Many of the people hit by the long-term unemployment in the U.S. are over 50 years old. Is there a special resume format that older job applicants should follow? Yes and no.
First, all recruiters and hiring managers like a chronological resume. Please do not try to gloss over your years of experience by writing a strictly functional resume, one that is a narrative and not a list of positions held. A strictly functional resume immediately makes recruiters and hiring managers feel that you are hiding something.
Second, as I’ve said before in this blog, your resume is not your life history. You do not have to list every job back to high school graduation. Consider grouping some jobs by company name and position only under “Additional Experience.” Do not give the date you graduated college.
Third, employers are looking for skills but they are looking even harder for evidence that you know how to use those skills. When you focus your resume on achievements, you make recruiters and hiring managers think twice before moving on to someone younger but entirely unproven. Experience is a virtue.
Finally, as a fellow resume writer once put it, your resume is not about you, it’s about the employer and the employer’s needs. You want to position yourself as the solution the employer is looking for.
All of the points above apply to job hunters at any age.
If you are afraid that your age is damaging your chances for a job, please contact me.