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Mar 26 2014
The world is experiencing the biggest aging workforce population in many decades. Don’t be in denial that age discrimination doesn’t exist. Employers are looking carefully at executives that are approaching the “too old” status.
Gone are the days when a company hires you for life. Companies can’t make that type of guarantee. Since they are forced to reinvent their business model and processes every 3-5 years, they have to look at the big picture, including their executive talent. How does a 50+ executive survive this mentality?
One of the essentials to surviving ageism is to build skills for any economy. Repackage your current skills and develop new ones that are valuable in today’s business expectations.
If you are too young to retire, and know you still have a few good years left in your career, consider some of these tips to help you get through the age gauntlet with your executive resume.
1. Tailor your resume for each type of job. The job description is key because it identifies the skills and keywords that are essential to mirror in your executive resume. The “one-size-fits-all” resume strategy doesn’t work here. However, if you have a compelling resume with basic content, adapting it to each job you apply for should not be a monumental task.
2. Keep your resume to two pages. Editing details of experience from more than 10-12 years ago can keep your resume succinct and highlights your most current expertise, which is what most employers are interested in anyway. Try to keep your resume to two pages by making sure the content is pertinent to the particular job opportunity you are seeking.
3. Be selective. Describing details of every single thing you were responsible for and accomplished during your executive career is not a good strategy at this time in your life. List the most important accomplishments that target the employer’s needs for the job you are applying for. You have a better chance of grabbing their attention with key information that’s pertinent to them.
4. Highlight technology and up-to-date skills. When you started your career, technology and skills that were state-of-the-art then are more than likely outdated now. Showing current technology and skills on your resume will help you paint a picture in the reader’s mind that you are contemporary and competitive with the needs of today’s executive workforce.
5. Eliminate outdated resume verbiage. Executive resumes continually evolve and the formatting and language of a resume from even 5-10 years ago has changed from what is used today. For example, including such phrases as “references available upon request” is no longer standard on a resume; it is a “given,” and will show your lack of knowledge of today’s acceptable resume jargon.
6. Include keywords and phrases. Everyone’s resume is stored digitally and may go through applicant tracking systems (ATS) for keyword searches. Most executives think that this doesn’t apply to them, but most executive resumes are run through an ATS before they are considered for a position.
Ageism is real, and some executives may experience it. The key is to continue to stay engaged and up-to-date. It is a resolution of how you think of your career today –your employment “life.” Having the essential survival mindset and tools will help you succeed at any age.