Personal branding for people 50+

  • Post published:07/10/2020
  • Reading time:6 mins read

Do not start your resume summary with this sentence: More than 40 years’ experience.

You may ask why and what you could do instead?

You don’t have to be a math student to quickly know that with a career spanning more than 40 years, you must be at least 60. The question that headhunters always try to assess, do you present yourself as a 50-60 years old or 50-60 years young candidate.

But the challenge is how do you present yourself in a resume and LinkedIn profile as the younger version even your birth certificate insists you are a senior Baby Boomer.

It’s unfortunately a fact that senior people with a distinguished career are discriminated against because of their age.

  • We hear claims that we are not technology savvy.
  • That we are stuck in knowledge we learned in university 40 years ago.
  • That lifelong learning means learning how to live a long life. LOL.
  • That personal appearance is more old-folks-home than the executive floor.

Solutions for personal branding

  • If you insist on starting your resume with so and so many years of experience, simply write 20 plus years. Yes, even it might also be 30 or 40.
  • Present your arguments what a long career has given you of experience compared to a much younger person. What is it that you do better with so many years under the belt than someone with say just 10 years of work experience?
  • First impression counts, from looking at your online profiles and your resume to meeting you in person. Search Google for what experts suggest is the key to appear confident and powerful and how you become likeable when meeting someone else.
  • Become a tech savvy person who has a top rated LinkedIn profile, who is in on using Zoom and Teams (see more below), and who knows about OneDrive, Evernote, Mailchimp, Glassdoor, Dropbox, Evernote, SEO, Canva, Elementor, Google Analytics, and HTML. To begin with.
  • No photos in your resume. Ever, never, and ever!
  • But get a professional headshot done for your LinkedIn profile. With photoshop if necessary. And use to use the best one. And one more time: No photo in your resume please.
  • Drop your age or year of birth from your resume.

Zoom or Teams video / webinars

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last six months, you’d know that the world has moved to video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars. Even with an easing of the current COVID restrictions, video conferencing is here to stay.

USA Today has these tips how to set yourself up and comfortably connect in an instant when using Zoom, Teams or similar.

  • Appearance: A plain, solid color will help bring out the best you. Think strategically about your clothing. Wearing a really busy patterned outfit will make the viewers’ eyes go numb.
  • Eye Level: Don’t have the webcam looking up at you. The camera under the face is the oldest unflattering look in the books. Use a couple of books and place your laptop or tablet on top.
  • Lighting: Have a steady lamp, directly by your face, for even, steady lighting. No sidelight or backlight, please. A tripod spotlight is only 500 baht in MBK.
  • Background: Many are using virtual backgrounds – but note that you need good lighting to make it look good. You want people focusing on your face, not on what’s behind you.

Being 50+ is a career asset when you adopt this mindset

Ask yourself if you feel 50 years old or 50 years young. Take the test to see what others will likely think. If you don’t take care of your personal brand, others will do it for you. Read my recent blog on the subject, here.

Read more on personal branding in Forbes article

Here is more on personal branding by William Arruda in his article for Forbes. He is a personal branding pioneer, founder of CareerBlast and bestselling author of the definitive books on executive branding. Read.

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.