Resumes Between Generations
As baby boomers age and Gen X and Gen Y advance within the workplace, it is important that the generations understand each other's skills and strengths as denoted by their resumes. The younger millennials tend to like electronic resumes, and some do not even possess paper versions. On the other hand, baby boomers may feel more comfortable with printed resumes, and might be reluctant to post their resumes online or unsure how to format their resumes for readability by computer users. Each generation must be sure that their resume can be understood and appreciated by the other, even though the mindsets of each group might differ.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 25 percent of the working population will reach retirement age by 2010, resulting in a potential shortage of nearly 10 million workers. The number of people who are over age fifty-five will increase by 73 percent by 2020, while the number of younger workers will grow only by 5 percent. This means it will be a candidate's market, with employers competing hard for talent.
Baby boomers must be sure that their resumes don't date them unnecessarily or to their detriment. They can't keep adding to a resume that was originally written twenty years ago. If you're guilty of this, it's time for a rewrite. Go online and review newer job descriptions, even for some of your old titles.
Update your terminology. Industry speak is critical for keyword searches and to demonstrate you have kept pace with your field. Remove the “References On Request” close — that's old school. Have you included jobs that have no bearing on your current position or the one you desire? Go back only as far as your current employment objectives, and use the rule of relevancy to determine which jobs to highlight.
If you've been with one employer for many years, separate your tenure by positions and changes in responsibility. Remember, one resume doesn't fit all. It may be necessary for you to have two or three different versions, each with a different focus. Maintain several formats to accommodate different users: a standard Microsoft Word-formatted resume, a PDF version for downloading, and a plain text version to paste into an e-mail message.
Gen Xers and Gen Yers tend to hold more jobs with more employers than baby boomers. You might need to communicate the reason behind your multiple moves to the baby boomer hiring manager, who could perceive your job hopping as restlessness rather than growth. Millennials, who use text messaging and casual e-mails as a way of life, need to remember to be more formal in their approach to prospective employers by watching their use of abbreviations. Not everyone knows Web speak such as PTMM for “please tell me more” or NRN for “no reply necessary.”