Cover Letters Tips for Older Job Seekers

Tips and Advice for Age Proofing Your Cover Letters

Older man using digital tablet in cafe
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One of the recurring themes in the stories that unemployed job seekers have shared with me is that age is an issue when you're job searching. Comments include:

  • I think my age is my downfall right now.
  • I have learned that age does matter in employment.
  • My age seems to be my biggest enemy.

Being considered an older job seeker can hinder your chances of finding employment. However, there are ways you can age-proof your resume and address age issues when writing cover letters.

Review these cover letter writing tips for older job seekers to help market your candidacy effectively to employers.

Cover Letter Tips for Older Job Seekers

Target Your Cover Letter. The most important way you can convince a hiring manager that you're worth interviewing is to customize your cover letter. Take the job posting and list the criteria the employer is seeking. Then list the skills and experience you have, either in paragraph form or in a bulleted list. This way, the hiring manager can see why you're qualified for the job.

Don't Include Years of Experience. Don't list the length of experience you have in your cover letter. For example, it's not advantageous to say you have 20 or 30 years of experience. It will flag you as an older candidate.

Don't Promote Your Age. Avoid terms like seasoned professional, wealth of experience, worked for many years, or anything similar. There's no need to highlight, in general, your years of experience.

Do Emphasize Your Related Experience. Your cover letter is an opportunity to mention your proven experience, which a less experienced candidate may not have. Again, specify how that experienced is related to the job you're applying for - the more specific you are, the more relevant a candidate you'll be.

Focus on Flexibility. Mention your flexibility, adaptability, and willingness to learn in your cover letter. It will peg you as young and eager, even if you aren't so young in years.

Be Careful About Salary Requirements. If the job posting requests your salary requirements, note that you're flexible. That way employers won't think of you as being overqualified and/or overpriced.

Polish Up Your Cover Letter. Presentation matters. Make sure your cover letter is correctly formatted and well presented with space between paragraphs. You don't want your cover letter to look or read as though it is old-fashioned.

Be Prepared to Email Your Cover Letter. Be sure that you are following email etiquette guidelines when you email your cover letters.

More Cover Letter Tips
When you need to write a cover letter, it's sometimes the small things that make a big difference. Review these cover letter tips and techniques for writing top notch cover letters to send with your resume, including cover letter format and presentation, choosing a type of cover letter, writing custom cover letters, and cover letter examples and templates.

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