Most people older than high school age have a resume of some sort. For younger employees who have recently been in and out of jobs, this resume may be modern, sophisticated-looking, and highly up to date, with everything from work experience to personal hobbies getting updated on a monthly basis. For older employees, on the other hand, the most recent resume may be several outdated. It might include nothing that you did after the Reagan administration. It may have been written on a typewriter. And, certainly, it just might be inappropriate for use in the current job market.
This has become an issue in recent years, as many older Americans have found themselves out of work as a result of the Great Recession. While some elements of the job application process do not wax and wane with time – once a good interviewer will likely always be a good interviewer – the resume is an aspect of that process that has certainly changed over the years.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re applying for an administrative post in a hospital or a construction job down the street, whether you have a pharmacy technician certification or a G.E.D. – no matter who you are or where you’re applying, you’re going to want an updated resume. To that end, here are a few suggestions:
Remove The “Objective” Line
For many years, stating your objective at the top of the page was a hallmark of resume writing. This is no long the case, as the objective line has now gone the way of the dodo bird. Instead of struggling to decide just what you want your stated goals to be, simply delete the section altogether and start your resume with education-related information.
Include Personal Information
Employers used to care far more about qualifications than about personality. While this is still often the case, we now live in a more holistic society where it is often more difficult to differentiate people based on personality than on qualifications. With this in mind, ending your resume with a list of personal interests and hobbies is not just appropriate, but it can also help your cause.
Of the two main sections on a resume – education and work experience – the latter used to matter far more than the former, at least for workers who had been out of school for decades. Although a 50-year-old applicant will still be judged more on his past employments than on the school he attended three decades before, society as a whole – and the job market in particular – has moved towards a prestige-colored meritocracy in recent years. Simply having a college degree was once sufficient for most white collar work; now, employers want to know where you got it and how well you did in school.
Hopefully, these tips will help you get started transforming your 20th century resume into a 21st century one. It’s a tough job market out there, after all, and every little part of the application process – resume included – is more important than ever before.