Job hunting can be stressful, and even more so in a world where we rely on virtual first impressions. For older job seekers with years of experience, the good news is that your resume can be a wonderful first impression if you follow some of our key tips.

Do Choose the Right Resume Format

If your current resume is formatted chronologically, think about switching to a functional resume instead. A functional resume highlights your skills and experience and lists your accomplishments at the top of the page while leaving dates of employment lower down on the page. While it’s important to spotlight your relevant skills, it’s vital that you still include dates of employment. Many hiring managers today use application tracking software (ATS), which scans resumes automatically and may reject a resume missing dates—costing you the opportunity for an interview.

Don’t Write a Three Page Resume

Did you know that most recruiters spend 10 seconds or less reviewing a resume? Your resume should focus on the experiences and skills that are directly relevant to the opportunity you’re pursuing.

Do Target Your Resume

Your resume is the first impression a hiring manager sees. Take the opportunity to wow them with a targeted resume. By customizing your resume to the job posting, you can highlight specific skills and experience that are relevant to the job requirements and responsibilities listed. However, the same resume will not work for every job, so make sure to check that each resume is tailored appropriately for your application. (PRO TIP: Save a copy of the job listing AND the targeted resume you submitted to be prepared for an interview at a moment’s notice! ????)

Don’t List Outdated Skills

Skip listing skills like “typing,” “Microsoft Word,” or “Google”.  Instead, include skills, programs and certifications that are relevant or required for the specific position and can bump you to the top of the list for interviews. When you tailor your resume, you may even want to mirror the terms listed in the job description, which will also help you if the employers is using an applicant tracking system.

Don’t Forget to be Yourself!

Use your confidence as your guide and don’t feel too bashful to brag about the enormous value of your past experience. The road to re-employment is different for everyone, but you can put your best foot forward as you begin your journey with a strong, standout resume.

For more tips, tricks and help on creating the right resume, check out our JUMPSTART resume classes at