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April 15, 2016

By Lisa Dare



You’re not an older worker, you’re seasoned. Mature.  Experienced.

But you work in an industry that values the latest skills and ideas, and you worry your age will be mistaken for unwillingness to learn new things.

While some employers might believe youth is a proxy for having the most current skills and ideas, most would love to hire a perfect package of experience-borne wisdom, familiarity with current technologies and flexibility.

Here’s how to highlight your experience while downplaying your age—or simply showing it in the best light.

1. First, do the easy stuff

  • Trim your tech list to reflect only currently used skills and languages
  • If you’ve ever had an inflated job title, restate it to accurately reflect your role to avoid seeming overqualified
  • Remove your home address, which can make you seem out of touch, and include your email and LinkedIn profile instead
  • Switch to a modern sans-serif font, such as Calibri or Arial
  • Spend 12 minutes updating to a modern IT resume format 
  • Nobody needs to ever know about that two-year stint with RadioShack right after college—so unless your earliest jobs are remarkable or really show a direct career progression to the position you seek, omit them

2. The best way to address your education and certifications

Congratulations! If you’re over 40, you can now remove your education dates, while retaining the other information about your degrees.

But IT workers should bear this in mind: While most resume advice says to place your education last on your resume once you’re a few years out of school, IT professionals may have good reason to list degrees first. Many IT workers lack a four-year degree, so highlighting yours can cause screeners to pay closer attention to your resume. And many employers look for degrees when hiring managers and other high-level or less technical positions.

Unlike with your college education, you may want to highlight the dates of your most recent certifications. In fact, you should include certification numbers so potential employers can verify that they’re current.

3. Demonstrating facility with new tech and new ideas

Showing you’ve continued to learn new skills sends a powerful message that you’re still hungry to learn and achieve. Some ways to demonstrate your drive:

  • Take an IT MOOC and list it on your resume
  • Author a blog or LinkedIn Pulse post about a current tech topic and provide a link
  • Include recent conferences or trainings you’ve attended under the Education section of your resume (note: current TEKsystems consultants can take Skillsoft courses for free)
  • Give presentations at local user groups
  • Mentor young people in your technology

Bonus tip: Never do this one thing

I recently saw a resume that listed—at length—Y2K project work. The poor job seeker might as well have said he’d taken part in this video:

Related reading

Modernize your IT resume in 12 minutes


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