IF YOU are a job seeker of the Baby Boom generation (born between 1946 and 1964), you may be feeling a little left out by the job market.
You are not ready to retire, but the young recruiters you send resumés to don’t seem to respond to your skills and experience.
Your resumé could be the culprit, categorising you as out of date and over the hill. It is due for an update if it contains:
Outdated technology skills;
Outdated industry or occupational terminology; and
Outdated resumé trends.
Don’t despair if your resumé is out of date. Use these tips to perform an extreme resumé makeover:
Check multiple job descriptions within your industry to see what technologies employers really want. Determine which technologies are missing from your resumé. Then decide what you need to learn or do in order to fill that technology gap.
Consider adult education classes, college classes or even online learning. You should be aware that technology terms are often used as keywords to filter the best resumés from electronic databases. If your resumé doesn’t have them, it may never be seen.
If you have just been adding to the same old resumé over the years, then your early entries may be using outdated terms. One way to bring your resumé up to date is through publications from your industry’s professional associations.
If you don’t belong to any professional associations, you might be missing out on the latest industry-speak. Another good resource is job descriptions. Search job descriptions in your field for recurring terms. Learn to use the current terminology for your industry correctly and effectively.
Format and style
Ten or 15 years ago, the old-fashioned reverse-chronological format may have worked for you. But now that you have more experience, it may not be the best choice.
The more advanced hybrid format may be much better at promoting your skills and expertise, providing you with a more professional presentation. With the hybrid resumé, potential employers will form an impression of you based on your best accomplishments, not just your most recent job description.
You should know that some of the old resumé rules just don’t apply any more, such as:
Limit your resumé to one page: This idea limits your ability to show all of your skills and expertise.
End your resumé with “references available upon request”: You don’t need to say that; it’s assumed.
You should show every job you have ever held and give each equal importance: Your employment history should only go back as far as it related to your current employment objectives. Think of your resumé as a marketing piece that highlights the best parts rather than as a tell-all
Your resumé should go back no more than 10 years: Don’t use an arbitrary number to determine how much to include on your resumé. Use the rule of relevancy to decide how many of your jobs to include.
One resumé should handle everything: Not anymore. In addition to tailoring your resumé to different fields or industries, you must change the way you save it.
Have (1) a standard Word format (for printouts and as e-mail attachments), and (2) a Plain Text version for online forms. This way, you won’t need to repair lost formatting, which often occurs when cutting and pasting a Word document into a text-only form.
Make experience an asset
Let your experience work for you rather than against you. Using these tips to update your resumé can make a noticeable difference in interest from employers. And your new resumé will be a better reflection of your hard-earned skills, talents, and expertise.