Executive Resume Tips for Baby Boomers

My senior level clients are often concerned about “age discrimination.” Although I am sure there might be some truth to this in certain cases, I prefer to focus on the benefits a company gains from hiring a professional who can bring a lifetime of knowledge and experience to the table.

It’s interesting to note that if you are a professional over 50, the more you focus on the results you can bring to the table, the better. Holding onto that mindset will set the tone and pace of all your career-related conversations and interviews.

There have been multiple articles written and studies conducted about a very possible shortage in executive talent by 2018, due to mass retiring of Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964). For example, a 2010 study by Barry Bluestone and Mark Melnik from the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University estimated that by 2018 there could be more than five million unfilled jobs in the United States due to this reduction in workforce. More recently, Georgetown University released the Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements Through 2020 which states that retiring Boomers will create 31 million jobs by 2020.

In my opinion, the actual increased need for expertise in a particular post or industry means that Baby Boomers should focus on their specialized areas of expertise, concentrate on what they can bring to the table, and highlight the mentoring they can provide to younger team members. Fortunately for most professionals with over 20 years of experience, identifying the areas where they shine and what they most love to do is usually very clear to them.

Here are some additional points you can apply to your professional or executive level resume that will help minimize any potential red flags and maximize your candidacy:

  • Don’t go back more than 20 years in your experience unless you absolutely have to.
  • Don’t list dates you were in the military.
  • Don’t list dates you graduated from college.
  • Don’t list dates of every training course you have been through in the last 30 years.
  • Make sure the content you list in your resume is fresh and relevant.
  • Demonstrate you are current on trends, certifications, emerging technologies, and new management structures or generally new ways of doing business.
  • Realize that many credible sources have warned of a looming shortage in senior executives as Baby Boomers retire out of the market and Gen Y employees pose new and difficult challenges for companies.
  • Consider management consulting.

Be SURE to keyword match your ideal job search using indeed.com and insert these keywords into the first page of your resume. And unless you are going after a high visibility C-level position, keep your resume to 2 pages.

Mary Elizabeth Bradford is the Founder and Executive Director of CEOresumewriter.com and Maryelizabethbradford.com and a past executive recruiter. A thought leader in the career services industry for over 20 years, she holds 5 distinct advanced certifications for senior-level resume writing, online branding and executive-level job search coaching (CERM, CMRW, CARW, MCD, NCOPE). She has been seen and heard in major media including Forbes, Time, WSJ, Newsweek and NBC affiliate stations. She holds 2 CDI TORI awards and is a top tier judge for the elite CDI TORI awards for four consecutive years. Mary Elizabeth Bradford’s elite team of award-winning, certified, top executive resume writers, former top executive recruiters, and global HR executives help many of the world’s premier C-suite, board members and thought leaders secure the transitions and compensation packages they want. She works with clients all over the globe.

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