5 Resume Tips for People over 50

If you find yourself back in the job market after some time, there are some new rules to follow when it comes to your resume. While it might seem like younger candidates are given preference, your vast experience is invaluable for any company! To combat age bias, freshen up your resume to highlight your best skills and get the attention of recruiters. Check out these tips we’ve gathered:

Is Your Resume Dated?

Objectives and references are a thing of the past and will date your resume to recruiters. Removing these items will free up space to include more relevant information highlighting your skills and experience. Additionally, if you include outdated and irrelevant skills, it can age your resume. For example, if you list Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, or Google as skills, your resume can be overlooked as recruiters automatically assume a candidate has these skills. Add relevant skills and certifications to the job market or required by the position you want.  

While you’re at it, remove graduation dates, too! This information is not required, so it’s unnecessary to include it.

Less is Better

It’s a natural urge to want to include every position you’ve had, but scale it back and only include the relevant positions from the past 10-15 years. This is also a great way to highlight relevant work experience to the job you are applying for. Stand out even more by listing achievements as opposed to just tasks. Recruiters want to see how you’ve succeeded in the workplace. You can state how you reduced time on a process from three days to one. Or how you established a department standard.

Scaling back on your resume also means scaling back on your cover letter. You no longer need to include your full address in a cover letter, just your full name, phone number, email, and LinkedIn URL. That said, depending on the company, a cover letter might not even be required.

ATS Proof Your Resume

On average, a job posting receives 118 applications, so recruiters often use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to scan through resumes1. It’s vital that your resume includes relevant skills and keywords. Use a simple resume format so the ATS can easily scan your resume and pick up on the relevant skills and keywords listed. To select the right ones, review the openings you are interested in and include the common skills/keywords. This is an easy way to help your resume stand out and get through the ATS.

Get Out There Socially

As mentioned above, including your LinkedIn URL on your resume is ideal. Your LinkedIn profile is meant to supplement your resume so feel free to expand more on your experience and background. Be sure to include a professional summary that does not exceed more than 500 words and three paragraphs so recruiters can get a feel for you. There is also a section to add any work examples or references to boost your candidacy even more.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to your network while job-hunting because this will increase your chances of finding a new position or getting a reference to include in your application. You can post about how you are looking for a new job and ask if anyone knows of a relevant position. You can also directly message someone in your network about certain openings at their company. Posting or messaging someone can be nerve-wracking, but you can find the best opportunities this way.

Customization is Key

Customizing your resume for each position you apply for is best practice to ensure you have the appropriate keywords and relevant experience listed. As you’ll see, some companies have different job descriptions for similar positions, so it’s important to review the full description and add some changes directly related to the posting. For example, if there are any required skills or software, be sure to include them if you have experience. Or if there are certain tasks you would be responsible for, reflect this in your resume. Every little bit of relevant experience or skills will be helpful to establish yourself as a strong candidate.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and insecure during the job-hunting process but don’t let your age play a factor.
These tips are strategies to get you noticed. As long as you remain open and adaptable, you will have no problem getting recruiters to call you


1How Many Applications Does it Take to Get a Job? 2023