Many people who reach retirement age—let’s say after age 60—continue to work for a variety of reasons ranging from financial necessity, through maintaining an enjoyable skill, and on to reaping the benefits of continuous learning and socializing. Some continue their relationship with their current company but work remotely or part-time past retirement age.
If you are planning on working after retirement, however, be aware of these critical issues for you and your resume:
- Make sure you actually will reach your financial goals. For example, working after retirement may negatively affect your pension or social security benefits. Also, commuting and eating out (unless you pack lunch) is expensive.
- Understand that you may not be able to duplicate your previous experience. How adaptable are you, and what are you willing to adapt to? If you insist on doing something the way you did in your old company, you may antagonize your coworkers and boss.
- Research potential companies carefully to understand their culture and their level of acceptance of older employees. Age discrimination is illegal but still prevalent. It may reveal itself on the company website or interview and save you from stress.
- Do not hide your age on your resume. While graduation dates may not be appropriate on resumes for retirees, and age is never appropriate, your resume may still list all the places where you worked and for how long. Truncating and eliminating all your experience beyond a specific date may or may not be appropriate—you may get an interview for a job but are eliminated from consideration when you surprise someone about your age. However, there are ways to summarize your experience in those earliest positions.
- Emphasize both experience and continuous learning on your resume. You want future employers to know that you bring a history of success with you and a willingness to keep learning.
- Use relevant language in your resume. Make sure your computer skills and industry-specific knowledge are up to date. Resumes for retirees should use correct and current terms for regulations (such as HIPAA or GAAP), technologies (such as SaaS), and so on.
- Focus your resume on the job you want. This recommendation applies to everyone’s resume but particularly for the resumes of retirees. You may be reluctant to skim over your most significant achievements. But if those achievements have nothing to do with the job you are seeking, they are a waste of space and a waste of the recruiter’s or hiring manager’s time.
As someone who has had a successful career in engineering and resume writing, I know about job transitions and the joys and pitfalls of starting a second career. Please contact me at Robin’s Resumes®, and let’s get started on building your retirement career.