Resume tips for the senior job hunter
Feb 17, 2012, 8:29 a.m.
The hard working grandfather never cared much for reading. He was an apple farmer, wise in his own way and skilled in the manner of fruits and crops. Unstudied in wordplay, he tended to mispronounce and misspell what he spoke and "rote." That was never a hindrance until one particularly bad season forced him to seek part-time work. He knew his shortcomings and he had common sense so he went down to the local library and checked out a book of senior resume samples.
After struggling through the chapters, he came up with a page that offered a quick guide on how to create an effective resume for seniors. It introduced the following five points:
- Be confident
- Openly address the question of age
- Consider a career change
- Make use of social networking
- Polish your skills.
Being a man of few words, the old man composed the following letter as a resume:
"I went down to the local barbershop to confide with Ralph and two other neighbors. Me and Ralph been friends for near unto 48 years. Both of us are pressing against sixty-two years old. We talked about bad crops and my need to take on some temporary work. I told 'em a book said I needed to clean and polish the still, so we rode out to the woods, pulled a few sips, and then got down to business. After that I went home to 'rite' this letter. As you can see, I've followed all the steps in the senior resume samples book so if you need a dependable auto mechanic, I'm right good at changing car rear ends."
Ok. Maybe the old man was showing his sense of humor. But when writing a resume as a senior job hunter, keeping the above list in mind can have quite a few benefits. Unlike the old farmer though, make sure to keep a professional tone, and spell check, spell check, spell check! Here is a review of the above list in serious detail:
Be Confident: Employers know that job satisfaction is often highest among workers over 65-years old. This age group comes from a generation with a reputation for going the extra mile. The baby-boomers have a history of quality service, dependable work habits, and a deep-rooted sense of pride and fairness that excludes any sense of entitlement.
The Question of Age: Approach resumes and interviews with the boldness of an experienced journeyman writing and speaking about skills that can only come through time and struggle. Be open about the issue of age, but never apologetic.
Consider a Career Change: This is one of the goals that the wise grandfather got correct. Although he lived and breathed farming, he had natural skills in auto mechanics so he applied for a job as a mechanic. Everyone has a hobby -- a skill they practice out of necessity, or a desire to pursue some new employment opportunity. Focus on ways to make it pay off.
Social Networking: The concept of a "hidden job market" that involves unadvertised jobs is perhaps more myth than reality. Yet in truth many jobs are filled based upon the recommendation of a known associate. Social networking via the Internet is useful, but unless you have played it for months, even years, it will never provide word-of-mouth benefits comparable to the local barbershop, bowling alley, church, garage, or other such physical social meeting places.
Skills: By the time humans reach 55 years old they have forgotten many of the work skills learned in the early years of life. But also after 55 years, the skills amounted through experience and general life have been built up enough to provide a solid base for a huge variety of careers. Anyone can polish old skills, blaze new paths, and find the doorway to a new career.
To create a successful resume for seniors, think positive, write honestly but with boldness, promote your skills, and take advantage of the free resume templates offered by various online universities.
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