As the market becomes more competitive, every job seeker should aim to make their resume stand out. If you are an older professional looking for a job, polishing a resume may present a unique challenge: showing your experience and skills in a way that highlights your value to potential employers while also addressing any concerns about your age. For the younger, less experienced job seeker, the challenge is different: a lack of substantial work experience that can make a resume look sparse.
Regardless of which group you fall in, there are things you can do to age-proof your resume and increase your chances of landing your next job. Whether you’re a fresh graduate trying to prove your worth or a seasoned professional who worries you’re getting fewer interviews, age-proofing your resume might be helpful. We look at a few actionable strategies that can make your resume ageless, whether younger, older, or somewhere in between.
Age-Proof Resume Strategies at Any Career Stage
If you are worried your age might hinder your prospects for landing your dream job, here are a few tips you may want to consider.
- Focus on Relevance, Not Chronology. Regardless of age, always prioritize the most relevant experience on your resume. For younger job hunters, this may mean showcasing internship or volunteer roles that directly correlate to the desired position. For older job seekers, listing only the last 10–15 years of work experience may be beneficial to keep things current and pertinent.
- Utilize a Functional Resume. Instead of a traditional chronological layout, consider trying a functional format. This style first highlights your skills and accomplishments and is particularly beneficial for younger candidates who may lack extensive work history but have transferable skills and seasoned professionals who wish to draw attention away from the length of their career and emphasize their proficiencies.
- Update Your Skillset. Both older and younger job seekers benefit from showcasing up-to-date skills. Consider taking online courses or attending workshops to bolster your tech-savviness or industry knowledge. List these newly acquired skills prominently.
- Avoid Dates if Unnecessary. This doesn’t mean omitting job tenure dates. Younger applicants may wish to leave off the graduation year if it’s very recent, while older applicants may choose to omit early education dates to avoid giving away their age.
- Show Adaptability and Willingness to Learn. Especially valuable for older professionals, showcasing instances where you’ve adapted to new technologies or methods can dispel myths about an inability to learn new tricks. Meanwhile, younger applicants can emphasize their quick learning curves in new environments.
- Network Beyond Your Age Group. In the age of LinkedIn and virtual events, it’s easier than ever to make connections outside your immediate age demographic. Networking with a diverse group can provide job leads and introduce you to hiring managers who value a mix of experiences.
- Solicit Feedback. Before finalizing your resume, ask peers from various age groups to review it. They might offer insights on dated language or suggest modern terminologies that can make your resume appealing to a broader audience.
- Personal Branding is Ageless. Create a consistent personal brand across your resume, cover letter, and online profiles. This consistency tells employers you’re self-aware and polished, regardless of age.
- Highlight Accomplishments Over Tasks. Showcasing what you achieved, rather than merely listing your duties, is a universal strategy that works for all ages. By focusing on accomplishments, you illustrate the tangible value you bring to a position.
- Stay Positive and Authentic. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Authenticity shines through and is appreciated by hiring managers. If age concerns arise in interviews, steer the conversation back to your skills, experiences, and passion for the role.
The Age-Proof Resume – Final Thoughts
An age-proof resume showcases your strengths, skills, and experiences in the best light. By focusing on relevance, modernizing where necessary, and maintaining authenticity, you’ll set yourself up for success in today’s diverse job market. Remember, age is but a number; your value as a potential employee is timeless.
Vernovis Can Help You Find Your Next Job
If you’re in the market for a new job, consider Vernovis. We are more than a recruitment service; we enhance your ability to develop your professional brand and value proposition. Our total talent solution represents IT, cybersecurity, accounting, and finance professionals, helping them achieve their career goals by matching them with critical projects and dynamic jobs in Ohio and the Midwest. Learn more about our services or reach out today.