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Guys: How Old Do You Look When Job Searching?

Guys: How Old Do You Look When Job Searching?

manhorse A Job Search Style Makeover for Men

By Kim Isaacs

We’ve all heard about the importance of first impressions, and this is especially true during a job search when competition is fierce. Your appearance, resume and even the way you search for a job could be preventing you from getting the interviews and job offers you deserve. If you’re concerned your job search is at a standstill because you appear to be too old, it’s time for a job search style makeover.

Refresh Your Resume

Retro might be cool in fashion or design realms, but it’s not a good look for your resume. “Nothing communicates ‘out-of-touch’ more clearly than a resume that looks old-fashioned,” explains Louise Fletcher, president of Blue Sky Resumes, a career expert with 15 years of HR experience. “Age discrimination isn’t actually about age,” says Fletcher. “It’s about all the things that are erroneously assumed to go along with being older, such as being out of touch, less technologically aware and less energetic than a younger person.” Fletcher says the resume is a chance for you to show you’re not any of those things.

Here are some tips:

  • Trim early experiences, such as jobs older than 10 to 15 years.
  • Include links to social networking profiles, such as LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. Set up such profiles to be highly professional, not personal.
  • Add information about hobbies if they are sports-related.
  • Consider removing graduation dates.
  • Review resume samples written by professional resume writers to see the latest style trends.

The resume shouldn’t chronicle everything you’ve ever done. “Show that you are an invigorated job candidate who’s not even close to peaking in your career,” says Cliff Flamer, a professional resume writer and executive director of BrightSide Resumes. Flamer suggests illustrating that you’ve been keeping your skills refreshed, such as through certification courses, ongoing study, volunteer work and membership in professional organizations.The key is relevancy. Focus on the qualifications that are most important to the job you’re pursuing while underplaying older or irrelevant experiences.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

If you’re mailing resumes through the US Postal Service and waiting for the phone to ring, you could be in for a long job search. “Older men need to understand that job searching doesn’t work the way it used to,” says Fletcher. Hiring managers are likely to source for candidates online using job boards like, search engines and social networking sites.“The best advice I can give any job seeker is to build a strong and professional online presence,” says Fletcher. ”Be on social networking sites, connect with as many people as you can, and — if you have a talent for writing — consider starting a blog and/or writing articles about your expertise.” Also, your resume should be ready to go in email format, and you need to be well-versed on how to send documents and communicate via email.

Not only will using modern job search methods help you get noticed, but employers will see you are in tune with the latest technologies and tools.

Update Your Look

Now that your foot is in the door for a job interview, it’s time for a style check. What message is your image conveying? Joseph Rosenfeld, a San Jose-based image consultant and owner of, says there’s nothing wrong with showing signs of aging, but older men can create a style that is contemporary. “If a man hasn’t been shopping for awhile, his clothes will look dated, and then he looks dated,” says Rosenfeld, who has been providing style advice to men for more than eight years. He advises men to select a suit that looks sophisticated, fits well, flatters the body shape and is age-appropriate. Also, pay attention to your hair. If the style is unkempt or has not been updated in awhile, go to a hair stylist, advises Rosenfeld. And what about gray hair? It comes down to personal preference. “If the job seeker wanted to revive a more youthful look, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend coloring hair,” says Rosenfeld.

The ultimate confidence-booster is a focus on physical fitness. “When you walk in an interview and your endorphins are running high because you’re staying active, you exude a youthfulness and an energy that people want to access,” explains Rosenfeld. Staying fit can also influence your mental acuity, increasing the odds of a successful interview.

Remember that your experience and skills are of value to employers. The key is to get invited to interviews to give yourself the chance to shine. Your updated look and career marketing materials can help you do just that. …………………………………………………………………………

This article was written by Kim Isaacs, director of and author of The Career Change Resume book. Visit the site to learn more about resume services to jump-start your career.

Copyright 2013, Monster Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. You may not copy, reproduce or distribute this article without the prior written permission of Monster Worldwide. This article first appeared on Monster, the leading online global network for careers. To see other career-related articles visit

  • This is very interesting. i checked my resume and i think i do look old, i need to update it now.

  • Another way that some companies practice age discrimination in a passive aggressive way is to require a Bachelor’s degree because many older candidates do not have one. A way to combat this is to earn a bachelor’s degree, even if it is an online program (as long as it is from an accredited school and not a diploma mill). This way they will not be able to automatically disqualify you from the job.

  • Sean McCaffrey

    A couple of other things to consider. Who is your target audience. Most job seekers make the mistake of casting their net out too wide expecting to have multiple opportunities. This is a common fallacy. Be specific in what you are looking for. Identify yourself with a personal brand and have that brand be consistently threaded through all of your sales tools.Good luck!

  • I have been working through a temp. service off and on for about 6 years and I am not sure how to put that job on my resume’. I have had other jobs during that time that was not through the temp. service. Does anyone know how or what I need to do with this? Thank You, Trisha Roosa

  • looks is one of the greater factor when looking for a job…whenever you are going on an interview, try to be the best that you are on every aspect.Looks, aptitude, and attitude, and some morale…

  • Elizabeth Johnston

    Resumes only became customary after World War II, as a means for employers to eliminate unqualified candidates among scores of GIs looking for new jobs. Not much has changed. Nowadays, nearly every individual, starting a job search, begins by developing a resume, but decision makers only spend and average of ten seconds scanning them. A resume cannot do the heavy lifting in a job search. Its purpose is strictly to function, in conjunction with a follow-up call, as a marketing tool to initiate a conversation with the decision maker. Your goal should be to present your background and accomplishments in a visually appealing, reverse chronological order, with dates, succinctly and honestly. Stay away from functional resumes, extensive formatting and leaving dates off to hide age.

  • home based staffing

    One has to know about the needs of the recruiter beforehand to make up the resume for that, because if you are targeting a recruiter then you must have desired qualification well highlighted in your resume.

  • The comment that a resume shouldn’t look like it’s been dusted off, it so true. Have your resume updated so that it is current. Using out of date jargon is going to get a resume tossed in the trash can. If necessary, have a professional do it. Just make sure it reflects the REAL YOU – the NOW YOU.Carla

  • nice article ,Resumes are like an X-ray for a Doc .i liked elizabeths reply tho . 🙂

  • yes, if one has achievements, then he/she should show it towards the top, so that employers can give a proper credit.

  • Make sure you dress is appropraite for your industry too. If you want to work in advertising or marketing you’ve got to look trendy – if you want to be a financier you HAVE to look expensive. If you want to sell insurance, then you can play safe but its about looking the part.DO make sure that you have professional headshots and keep up with online self promotion too.

  • You have to look and feel good when applying for a job, even if you’re only submitting your resume. You might be asked for an interview right away. Remember, you should look and feel confident. You have to dress appropriately for an interview. You can wear trendy clothes, but not too flashy. Keep you accessories to a minimum and wear closed black pumps. Keep you hair neat and put on a little make up.