Although most measures show that the financial recession has hit younger workers the hardest, widespread layoffs and a high unemployment rate have forced many in the Baby Boomer generation to go job searching in the past couple years. For Boomers, especially those who have been employed at one company or in one line of work for decades, the modern job market may seem to be an unfamiliar and overwhelming place. Most jobs are advertised through digital means, not in print ads. Most applicants use social networking services such as LinkedIn to connect with potential employers. And, of course, any Boomer who returns to the job search for the first time in decades needs to brush up on their interview skills and modernize their resume.
Certainly, when compared with many other elements of the job search process, the resume hasn’t changed too significantly over time. Other than moving from a typewriter to a computer composition, the resume still retains the same basic purpose and structure. But these larger similarities should not lull workers into thinking that their resume from 1982 is good enough for 2012, even if 30 years of experience is updated at the top.
On that note, here are a few major tips that older workers should keep in mind when modernizing their resumes:
Remove the “Objective”
In the past, most resumes traditionally began with an “Objective” line where the applicant briefly stated their overall goal in the job search. This section has firmly fallen out of favor over the last decade. Instead, delete any objective line and start your resume with the “Education” section.
Give More Education Detail
For older applicants who have been out of school for several decades, the work experience you possess is certainly more important than the educational background you received. That being said, however, even older applicants should be aware that employers care to see more details in the “Education” section these days. These details may include the title of an anthropology dissertation your wrote, honors you were given upon college graduation, or whether you received any nursing degrees online.
Modern employers care just as much about a worker’s talents as they do about his character. They want to hire people who are well-rounded and who will contribute positively to office culture. To this end, many applicants choose to balance the impersonal data provided on a resume with some more personal information. In a section at the end of the resume that is often simply titled “Personal,” an applicant will briefly list facts regarding their background, their volunteer work, and their recreational interests.
Keeping these tips in mind will hopefully help older applicants update their resumes for the modern job search. While resumes haven’t changed tremendously over time, it is always important to get even the details right in today’s competitive job market.
This Guest Post was written by Sam Peters.