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Does Your Old Resume Say “Has Been”?

If you’re a job seeker over 50, you may be feeling ignored by employers. You’re certainly not ready to retire, but young recruiters seem to put you in the geriatric generation. If you’re feeling symptoms of age discrimination, your resume could be the culprit, categorizing you as out of date and over the hill.

There are three reasons your resume may be keeping you out of interviews. Your resume is due for an update if:

  1. Your technology skills date you from the stone age
  2. Your key industry words are decades old
  3. Your resume format doesn’t follow current trends

Don’t despair if your resume is out of date.

You can perform an extreme resume makeover by using the tips below.

  1. Get up to date on your industry’s technology.

    Check job descriptions from various sources within your industry to see what technologies employers are looking for. Determine which technologies are missing from your resume. Then decide what you need to learn or do in order to fill that technology gap. Adult education classes, college classes, or even online learning are all great ways to catch up.

    Be aware that technology terms are often used as keywords to filter the best resumes from electronic databases. If your resume doesn’t have them, it may never be seen. Make sure your technology skills aren’t leaving you behind.

  2. Make sure your resume is using current terminology.

    If you have just been adding to the same old resume over the years your early entries reflect outdated terms. Bring your resume up to date with the help of publications from your industry’s professional associations. If you don’t belong to any professional associations, you might be missing out on the latest industry-speak.

    Another good resource is online job postings. Search job descriptions in your field for recurring terms. Learn to use the current terminology for your industry correctly and effectively.

  3. Make sure your resume reflects today’s trends in resume format and style.

    A decade back, the old-fashioned reverse-chronological format worked fine for you. But now that you have more experience, it may not be your best choice. The more advanced hybrid format will showcase your skills and expertise in a greater level of professional presentation. With a hybrid resume, potential employers will form an impression of you based on your best accomplishments, not just your most recent job description.

    Many of the old resume rules just don’t apply any more.
    For example:

    • “Limit your resume to one page.” This idea went out with the advent of electronic resumes.
    • “End your resume with References Available Upon Request.” It’s already assumed.
    • “You should show every job you have ever held and give each equal importance.” Employers are interested in the most relevant information, so don’t go back any further than what relates to your current career objection.
    • “Your resume should go back no more than ten years.” Don’t use an arbitrary number to determine how much to include on your resume. Use the rule of relevancy to decide how many of your jobs to include.
    • “One resume should handle everything.” Not so! For greater effectiveness adjust your resume to different fields or industries.

Finally, make sure you use the correct electronic version. You’ll want to have (1) a standard Word format (for printouts and email attachments), and (2) a Plain Text version for “text only” online forms.

Let your experience work for you rather than against you. Update your resume and you’ll see increased interest from employers. Your new resume will be a better reflection of your hard-earned skills, talents, and expertise.

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