If you’re getting older—perhaps nearing retirement age—but still wish to continue working, competing with the younger generation can be difficult. In an ideal world, employers would not eliminate interview candidates on the basis of age; however it’s often wise to remove any age-specific references from your resume, to give you the best change of getting an interview. If you’re in this situation, creating a resume that emphasizes your skills and your value, and de-emphasizes your age is the best approach.
1.) Choose the Right Resume Format
combination format, in which skills are emphasized over work experience. However, using this format can often make employers feel as though you’re trying to hide something. Counteract this by choosing a functional resume formatMany older job seekers are advised to use the that includes aspects of both the chronological format and functional resumes.
This type of resume includes a chronological work history, but gives special prominence to accomplishments and skills, as well. Using a reverse chronological format for work history—in which work experience is ordered from most to least recent—is another good approach.
2.) Chop your Work History
Most employers are only concerned with your recent work history—there’s no need for your resume to let on that you’ve been working for thirty or forty years.
Remove your work history prior to 1990 or so, unless you feel there’s something that deserves a special mention. If you were educated prior to the 1980s, it may also be a good idea to remove graduation dates from the education section.
3.) Use Neutral Language
Avoid using language that reveals your age. Cut out phrases like “30 years of experience in the field” that clearly indicate how long you’ve been in the work-force.
4.) Play up your Current Knowledge and Skills
Use your resume to emphasize your knowledge of current techniques or technology in your field—remove references to any outdated tools and equipment and highlight what you know about modern technology.
Another good technique is demonstrating your flexibility and your desire to learn new professional techniques by highlighting any new skills you’ve learned in the last one or two decades.
5.) Accentuate your Achievements
With your longer work history, you’ve got a great opportunity to provide real examples of how you’ve contributed to the companies you’ve worked for. Use examples that highlight ways in which you’ve added value by increasing sales or productivity, for example.