How to stand out from the younger crowd when looking for a job

A steady shift is underway in job markets and older workers are ideally placed to capitalise – so long as they play to their strengths and stand out from the younger crowd.

With governments encouraging employers to take on older workers to meet the demands of an ageing population and new research showing flexibility is a key incentive for over-50s to remain in the workforce, new opportunities are up for grabs for older workers.

But those opportunities won’t flow automatically to older workers.

Whether workers in their 50s, 60s or beyond are searching for a new career after retrenchment or simply need more flexible working arrangements, there are obstacles to overcome.

Resumes To You founder Matt Tutty highlights the need for older workers to play to their strengths, rather than try to compete with younger candidates.

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Mr Tutty says older workers need to find ways to make their experience and skills – not their age – stand out.

“A resume or CV needs to focus on the fact that you have wisdom, enthusiasm and the all-important keyword ‘experience’, he said.

“You need to get the point across that wisdom and experience don’t equal ‘old and unemployable’ – they do in fact equal success.

“There are three key phrases you should consider for your resume or CV if you’re a mature candidate: results, results and results.

“With many employers tiring of having to train and re-train younger workers, who change jobs more regularly than at any time in the past, a seasoned and experienced candidate may just be the perfect fit they’re looking for.”

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While discrimination based on age is against the law, prejudice against older workers can exist.

To save your time, Mr Tutty recommends placing your birth date at the top or your resume, so anyone with a problem can just skip and go to the next resume.

Mr Tutty lists some key tips for older workers to stand out from the younger crowd:

  • Have a well written resume/CV to highlight experience
  • In terms of length and structure, the “mature” resume/CV should be no different from a younger person’s resume/CV
  • Consider 2-3 concise pages consisting of an overview of your skills and experience, an objective you want to achieve in your worklife and your work availability
  • Include a list of your experience in reverse chronological order, focusing on the past 5 to 10 years. Experience before that time should be summarised by a few bullet points
  • Your resume/CV may contain education, courses taken and a little bit of personal information

One of the key ways for older workers to stand out is for their resume or CV to “meatier or bulkier”, focusing on more accomplishments and results.

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“It’s a lot more exciting to read the resume or CV of a mature job seeker because of the emphasis on results and experience,” Mr Tutty said.

“Make your resume or CV accurate and interesting, and highlight your extended experience.”

“A common mistake some mature job seekers make on their resumes or CVs is to try too hard to compete with younger candidates.

“Don’t be too desperate to make yourself look ‘young’. Express your skills and experience. You can still have drive, experience and enthusiasm without appearing desperate on paper.”

Other tips from Mr Tutty include:

  • It’s all about getting your message across
  • Make sure your resume or CV is in a current format
  • Show your best profile and be proud of it
  • Use lots of examples to highlight your experience
  • Focus on achievements and successes, especially over the last 5 to 10 years

Originally published here by Matthew Tutty