Unfortunately, modern society is ageist. There's a common societal belief that the young should experiment while older people should stick to what they know. That can make it hard to switch careers later in life. Still, it’s not impossible, particularly as people are becoming aware of this discrimination. You just might need to take some extra steps to succeed.
To that end, here are three resume tips that will go a long way to helping you switch careers if you're an experienced professional.
1. Be careful about the personal information you include in your resume.
Ideally, employers should judge you based on your skills and experience, not based on the age at which you're switching careers. However, it's possible that some employers will see a career change later in life as the result of failures in your employment history.
And so, your age, picture, and graduation date might make an employer turn your application away simply because you're older than they expected. Keeping such information off your resume will help you have a better chance of landing an interview.
2. List your experience according to importance, not chronologically.
If you're a very experienced professional, it's only normal that you have a wide range of work experience. And this experience will come in handy. Veronica Wright, the CEO of Resumes Centre, notes: “Experience in other fields of work will help you have more chances of making your career change a big success."
However, chronological ordering may not work in your favor with respect to your resume, and you could potentially make an employer turn your application down simply because of your age. By ordering qualifications based on their importance and relation to your new career path rather than by chronology, you're indirectly helping your future employers focus on the right ones.
3. Include your tech skills.
There's a general misconception that older people don’t understand technology. If you can prove this stereotype wrong, you can force people to evaluate you by your skill rather than your age. So, proudly include technological skills and qualifications on your resume. If you need more skills, take some online media and tech courses, or watch YouTube videos and learn that way.
Also, it's not a bad thing to ask friends, colleagues, and family for help if you have any questions about any applications or new technologies. It's likely that you'll come to see that many applications and skills are a lot easier to learn than you initially expected.
A version of this post previously appeared on Fairygodboss, the largest career community that helps women get the inside scoop on pay, corporate culture, benefits, and work flexibility. Founded in 2015, Fairygodboss offers company ratings, job listings, discussion boards, and career advice.
If you're a copy editing nerd like I am, you'll be very pleased to know that there's a really interesting NPR Fresh Air podcast now available that just might change the way you think about writing cover letters, thank-you letters, and other rather formal (and quite painful) business and career correspondence.
The subject of the podcast is Benjamin Dreyer, the copy chief of book publishing giant Random House.
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On Friday, May 20, 2022, Vault Law will host an OCI Readiness Summit for law students looking to prepare for and find summer and other associate positions through OCI. You can register for this free informational summit here, and learn more about it below.