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Aug 12 2016
You've built yourself a long career history after many years of hard work, and your resume/CV is packed full of your extensive experience. But if you haven’t been on the job hunt for a while, you might be out of touch with today’s resume/CV trends, and you might be worried about how all of those years of experience will be perceived by prospective employers.
Most importantly, you want to know how you can show your future employer that age isn't a factor—that you are on top of your industry and up-to-date in current technology.
There are many ways to deal with these issues, and a few are outlined below to get you started. The key is to select a few tips at a time to work on—some can be done right away, and others will take time.
Downplay the back history in the resume/CV.
- Instead of saying you have 30+ years of experience, use a less “aging” number, such as 15+, or mirror the number of years called for in the job posting you are responding to.
- Consider tightly summarizing positions in the back history of the document—anything prior to 1990, for example. Instead of giving it full space and attention on the resume/CV, cut out all but one or two amazing achievements for those positions.
- Remove dates from some items, such as your degree(s), to help soften the long timeline.
Keep up with new technologies.
- Join the social media revolution! Creating and updating your LinkedIn profile is a great way to network, join relevant groups, and get your information out there.
- Take a look at your industry's technology—are you keeping up? Have some technologies been replaced? What about legacy systems?
Leverage your age as a benefit.
- In the interview and on the job, demonstrate that you are capable of multi-generational teamwork and communication.
- If you worked at one company for many years, you can mention to the interviewer that you are dependable and committed to the long run—and then give an example!
- A long history means a diverse list of challenges you've faced. Show the hiring manager—both in your resume/CV and in the interview—how you turned around a dire situation, or how you utilized a solution from your past to solve a more recent problem.
Stay on top of your industry.
- Research industry news to keep up with new developments and make sure your skills are up to date.
- Consider adding to your education and training by joining relevant organizations and attending seminars, conferences, and advanced courses.
Update your wardrobe.
Your professional presentation matters! If you have not updated your wardrobe or hairstyle in some time, enlist a “fashion consultant” (your spouse, a good friend, a career coach, or a store’s personal shopping service) to give you honest feedback and help you polish and update your image.
There are many ways to show an employer your value, regardless of your age. Make sure you update your resume/CV, cover letter, and your LinkedIn profile, and take some of the steps mentioned above to expand and improve your qualifications!