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How to Write a Resume for Senior Citizens

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A resume makes a statement to a prospective employer, and you have about 10 seconds to make an impression. As seniors stay in the workforce longer, they need to have a resume to apply for jobs. To get attention, a resume has to be clean and crisp. No employer wants to read through 10 or 12 pages of employment history to find what could be said in a sentence or two. Aim for a page and keep editing until you get it down to a manageable length.

Open a word document and pick a business type font, such as Arial or Times New Roman. Start with the senior’s contact details: name, address, telephone number. Details such as age, height, weight and marital status are not required.

Encourage the senior to get an email address if she doesn’t have one and to check it regularly at the local Internet cafe if she doesn’t have a computer. In today’s workforce, employers prefer to use the Internet as it is faster than snail mail. Having an email address also indicates that the senior has at least rudimentary computer skills.

List the senior’s education, with the most recent first and then working your way backwards. If this is a weak area, include things such as “Welding Certificate Level One, Henderson Community College, 2005” or "Currently studying to take the GED.”

Outline the senior’s employment history and identify the specific skills with each position. Do not go back more than three or four jobs or 10 to 15 years.

Slant the resume towards the job the senior wants to get. If, for instance, it is a position to walk dogs note “Hiking and backpacking” in the personal interest section.

Avoid listing personal information such why the senior left the position or his salary history. In your covering letter state that the senior will be happy to discuss his employment experience at an interview.

End the senior’s resume with “References supplied upon request.” Tell the senior to ask a pool of people to act as referees. Then, when asked to supply names, pick one that if familiar with the job the senior is applying for.

Tip

In the covering letter, stress that the senior has a good work ethic and is eager to learn new skills and wants to take training courses as they are available.

References

About the Author

Jody Hanson began writing professionally in 1992 to help finance her second around-the-world trip. In addition to her academic books, she has written for "International Living," the "Sydney Courier" and the "Australian Woman's Forum." Hanson holds a Ph.D. in adult education from Greenwich University.

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