Over 50 Resume Quick Tip – #7 – Its Not WHAT you did but HOW you did it.
Change is hard.
Unlearning or changing your way of thinking at our age, 50+, can be difficult. I know when I was laid off, I was convinced that I knew best when it came to writing a resume. “I had the experience, and anyone who read my resume could see that.” This way of thinking is an arrogance you gain with age. You DO know, and you DO know it better than a lot. Unfortunately, in today’s Corporate America that may hurt you as much as it helps.
Use your experience to sell yourself.
A lot of experience is good, unless you are in an age group where there is a bias. Namely ageism. When we were younger we needed to emphasize our experience, and downplay our lack of it. Now we have to do the opposite. Downplay your arsenal of experience, and SELL it instead. A long list of experience says to the person reading it, this person has been working a long time. “If I hire them how long will it be before they retire?”, “Can we afford to hire this one?” or “If I hire them will they be able to adapt to our company?”
Finding a job is about marketing yourself.
It is no longer viable to write about our experience. Yes, list it, but use a bullet skills list. Then take some time, sit down at a computer or use a pen and pad, (my favorite…) and think about what you have done. Make a list. What did you do that aided your company. How did you save them money? What huge project did you win? How did you fine tune production to increase output? Did you mentor other employees to succeed? Your actual accomplishments are what need to be the focus of the resume. Sell yourself:
- with your work summary at the top of your resume
- with your one or two word bullet list of core skills
- with your Accomplishments section
Its a balancing act.
Your accomplishments, not your list of experience, needs to sell what you can do for a company. Be careful however not let your accomplishments date you. Stay away from stating years if possible, especially giving specific years or dates. Simply state what you did, how you did it and how the company benefited. Try not to go back more than 15 years. As with anything you do, less is more. Be concise, rewrite your resume for every job application, always write a new cover letter, and never say you can do more than you actually can.
Your job is out there. You can find it. It just takes a little time.