In your 40s, 50s, 60s and looking for work?

by Darlene Zambruski | August 14, 2012

In this new economy, many individuals who once believed they would work until retirement at their last company or in their chosen career are finding out reality is much different.

You’re over 45, perhaps way over, and you’re faced with looking for work just as you did when you were first starting out.

What’s the best way to make a painful situation bearable and effective?

Recently, I read an article titled ‘7 Things Every Resume Needs in 2012′. (Found here)

A few of the issues the article addresses are:

1. Don’t use an objective statement

2. Don’t include every position you’ve held

3. Include social media links (LinkedIn, Twitter, FB)

While I agree with most of what the writer stated, there are additional factors I believe everyone over 40 should consider.

1. Don’t make the mistake of swapping out an ’it’s-just-about-me’ objective for a bland, generic qualifications summary. Make the summary work for you. Include one, preferably two, recent/relevant/quantified accomplishments that paint you as the perfect candidate for the position. Stating that you’re a ‘team-player’, ‘experienced’, ‘highly motivated’ isn’t telling a hiring manager anything except your appraisal of yourself. State in clear terms that you saved the company a $100,000 over a six-month period by instituting a new computer system and they’ll take notice.

2. Don’t ever go back more than 15 years in employment (10 if you’re in Information Technology), and don’t make the mistake of making the Professional Experience section task-focused. It should be accomplishment-focused. If you reorganized the filing system, what were the results? If you don’t state what was achieved, then the hiring manager won’t be impressed.

3. Think very carefully before you provide FB links. If your FB page is filled with pictures of your grandkids, you swilling beer at a 30th high school reunion or anything else that makes you seem less than professional (or old), you don’t want a hiring manager to see it. If your FB page can hurt rather than help you, delete it before you begin to apply for jobs.

A resume is your first chance to make a great impression. Make one misstep and it will be the same as trying to unring a bell. Can’t be done.

Craft your resume with care. Make it accomplishment-focused rather than task based. And rein in the social media before you apply for any position.

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