You worked your whole life and counted down the days until you could retire. After taking some time off, now you’re ready to re-enter the workforce, whether it’s for extra income, socialization, or other reasons. Job seeking post-retirement is not unusual, and many older adults enjoy the flexibility and opportunity to do something different.
But how can you set up your resume to show employers the wealth of experience you have to offer while also deterring ageism?
Be Cautious About Your Language.
Avoid using phrases such as, “decades of experience,” or “30+ years of experience” that immediately convey you are an older worker. Ditch outdated jargon as well, such as use of fax machines, 10-key, or typing speed (unless they are expressly mentioned in the job opening). It is a good idea to swap your AOL email address for something more current such as Gmail as well.
Start Off Strong
Your summary is the first insight a potential employer gets into who you are and what you have to offer. Make it count. Emphasize key skills and strengths you have cultivated over the years. What makes you a great fit for the position and organization? What do you bring to the table that others might not? Skip the vague, generic descriptions that could apply to anyone and zero in on what the employer is looking for in an applicant.
Stick with a Traditional Format
Reverse chronological is what most employers – and applicant tracking systems (ATS) – are looking for. While functional resumes can seem like a better choice because they are skills-based, it also makes it look like you’re trying to hide something about your work history, whether that is gaps in employment, or older employment. Chances are, you will have to disclose the dates anyway in other employment documents. Be upfront with where you have worked and when, but put the focus on what you achieved while there.
Keep it Brief
You don’t have to disclose every job you have ever held. Including the past 10 to 15 years is standard. Remove any licenses or certifications that have expired or are irrelevant to the job you are seeking. Leave off graduation dates as well – the degree is more important than the year you obtained it.
Yes, you have amassed a wealth of knowledge and experience over the years, and that makes retirees valuable assets. However, you don’t want your resume to be a novel. Select those projects, skills, and accomplishments that are most relevant to the current work environment and job opening. Include any training courses you have taken or professional development that show you are up to date on best practices and industry standards. If you haven’t taken any, consider checking out courses online or at a local college, especially as it relates to any technology you would be expected to use.
Don’t Underestimate Volunteer Work
If you have been retired for a few years but have stayed active in the community by volunteering, add it to your resume. Even if you were not getting paid, it is still current work experience.
Reignite Your Job Search
Worried that your resume isn’t up to par? Contact Grammar Chic to learn more about our resume services and schedule a consultation. Show your value as a retiree as you re-enter the job market. Contact us at (803) 831-7444 or firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.