying for a job that requires some more recent training, feel free to add that in to show that you are staying current.
Finally, approach the entire resume with confidence. Don’t apologize for your age, but wear it as a badge of honor. Gone are the days when people would work for a single company for their entire lives. It is very common for individuals to have two or even three separate careers over their lifetimes, and your experience can be a vital addition to any company. In the end, there are plenty of people hunting around www.umbrellacompanies.org.uk that wish they had your experience to tout. So forget about the young and hungry folks battling for those jobs and instead think about everything you bring to the table. That confidence will show through in your resume, and help it draw eyes.