How to Write a Resume If You're Over 50

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How to Write a Resume If You're Over 50. While a resume is a resume--it's a whole different document for the 50+ crew.

OK, maybe not a whole separate thing, but there are still some pointers to remember when you're over 50 and looking to have a stellar resume. After all, not only is the job market an ever-changing being, but you've got to protect yourself from age discrimination while highlighting your seasoned expertise.

Here are some tips to help you write a resume if you're over 50 and on the prowl for a new job.

Get digital. If your last resume was typed, it's time to use the computer. Creating an electronic resume allows you to compete on the Internet job boards with other candidates--and others your age are out there doing it, too. You can still rely on faxing your resume, but it really pays to have it electronically for easy submittal. (This way you can email it too, which saves plenty of time!)

Choose your angle. You may be entering the job-search world because you've decided you want to do something in another field. It's never too late. While you may need some training, you can still leverage your career experience to suit your ideal job.

The key in doing that is to leverage your skill set. Worked in sales, but want a career in writing, for example? Writers still need to know how to interact with people and sell themselves, so promoting your skills in interpersonal relations, communications, sales and marketing are useful. Focus here on your skills and not the industry they're used in. Jot down all the things you're good at and play up how you can use those in the new job.

Remember that depending on what you want to do, you may not enter at the same level as you were in your old career. That's OK--even entry-level employees get moved up eventually. Your long-standing career shows that you're adaptable, but loyal--another thing to promote!

Write right. Today's resumes are different from the documents of yesteryear--even if your last resume was crafted a few years ago. Since you're a seasoned candidate you don't need an objective anymore. Instead use a profile to highlight your experience. Something like this will work:

Esteemed financial management executive developing useful solutions in the financial, operational, sales and business development sectors. Knowledgeable director adept in accounting, forecasting and regulatory compliance. Organized project manager deploying analytical mindset to boost profits and identify cost savings. Visionary leader setting the strategic tone and mentoring cross-functional teams to achieve organizational objectives.

Skip older experience. Not that your experience from the 60s, 70s and even the early 80s isn't useful, but it's best not to put it on your resume as to avoid age discrimination. If you really want to show your years, simply list the companies and positions (without years) under a section for "Additional Experience." This way you won't show your age. That experience can be brought up in your interview should you wish to highlight it. For seasoned candidates it may not even be relevant to list entry-level work if you're at the executive level.

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Tip

Keep your resume to two pages--three at the most. You may be proud of your years, but this could hurt you when it comes to getting past hiring managers.

About the Author

Kristen Fischer is a copywriter and author living in New Jersey. Her books Creatively Self-Employed: How Writers and Artists Deal with Career Ups and Downs and Ramen Noodles Rent and Resumes: An After-College Guide to Life, are currently available. For more information, visit http://www.kristenfischer.com, http://www.creativelyselfemployed.com or http://www.ramenrentresumes.com.

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