6 Vital Resume Tips For Job Seekers Over 40

Are you in your 40s or 50s and having trouble getting interviews? You may assume it’s your age—but the problem is almost certainly your resume. RELATED: Need to write a resume? Watch these resume tutorials! Follow these six tips to writing a resume that will get you interviews no matter what your age:


Limit Your Resume Length To Two Pages Or Less

By the time you reach your 40s and 50s, you probably have a lot of experience. No matter how valuable that experience is, you must edit it so that your resume is two pages or less. The only exceptions are for published authors (especially in academia) and C-Level executives. A resume that’s too long says:
  1. "I don't know how to tailor my resume to highlight what's important for this job, so it must mean that I either don’t understand the job that well, or I have faulty judgement,” and
  2. "I am at least over 40 and probably over 50, which you can see from my long list of jobs." (Age discrimination is a nasty reality in the workplace. Don’t give them ammunition for weeding you out of the candidate list.)
However, your experience can help you a great deal here. Because you have so much experience, you can cherry-pick the very best and most impressive pieces to create a true marketing document. Your resume will be filled with impressive, attention-getting accomplishments tailored for each job you apply for.

Don't Put Every Job You've Ever Had On Your Resume

Only include the last 10-15 years of jobs on your resume. If you have more than 20 years of experience, your earlier jobs probably don't have much to do with what you're doing now, anyway.

Leave The Graduation Dates Off Your Education

Only indicate your degree and your school—not the dates you attended or the year you graduated. If you have additional classes, trainings, or certifications, by all means mention them—but don’t add dates that hint at your age. The dates aren’t nearly as important as what you learned there.

Eliminate Any Mention Of References

Including references on your resume, or even ‘References Provided Upon Request’ is outdated. So, including references is a flashing sign for employers that you are ‘of a certain age.’ Employers expect that you'll have a list of references for them if they need it. Use this new-found space to include more of your skills and accomplishments.

Quantify Your Accomplishments

This is an important resume tip for everyone, no matter how old you are: Quantify Your Accomplishments. This means to describe your accomplishments using numbers, dollars, and percentages. Think about what you have accomplished or achieved in each job you’ve held. How have you helped the companies you worked for make money or save money? How have you saved time or increased efficiency? (Time is money.) These numbers attract the attention of employers. Quantify your accomplishments and you will have hiring managers (potential bosses) racing to interview you.

Use Bullet Points, Not Paragraphs

A resume looks more interesting, energetic, and relevant when you use bullet points instead of paragraphs to describe each job you’ve held. It's also easier for the hiring manager to read and absorb your information. Use these tips, then download my free Guide to Getting a Job Over 50.

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