Mature job seekers face the unique challenge of relating varied work histories in a way that's effective in a competitive job market. If you want to create the perfect cover letter, our guide shows how to portray your long career in the most attractive and efficient way.
1. Tactfully De-Emphasize Age
Refrain from mentioning things that will automatically age you such as exact number of years in the workforce or college graduation date.
2. Avoid Rehashing Resume
No cover letter should be a repetition of all the information in your resume, but this is especially important for mature job seekers. Focus on one or two specific qualifications you possess.
3. Use Descriptions Rather Than Quantitative Information
Avoid using specifics that will draw attention to your age. For example, instead of saying you have "over 25 years of experience" use a descriptive phrase such as, "extensive experience."
4. Highlight Marketable Skills
Most employers want to hear about the specific skills that you'll bring to the table. Use practical examples of professional success to showcase skills listed in the job requirements. Marketable skills include leadership ability, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills.
5. Demonstrate Proficiency With Current Technology
It's important to show that you possess technological proficiency on par with younger candidates. Especially if you are applying for a technical position, list specifics about the programs and equipment you can use.
6. Use Personal Connections
Professional networks are an essential part of the job market. If you know someone who works at the company, mention the name in your cover letter.
7. Focus on Flexibility and Learning Ability
The perfect cover letter shows a potential employer that you are enthusiastic about the job and capable of learning new things swiftly. Indicate your passion for the industry and include some examples of self-motivated learning such as attending professional development courses.
8. Show Your History of Success
Without explicitly saying it, you want to compare your level of experience favorably against that of an untested younger employee. Include specific information about your career successes and achievements without drawing attention to your age.
9. Cut Dated Phrases and Language
Make sure you don't include any outdated buzzwords or phrases. Avoid using "To Whom It May Concern:" or "Dear Sir:" as salutations or and replace phrases such as "team player."
10. Describe How You Can Help the Company
The overall focus of your letter should be how your unique qualifications can help the company reach its goals. Speak directly to the requirements listed in the job description and discuss specific ways your skills will meet those requirements.
Take it a Step Further
There are a few more things you can do to further refine your perfect cover letter. Strong, concise writing is essential. Most recruiters only spend a couple minutes glancing through a cover letter before moving on, so you want to make sure your reader can get all the necessary information quickly. Choose your words carefully to convey detail without requiring a lot of adjectives. Use strong verbs when talking about previous accomplishments. A short, well-written story can also be a good way to highlight a specific professional success. Simply relate the problem or challenge and discuss your decisions, actions, and results. A story is memorable and also shows your ability to solve problems successfully.