November 15, 2013
The way we look for jobs has changed dramatically over recent years.
The use of social network sites, emergence of online recruiters and popularity of email applications has meant that everyone has to up their game if they are to stay in the race for that ultimate prize.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the importance of your resume or CV, as this is the most useful tool when it comes to finding employment.
Let’s face it, pulling together all the information needed to build a personal profile, while promoting yourself on social media, can be a full time job in itself! But as much as your resume can highlight your past achievements; it can also mean that you are at risk of dwelling on the past.
Yes, you may have a great track record when it comes to your employment history (not to say you are over the hill), but you want to concentrate on the here and now – so try and make sure your resume reflects the most recent rather than painting a portrait of the past.
People’s attention spans are shorter these days, so if you are worried that your age, education history and employment record maybe holding you back, why not use this to your advantage and try adapting your approach somewhat?
1. Remove Your Age
Thanks to discrimination laws you are not required to put your age on your CV– so why do it? Most people spend their lives avoiding telling people how old they are, so to offer such information voluntarily is unnecessary. An employer should be able to put together a picture of your experience and work history from the other jobs you have listed and age has nothing to do with it.
2. Make Employment History Relevant
If you’ve been working for 20 years, there’s a good chance that you have had your fair share of roles. Remove anything that is more than 15 years old. Not only will this make your resume easier on the eye; but anything older than that is basically irrelevant.
3. Structure Your Resume or CV Correctly
Plenty of people will give you advice on how your resume should look and where you should put certain pieces of information. In truth, a resume is your document that tells other people about you and what you can offer – therefore you can present it how you wish. If you left school in 1989, then there is little point in announcing this to the world. Move that meaningless school and college educational history down the page and allow the more interesting points of your life to rise to the top. You don’t even have to put the dates that you left school or even graduated.
4. Focus on Your Current Skills
The secret to ‘de-ageing’ your resume is to look at the current rather than the past. If you’ve undertaken any courses, attended training seminars or completed any qualifications at all since leaving full-time education; these are the areas you should concentrate on. Not only will it demonstrate your ability to do the job you are applying for – it will also highlight your willingness to learn.
5. Emphasise Personal Strengths
If you are someone who has good workplace experience (this doesn’t mean old) it is important that you bring these to the top of the page – literally. These strengths are just what employers are looking for and will often mean more than educational qualifications that where gained in the distant past. So get them up there where everyone can see them!
Matthew Crist is a journalist and blogger writing on behalf of Oxford Management.