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Resumes for Retirees

In this article, you will find resume tips for folks retiring from full-time careers and transitioning to new challenges.

  • Retiring As: Target Position:
  • Executive Assistant Part-Time Receptionist
  • Postmaster Retail Customer Service Representative
  • Manufacturing Process Technician Church Custodian
  • Police Officer Consultant to Law Practice
  • Sales & Marketing Executive Financial Services / Sales
  • Chief Executive Officer Management Consultant

If you have recently retired or are about to retire, but aren't ready to completely quit working, you may decide to pursue a life-long dream job or choose to take a position that's less demanding, thus affording you the opportunity to smell the roses. When you find yourself in one of these scenarios, there are several key things to remember as you prepare your resume and cover letters. Here are just a few tips that you may find helpful:

  1. Be aware that you don't have to include every job you've ever held. Your first job as a junior sales representative in 1972 is usually going to be of less interest to an employer than what you've done in the past 10 to 15 years. If you've been in your current or most recent position for five years or more, it's probably sufficient to focus on that position and summarize the rest of your career.
  2. Think about which of your skills and experiences are most relevant to the type of position you are now seeking. Those are the skills you want to emphasize on your resume. This may mean that you will want to use the functional format for your resume in order to highlight skills that may not have been called upon in your most recent job.
  3. Consider whether your volunteer experiences are relevant to your new career goal. For example, if you've been a youth soccer coach for many years as a volunteer and now would like to pursue coaching at the high school or college level as a profession, your volunteer experiences in that area may be the most relevant information on your resume.
  4. Avoid giving away your age by including dates of graduation. This relates back to the first tip, as well. If you started your first job in 1968, the prospective employer doesn't need a PhD in math to figure out that you're either 58 or 62, depending on whether you went to college or not. It's okay to leave graduation dates off your resume and lop off the first 10 or 20 years of your work history. If that early experience is relevant, however, use the functional format to highlight it without tying it to a specific time frame.

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