In a competitive job market and a tough economy, it’s becoming increasingly common for qualified people to get laid off or let go. Unfortunately, some of these cuts impact Baby Boomers, which describes the generation of people born between 1946 and 1964. While these professionals present years of experience and necessary skills, they also tend to command a higher salary than people in their 20s and 30s. For this reason, Baby Boomers are often the first to go when cuts are made at a company.
A 2010 bulletin from the AARP notes that more than half of unemployed people ages 55 and older were out of work for at least six months. If you’re a Baby Boomer who’s looking for work, you’ll want to make sure that your resume helps you to stand out from the crowd. If it’s been a while since you had to construct such a document, keep these tips in mind:
- It’s okay to (tastefully) brag
To make yourself become more than just a name on a piece of paper, you’ll need to get specific about your accomplishments. Though cocktail parties and casual dinners with friends are often not the places to drone on and on about your success, your resume is requires it. List off awards that you’ve won and promotions that you received. Talk about how you increased revenue or landed new accounts. It may feel uncomfortable, but showing a potential employer exactly what kinds of accolades you’ve drummed up in the past can help to illustrate that you’re a talented individual who can get the same results in the future.
- Get specific
Many job seekers are tempted to fall into the trap of using buzzwords on their resume. While these terms may be popular now, they often lack a real meaning, and are more filler than substance. Instead, use words that describe an actual skill that you possess. Instead of throwing in a casual mention of “viral marketing,” you want to get specific about what this means. What kind of e-mail marketing success have you had? How have you bolstered your former employer’s Facebook presence? Hiring managers learn to tune out buzzwords and look for real, solid evidence of a particular skill.
- Think about it from the other point of view
Before you spend your time writing a resume, sit down and think for a while about exactly why an employer should hire you. What can you bring to the table that someone else can’t? What do you do or know that would appeal to a hiring manager? Once you have an answer to these questions, write the resume, constantly checking to make sure that you emphasize why you are the best person for the job.
- Show that you’ve remained up to date
Technology changes by the hour, so some potential employers fear that older individuals have fallen behind and are no longer up-to-date on best practices. To combat this stereotype, you need to include any relevant training that has equipped you to handle a particular job. If you’ve participated in any seminars or continuing education programs, highlight these in a separate section. This illustrates that you are up-to-date on any industry developments, regardless of how long you’ve been in the field.
- Realize resumes have changed in recent years
Don’t date yourself by falling into the trap of using the same resume format and style that you did 20 years ago. For instance, objectives are out and a summary of qualifications is in. A core competencies section is also important to have as it addresses the issue of keywords and can assist in beating a resume scanner or electronic parser. If you don’t know what the latest trends are when it comes to resumes, it’s important for you to study up before you start sending your document out to hiring managers and recruiters.
Even if it’s been a while since you put your accomplishments and knowledge down on paper, building a resume is easy when you know exactly what your strengths are as an employee.
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