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What’s Really Important

How good are you on a tightrope?

➔ For the older job seeker, updating your resume can be a exercise fraught with frustration. On the one hand, you don’t want to come across as appearing to be too old, and on the other hand, your strongest selling point is your experience.

And it doesn’t stop with your resume. This quandary persists throughout the job search process for most mature workers.

How do you find the appropriate balance?

First, many recruiters advise older job seekers to omit the dates from their education. Unless you’re talking about an advanced degree or some recent certification that demonstrates your technical capabilities, it’s better left unsaid.

Second, the age-longevity-experience tightrope is a lot more daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. Ask yourself: What are they looking for? Most likely they (prospective employers) want expertise and experience. But wait! You have those things.

So how do get that point across without sounding ancient?

First, limit your experience to only your most relevant and/or recent past. The last 10-15 years should be adequate. There’s no need to mention that junior management training program you completed in 1975.

Second, rather than focusing on your past job titles or the actual number of years of experience, stress your accomplishments in as specific terms as possible. What did you accomplish as opposed to what was the position you held for some number of years.

Demonstrate your expertise. Highlight what you’ve done. Not only is it a more compelling story for you to tell, it’s probably more of the type of story that your prospective employer is wanting to hear. So why not just tell them what they want to hear?

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