New Resume Rules for Older Employees

Older businessman crossing arms and looking proud

As an older employee, you have the skills, experience and wisdom to perform well in the job market; but is your resume as well-equipped as you are? If you have been out of the job market for a while, it’s time to adapt your resume to reflect today’s times. The first step is to get online.

An online presence is no longer an option; it is a requirement. Your resume needs to reflect both online and offline information and contact how-to’s to prospective employers. According to Wendy Enelow, author of Expert Resumes for Managers and Executives, “If you are not on LinkedIn, you don’t exist in today’s executive search market.” She suggests getting on LinkedIn as soon as you can, and then including live links from your Microsoft Word resume doc to your LinkedIn profile and email address. This makes it simpler for recruiters to reach you with one click.

Link vs. attachment?

When it comes to resume submission preferences, we’re in a transition state. Some hiring managers prefer resumes be submitted online, while others prefer resumes as links within emails. If you do not know how to submit your resume to a company, you should include both a link to your resume and an attachment in your email.

One page vs. two?

The one-page rule for resumes is no longer true, according to Howard Seidel, a partner at Essex Partners, a Boston-based senior level career management firm. He said, “Executives typically do themselves an injustice by keeping the resume to one page.” Mr. Seidel suggests expanding your resume to two or three pages, particularly when you have 10, 20 or more years of experience.

Team player vs. innovator?

There are multiple overused words still in existence in resumes today. You may think “team player” and “innovative” sound great on your resume, but according to Krista Canfield, a spokesperson for LinkedIn, those words are a mistake. LinkedIn reviewed millions of user profiles and came up with a list of the top 10 overused terms. These include:

  • Innovative
  • Dynamic
  • Motivated
  • Extensive experience
  • Results-oriented
  • Proven track record
  • Team player
  • Problem solver
  • Fast-paced
  • Entrepreneurial

Treat your online profile as a valuable piece of professional real estate. Ms. Canfield says, “The problem with using generic words and phrases in your profile and resume is that hundreds, if not thousands of other professionals are describing themselves the exact same way.” Instead, she suggests replacing the overused terms with descriptions of those specific projects you have worked on which resulted in concrete results for your clients.

How Spring Arbor University Online can help

In addition to career counseling and resume writing help, Spring Arbor University Online offers career-specific tips and job posting resources on our website.