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Resume for older workers

How to Write a Resume If You’re an Older Worker

In today’s dynamic and ever-evolving job market, older workers often encounter unique challenges when seeking employment opportunities. While experience and wisdom can be invaluable assets, they may sometimes be overshadowed by perceived biases or misconceptions about age. However, by crafting a strong and compelling resume, older workers can effectively showcase their skills, expertise, and adaptability, ensuring they stand out in a competitive landscape.

The importance of a well-crafted resume cannot be overstated, regardless of one’s age. A resume serves as a personal marketing tool, providing a snapshot of an individual’s professional history, qualifications, and achievements. It is the first impression that potential employers have of a candidate, and it plays a critical role in determining whether an older worker gets invited for an interview.

Nevertheless, older workers face specific hurdles in the job market. Age discrimination, unconscious bias, and stereotypes can sometimes hinder their chances of securing desirable positions. Hiring managers may wrongly assume that older candidates are resistant to change, technologically challenged, or lacking the energy and drive of their younger counterparts. However, these assumptions are often unfounded, and older workers can overcome such biases by presenting themselves effectively through a well-crafted resume.

This article will delve into the strategies and best practices for writing a resume tailored to the needs and expectations of older workers. It will provide guidance on highlighting relevant experience, skills, and accomplishments while addressing potential concerns and showcasing adaptability. By following the tips and advice offered here, older workers can increase their chances of securing meaningful employment opportunities and demonstrate their value in today’s dynamic workforce.

Highlighting your experience

To craft the best resume for older workers, strategically highlighting your experience becomes paramount in demonstrating your value to potential employers. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

Prioritize recent and relevant experience

Begin by placing a strong emphasis on your most recent and relevant work history. Directly align your resume with the job you’re applying for, emphasizing positions, achievements, and responsibilities that directly relate to the desired role. By focusing on recent experiences, you convey that you are up-to-date with industry trends and possess the relevant skills necessary for the job.

Trim older experience

While your entire professional history may be filled with accomplishments, it is advisable to limit the inclusion of experience to the past 10-15 years. This timeframe ensures that you present a concise and focused snapshot of your recent career trajectory. Be selective in including positions that align with your current career goals or highlight transferable skills that are still relevant to the job you’re seeking.

Omit dates

To combat potential age bias, it is wise to leave unnecessary dates off your resume. This includes omitting your graduation date, age, or date of birth. Instead, focus on highlighting the skills, achievements, and qualifications you bring to the table. By removing specific dates, you shift the attention toward your abilities and expertise, enabling a more objective evaluation of your candidacy.

Emphasize achievements

Rather than solely listing job duties, give prominence to the achievements and results you’ve accomplished throughout your career. Highlight specific projects, initiatives, or challenges you’ve successfully tackled, and whenever possible, quantify your contributions. By showcasing tangible outcomes, you demonstrate your ability to make a meaningful impact, regardless of age.

Incorporate relevant skills

As the job market continues to evolve, so do the required skills. Ensure that you prominently feature the skills most relevant to the position you’re applying for. This can include technical proficiencies, industry-specific knowledge, or transferable skills. By emphasizing your current skill set, you showcase your ability to adapt and contribute effectively in today’s dynamic work environment.

Addressing employment gaps

One common concern when crafting an older worker resume is how to effectively address employment gaps. Whether you took a career break, experienced a period of unemployment, or chose to retire temporarily, it’s crucial to handle these gaps strategically to showcase your skills and experience. Here are some strategies to address and highlight employment gaps on your resume:

Be transparent and honest

When it comes to addressing employment gaps, honesty is key. Rather than trying to hide or mask the gaps, it’s best to be transparent about the reasons for the break. Whether you took time off for personal reasons, caregiving responsibilities, further education, or even a sabbatical, briefly mention the nature of the gap in your resume or cover letter. By providing an honest explanation, you can present yourself as a candidate with a diverse range of experiences and demonstrate your ability to adapt and prioritize responsibilities.

Highlight relevant activities

Even if you were not engaged in full-time employment during the gap, it’s essential to highlight any relevant activities you pursued. Consider activities such as volunteer work, freelance projects, consulting assignments, or part-time roles that allowed you to utilize your skills and stay engaged in your field. By including these experiences on your resume, you demonstrate that you remained active and continued to develop your expertise during the gap. Be sure to describe the specific responsibilities and achievements associated with these activities to highlight your contributions.

Focus on transferable skills

During career breaks or retirement, you may have acquired valuable skills or experiences that are transferable to your desired role. These skills could include leadership abilities, project management expertise, problem-solving capabilities, or even communication and collaboration skills gained through community involvement. Highlight these transferable skills in a dedicated skills section on your resume or weave them into your work experience descriptions. By showcasing your diverse skill set, you provide evidence of your ability to contribute effectively in a professional setting.

Addressing retirement on your resume requires careful consideration. If you chose to retire but are now looking to reenter the workforce, it’s essential to position your retirement as a planned and purposeful decision. Emphasize any post-retirement activities that demonstrate your continued passion for your field, such as part-time work, consulting, or ongoing professional development. Additionally, highlight any skills or knowledge gained during retirement that are relevant to the job you are applying for.

Updating your skills

As an older worker, it’s important to demonstrate your adaptability and willingness to embrace new technologies and advancements in your field. One effective way to showcase your commitment to staying current is by revamping the skills section in your resume. By removing outdated skills and incorporating new technologies, you can position yourself as a tech-savvy professional who is ready to thrive in today’s digital landscape.

Assess and remove outdated skills

Start by reviewing your skills section and identifying any outdated or obsolete skills. Skills that are no longer in demand or relevant to your target industry can be omitted from your resume. This ensures that you are focusing on the skills that are most valuable and sought after in the current job market.

Emphasize technological proficiency

In today’s technology-driven world, highlighting your proficiency in relevant software, tools, and digital platforms is crucial. Research the skills that are in high demand in your industry and consider acquiring training or certifications in those areas. Include these updated skills prominently in your resume, as they demonstrate your ability to adapt to technological advancements.

Showcase recent training and professional development

Employers value candidates who are committed to continuous learning and professional growth. If you have recently completed any training courses, certifications, or attended industry conferences, include them in your resume. This showcases your proactive approach to skill development and your dedication to staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends.

Incorporate keywords and phrases

When revamping your skills section, research the job descriptions of your target roles to identify specific keywords and phrases used by employers. Tailor your skills section to align with these keywords, as this can help your resume pass through applicant tracking systems (ATS) and increase your chances of being noticed by hiring managers.

The goal is to showcase your ability to adapt to new technologies and demonstrate your commitment to continuous learning. By revamping your skills section, you can present yourself as a well-rounded candidate who is ready to excel in today’s dynamic work environment.

Best resume templates for older workers

To attract positive attention and demonstrate your tech skills, it’s beneficial to give your resume a modern touch. Choosing the right resume template for older workers is essential for creating a professional and visually appealing document that effectively highlights your skills and experience as an older worker. While there are numerous templates available, certain designs and formats are particularly well-suited for older workers. Here are some of the best resumes for people over 50:

Classic and timeless ATS templates

ATS-friendly resume template

Download ATS-friendly resume template

To make sure that you get past the ATS, you need to use an ATS-friendly resume template. Classic resume templates with a clean and simple design are an excellent choice for older worker resume. These templates typically feature a traditional layout with clear headings, bullet points, and ample white space. By opting for a classic ATS template, you can convey a sense of professionalism and expertise.

Modern chronological templates

ATS resume template for Word

Download modern resume template

For older workers in industries that value innovation and creativity, modern chronological resume templates can be a great fit. These templates often feature unique fonts, bold colors, and eye-catching design elements. While maintaining a professional appearance, they add a touch of modernity to your resume, demonstrating your adaptability and willingness to embrace contemporary trends.

Functional resume templates

Functional resumes focus on your skills and achievements rather than chronological work history. This format can be particularly beneficial for older workers who want to emphasize their transferable skills and accomplishments. Functional resume templates typically include sections dedicated to skills, achievements, and professional summary, allowing you to highlight your most relevant qualifications.

Combination resume templates

Combination resumes combine elements of both chronological and functional formats. They allow you to showcase your work history while emphasizing key skills and achievements. This type of template is ideal for older workers who want to highlight their extensive experience while also showcasing their skills and accomplishments in a targeted manner.

One-page resume templates

Bill Gates single page resume

Download one-page resume template

A concise and well-structured one-page resume is often preferred by employers, as it provides a quick and focused overview of your qualifications. A one-page chronological resume is the best resume format for older workers who can effectively summarize their experience and skills without the need for excessive detail. These templates encourage clarity and ensure that the most relevant information stands out.

When choosing from free resume templates for Word, consider the industry and the specific job you’re applying for. Ensure that the template aligns with the overall tone and expectations of your target field. Ultimately, the chosen template should enhance the readability and professionalism of your resume, allowing your skills and experience to shine.

Showcase your online presence as an older worker

Including links to professional social media profiles or personal websites can demonstrate your engagement with modern communication and networking methods. These platforms can provide additional career details, resources, and recommendations from colleagues, managers, or clients. Here are some effective strategies to showcase your online presence:

Create a professional LinkedIn profile

Establish a professional presence on popular networking platforms like LinkedIn. Create a detailed profile that highlights your skills, experience, and accomplishments. Use a high-quality profile picture and craft a compelling summary that showcases your expertise and career goals. Regularly update your profile and engage with relevant industry groups and discussions to expand your network.

Leverage other social media platforms

Utilize social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to showcase your professional interests and activities. Share industry news, articles, or relevant updates that highlight your engagement and knowledge. Ensure your social media profiles present a professional image and align with your career aspirations.

Build an online portfolio or blog

An online portfolio is an excellent way to showcase your work samples, projects, and achievements. Create a personal website or utilize platforms like Behance, GitHub, or WordPress to showcase your professional accomplishments. Include relevant projects, articles, case studies, and testimonials to provide tangible evidence of your expertise and capabilities.

By showcasing your online presence as an older worker, you demonstrate your relevance, expertise, and engagement in the digital age. This can significantly enhance your job search, expand your professional network, and open doors to new opportunities.


Crafting a resume when you are over 50 comes with its unique challenges, but by following the strategies and best practices outlined in this article, you can create a strong resume that highlights your skills, experience, and value. Remember to focus on your most recent and relevant experience, address employment gaps thoughtfully, update your skills to reflect current trends, and tailor your resume for each job application. Embrace modern resume templates for older workers and showcase your online presence to demonstrate your adaptability and engagement. With confidence and perseverance, you can overcome age-related biases and position yourself as a valuable candidate in the job market. Embrace your experience, highlight your strengths, and embark on your job search journey with optimism.