It is no secret that older applicants are often indirectly discriminated against by employers: they have senior-level experience that warrants and deserves higher pay, they're assumed to have less technological knowledge, and they're generally regarded as being "stuck in their ways" or too hard to train. Whether these things are actually true or not, these assumptions and stereotypes impact hiring decisions across all industries. Although there is no way to resolve this issue with one solution, there are a couple of things that you can look for in your own resume to ensure that it doesn't automatically portray you under these stereotypes.
Spice Up Your Template
Resume templates have changed a lot in the past 10 years, so if you haven't kept your resume up-to-date since then, it is likely time for a new template. You face a lot of competition as an applicant, and you want to stand out from the competition in every way possible. The best place to start is your template; this is the first time that the company will have a glimpse into who you are. Consider it your first impression, and make it a good one——you know what they say about first impressions, after all: you only get one. Sidenote: If you still have an objective statement on your resume, it’s definitely time for an update.
Don’t Use Copy-pasted Descriptions
When you're looking at your resume, the main question you should be asking is "does this accurately describe who I am as an employee?" If your resume is filled with generalized descriptions, the answer to that question is no. Mention specific accomplishments you've had with the company. Did you raise the company's annual sales by 20%? Were you employee of the month four times in a row? Did you train 50 employees? Whatever you accomplished, mention it. If you have numbers to show, that's even better.
Keep Your Resume at One Page
Even though you have a lot of experience, having a multi-page resume is not going to be helpful and may actually be harmful (especially if it comes across as boring. A 3-page, boring resume wont even get a full glance from many employers). Employers, especially in America, wont spend much time going over each resume when they have 80 or more (sometimes hundreds or thousands of) applicants for each position. In almost all cases, your resume should not exceed one page (unless you are also including references). This is when formatting becomes incredibly valuable. If you lay everything out the right way, you can easily fit your most valuable experiences on one page. Your most relevant experience will be from the last five years, but employers will also consider anything from the past 10. Anything beyond that can just be listed by job title, employer, and dates without a job description because those details wont be read anyway (or you could leave the job off completely).
Update Your LinkedIn Page
LinkedIn is now a powerful and widely-used self-marketing tool for employment opportunities and networking. With approximately 95% of recruiters using LinkedIn, you are doing yourself a true disservice by not optimizing your LinkedIn profile. If you only have the bare-minimum requirements completed on your LinkedIn profile, it is not likely that you will receive any positive attention from this tool. Even if you don’t provide a link to your LinkedIn profile on a job application, it is still very likely that a potential employer will attempt to pull up your page. Be sure that what they are seeing speaks to your professionalism and abilities.
Create your resume to be a shining example of who you are and to demonstrate all of the benefits that you would bring to the company. If you know that businesses are looking for competent, savvy people, would you hire yourself from your resume alone? If you’re unsure, then it is time for a touch up.
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