Resume tips for older job seekers

Did you know that by 2010 one of every three workers will be over 50 years old? You would hope that seasoned folks would be a welcome addition to any staff, but you never know in today's youth-obsessed culture.

So what tweaks should you make to your resume to play down your age but play up your experience? Here are some tips.

  • This may sound counterproductive to what I just said but avoid using the word "experience." Instead focus on particular technologies you've had hands-on experience with. List projects you've managed over the years and their results. Employers are interested in your specific capabilities and achievements, not necessarily when they happened.
  • Don't hide your age, but don't broadcast it. More than likely the people who are screening your resume are much younger than you. Avoid presenting an opportunity for subconscious ageism by not listing school graduations dates, etc.
  • Avoid a chronological resume. Let's say you have relevant experience that would suit the job you're applying for, but you gained that experience three or four jobs ago. This is where functional resumes help the most. You should list your experience in order of relevance to the job applied for.
  • Since you're older, you probably may have worked at quite a few places. Extra-long resumes are not a good idea, however, so try to condense things down into two pages at the most.
  • If it's been 25 years since you last sent out a resume, know that electronic delivery is the norm now. Don't fall under the delusion that post office-mailed resumes are more professional.
  • Avoid references to out-of-date technology. You may be a Windows NT guru, but you want to give the impression that you are continually learning.