Question: When I retired from my demanding but rewarding job, I felt like I was on top of the world. I’m a 68-year-old widow and was sure I needed a rest. But now I’m itching to get back to work, just not to my former position or employer. Do you have any advice for older job seekers?
Answer: You are not alone. Many older Americans are returning to work, some because they miss the sense of purpose and socialization, others because they need more financial security. An estimated 2 million people retired during the first 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an article by Joseph Coughlin of MIT’s AgeLab in Forbes magazine. Now, many of those recent retirees are choosing to get back into the job market.
Of those who retire, more than a quarter say they needed the money and others were worried inflation was eroding their retirement. Most were looking for “something to do,” with nearly 80 percent wanting to work part-time. Like their younger counterparts, older people going back to work want flexibility, including the option to work at home.
Even in a job seekers’ market, people aged 65 and older can face age discrimination. So, emphasize all you can contribute to potential employers. Indeed.com mention these tips for older candidates who are seeking employment.
In your professional summary, you don’t need to highlight the number of years you’ve been in the workforce. Less can be more. For example, write you have worked in a field for “more than 10 years,” not “25 years.” Sum up your qualifications in 50 words or less about how you can contribute to a particular position.
Stress the knowledge, maturity, and work ethic you’d bring to the position. These are qualities that employers are hungry for that will set you apart.
Focus on your experience section. Include the most relevant positions you have held during the last 10 to 15 years and the accomplishments you’ve achieved. You should list the dates you held each position. If you have relevant experience fitting your target field of employment from earlier in your career, briefly describe this in an “Early Career” section without listing any dates.
Highlight your technology skills, especially any mentioned in the description of a position you’re seeking. Specify the names of computer programs, platforms, and apps you have used. Showing that you’ve stayed current demonstrates your commitment to learning and keeping your skills sharp.
Update the style of your resume by using a font other than Times New Roman, which can be perceived as dated. Try Calibri, Cambria, or Verdana instead. There are lots of great examples out there about how to format a resume.
Don’t forget to update (or create) your LinkedIn profile. Employers and recruiters mine this platform routinely to find new talent.
I wish you the best of luck.