Are you a mature executive job seeker who has received multiple rejections based only on your executive resume? Are you concerned that recruiters only take a quick glance at your CEO resume and immediately decide you are too old?
Unfortunately, recruiters are subject to unconscious bias in their screening processes. Things like a lengthy (20+-year) employment history, a high school graduation date, or archaic resume content can insinuate a more senior applicant. While age is not something that should be a factor in any hiring decision, there are things you can do to arrange your resume in a way that doesn’t allow recruiters to guess your age.
The good news is that Ageism in the C-suite seems to be diminishing in the market overall. Recruiters and employers are seeking expertise that only leader/mentors with seasoned expertise and sound emotional intelligence can provide. Furthermore, C-suite leaders are naturally older and have less negative experiences with ageism overall.*
- Make sure your CEO resume looks new and intentional. Remove things like objective statements and “references available upon request,” and use the most recent file types when submitting electronically. A professionally designed executive resume can go a long way in portraying a modern first impression.
- Respect your readers’ time. A busy recruiter may be put off by a CEO resume that is too long. Try to keep it to two pages if at all possible and focus only on the essential details. That being said, the value should always dictate the length of your document. If there is something worth saying, say it!
- Write for your reader, not for you. Your reader does not need to know your life story, and an executive resume is not the place to tell that story. Put yourself in their shoes and only include information that is directly relevant to the role.
- Focus on recent experience and accomplishments. Your most recent experience will hold the most weight in the eyes of your recruiter. If you are identifying specific tools or programs you have used throughout your career, narrow in on ones that are still in use today.
- Summarize your impressive career. As a mature candidate, you could easily have 30+ years of extraordinary accomplishments under your belt. However, in a CEO resume, 20 years of employment history is generally sufficient to demonstrate role progression, oversight variety, and current skills and abilities. It might be best to leave dates for education, courses, etc., off entirely if they were more than 20 years ago.
The bottom line is that there is no “one size fits all” formula for building a resume. The more individualized your documents can be, the better. Executive resume writing is an art and requires a specific skill set. If you’re struggling to start conversations during your job search, you may want to engage an executive resume writing firm with the expertise and qualifications to ensure your success in your job search. To find out how we can help you, book a complimentary and confidential call with us here.
* Korn Ferry, “Age and tenure in the C-Suite”
Ready to Work with One of the Best CEO Resume Writers in the Industry?
Mary Elizabeth Bradford is a Certified Executive Resume Master (CERM), Internationally Certified Master Resume Writer (CMRW), Certified Master Career Director (MCD) and Certified International Advanced Resume Writer (CARW) and a member of Career Directors International, Career Thought Leaders, The Professional Association of Resume Writers and The National Resume Writers Association.
Mary Elizabeth Bradford and her elite team of award-winning, certified, top executive resume writers and former top executive recruiters and global HR executives help many of the world’s premier CEOs and thought leaders secure the transitions and compensation packages they want.
If you’re interested in learning how I can create a powerful executive resume for you, click here to set up a 15-minute introductory call. I offer several executive resume writing services that also include coaching, as well as LinkedIn optimization, resume distribution, and more. Let me help you create a career package and strategy that work.