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Including references on your resume, or even ‘References Provided Upon Request’ is outdated.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.

Related Posts

How To Manage Without Being Mean (Is It Possible To Not Be Pushy?) 5 Things To Consider Before You Take That Management Job #1 Key To Becoming An Effective Leader Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a Work It Daily-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

When most people think of Nike, they think of shoes, retail stores, and, of course, athletes. That's all true, but there's more. Behind Nike's walls, you'll find the doers and thinkers who design, create, and innovate every day. There are also data scientists who discover and leverage athlete insights to create the future of sport.

You might be surprised to learn about the impact you can have in Data & Analytics at Nike versus at a major tech giant. Nike employees get to work on a wide array of challenges, so if you're obsessed with math, science, computers, and/or data, and you love sport, these stories may inspire you to work at Nike.

SHOW MORE Show less

Employee loyalty is something every company longs for. It's estimated employee turnover costs as much as 130-200% of an employee's salary. When a talented, knowledgeable, trained employee leaves, it's bad for business. And, when lots of them leave, it can be the kiss of death.

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the interview situation one of our viewers, Remi submitted. He was in an interview and was asked the question: How many cows are there in Canada right now? - What a weird question but this is a technique that some hiring managers are using these days.

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Kevin submitted. He is a college student who's working a part time job to make ends meet. The manager/owner of the company has become a micro-manager who watches him work on camera and reads his company emails. A bit over the top wouldn't you say?

SHOW MORE Show less

All work and no play can create a tense and unwelcoming environment. Studies have shown that employers that offer additional perks have employees that are happier and more loyal to their place of employment. If you are looking for an employer that acknowledges how important it is to give its employees a place to de-stress and bond with their co-workers, check out these companies!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if you worked for an owner who micro-manages you my watching you work on camera and reading through your company emails.

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less