Job search tips for babyboomers

  • Post published:08/11/2023
  • Reading time:8 mins read

Senior business womanHello Baby Boomers, Ladies and Gentlemen, all of you born between 1946 and 1964 (BE 2489-2507); that’s about 25% of the world’s population. Still.

You are no doubt proud of a career that has spanned at least 30 years and for some of us even more than 40 years.

Many decades in the workforce that started at a time when telex was the latest technology when communicating with customers and suppliers across borders.

We had no laptops or hand-held devices and obviously no internet.

Direct mail campaigns were not electronic mail but a flyer in an envelope delivered by hand through the postal services.

Wrong: More Than 30 Years Experience

Most Resumes I see from Baby Boomers “unfortunately” start with these words in the first line of the Career Summary: More than 30 years of work experience…

But let me tell you, the rest of the world does not see our 30 years or 40 years in a career as something in itself to be proud of.

You have to ask yourself these questions – and your answers are what you write in the Career Summary:

  • What have you achieved and accomplished all these years that makes you stand out from the other candidates (young or older)?
  • What it is that you have learned and now master so much better than a 28-year-old and upcoming executive?
  • You probably tell your children that as we all get older, we get wiser and smarter. Fact of life as it teaches us a lot of lessons that we use when bringing up not only children but also younger employees. Now, put some words on exactly that experience. Then add it to your Summary.
  • If you really have 30 or 40 years of experience, you also have 20, right? So if you insist on using the sentence “More than 30 years of experience” I suggest you write “20 years” to avoid being cut out from the outset of the recruitment process.

Age-proof your Resume with these 5 tips

IMG-0518It does not matter whether you are 43 or 63 years old; a key point for any resume is to focus on the last 10 and max 15 years of experience.

For the remaining years, those older than 10-15 years, write:

  • Previous Employment: Various leadership and commercial jobs in multinational companies in Asia and Europe.

If your education is before 2000, like 1960’ies, drop the year of graduation. Just write your degree, your subject and your university. Example:

  • Master’s Degree in Finance, University of Seattle, USA

First, if you do not show an email in your resume, perhaps expecting that we send you a fax, you are definitely ready for retirement.

And if you are still using a Loxinfo or AOL email domain, you are telling people you have been around for a long time. Go change to a Gmail instead.

You must show your mobile number, just one please. Don’t use your business- or even residence number.

No need to tell us that you are into Microsoft Word and Excel, and that you know the internet. LOL.

There’s nothing wrong with a gap between jobs

Don’t worry. Having gaps between jobs is no longer unusual.

Gone are the days when you joined a company around the age of 20 and worked through to retirement at 65 – with increasingly bigger and bigger jobs.

Many recruiters will not even notice a gap.

Do not place your work period in either the left margin or the right margin of your resume. Instead, place it into the middle and immediately after your title or company. And not bold please.

Use a font size smaller than the company name and your title, plus using a grey colour, will almost make it disappear and not attract the same attention if you use any of the margins. 

Example: Vice President Sales | 2018 – 2020

Stop using date and month when you present the employment period. Instead of February 2017 – January 2020, just write: 2017 – 2020.

Don’t make hiring managers guess or plough through years’ worth of information to pinpoint what your superpower is. Design your story with the highlights readily available. Be able to talk about yourself with enthusiasm and confidence. To convince people to hire you, you must first convince yourself.

Caroline Ceniza-Levine, Senior Contributor at Forbes. Full article here.

Get the eBook: Your Career, Personal Branding for Senior Executives

Years ago, I used to get bothered when I met a candidate who just paid money to a socalled resume writer…

– simply not good enough and not written to attract and to comply with the Applicant Tracking Systems that are behind almost all job boards and employers’ Career web pages.

Inside my eBook, you’ll find page after page with practical tips that will make any update of your resume and LinkedIn profiles an easy Do-It-Yourself.

Get it here.

Tom Sorensen

Tom Sorensen is an executive search veteran with over 25 years of experience recruiting in Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has worked in executive search in Thailand since 2003 and is recognized as one of the country’s top recruiters and most profiled headhunters.