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Monday, May 18, 2015

Over 50? Some Resume Advice for You!


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Whenever Rob­ert Skladany conducts work­­shops for job seekers over age 50, he hears one word again and again: résumés.


Among the men and women in these groups – some unemployed, others reentering the workforce – a common concern predominates. "They feel they are not at all familiar with contemporary résumés," says Mr. Skladany, vice president of research at Retirement Jobs.com in Waltham, Mass.
One man told him he had not written a résumé for 25 years. In that time, résumés have indeed undergone a transformation. Paper documents, once read and filed by people, have turned electronic. Often they are screened by an employer's automated applicant-tracking system. These changes call for new approaches on the part of applicants.

"Older workers don't understand the environment they're putting their application into," Skladany says. "They still expect an acknowledgment."

By 2010, 1 of every 3 workers will be over 50 years old. To help them remain competitive in the job market, career counselors emphasize the importance of a polished résumé. Rob­erta Chinsky Matuson, president of Human Resource Solutions in Northampton, Mass., advises over-50 job seekers to consider four questions: Does your résumé look weathered? Has it grown to three or four pages over time? Is your first job after high school graduation still listed? Are you still displaying the date you graduated from college?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, she says, it's time to redo your résumé.

Including graduation dates is the subject of debate among career specialists. "You shouldn't lie," Ms. Matuson says. "I am not advocating hiding your age. I'm saying, why broadcast it? The people who are screening résumés are 25 years old."

Yet others suggest that applicants include graduation dates. "If you're 50-plus, play it up in your résumé," says Chuck Underwood, president of the consulting firm The Generational Imperative in Cincinnati. Still other job counselors call the use of dates "very individual" and say, "Use your good judgment."

Many career specialists advise older applicants to limit a résumé to two pages and to include only the most recent 15 to 20 years of their work history. Earlier jobs can be summarized under a heading such as "Positions held prior to 1990," with a list of companies and titles.

Skladany avoids the word "experience." The emphasis today is on capabilities, qualifications, and achievements, he says, not previous titles, duties, and length of service.

Chronological listings on résumés have given way in some cases to formats that highlight skills. "In a chronological format, your most important or relevant experience might be three jobs back," says Shel Horowitz, a professional résumé writer in Northampton, Mass. "Companies may not get that far in reading."

In an electronic age, Jeff Benrey, CEO of Trovix, an online job site in Mountain View, Calif., underscores the importance of a well-formatted résumé. Many examples and templates are available on the Internet, he says.

He still receives an occasional mailed résumé. "In one sense, it's charming. 'Oh look, somebody went to the post office and mailed this.' On the other hand, it begs the question, 'how computer savvy are you?' You want to make sure applicants are Internet savvy and connected."

Being connected also means having a cellphone and e-mail. "In the absence of a cellphone and an e-mail address, recruiters assume technological ignorance," Skladany says. "If your e-mail address is currently fluffykittens6, don't use it. It should be mundane and professional."

"Show that you are up to date on technology, terminology, and industry happenings," says Julie Rains, a certified professional résumé writer in Winston-Salem, N.C. "Avoid references to out-of-date technology." As an example, she adds, "You might describe your computer knowledge as 'understanding of operating systems and electronic media' rather than 'proficiency with DOS and floppy disks.' "

For women over 50 whose careers have been interrupted by family responsibilities – child-rearing and elder care – Vicki Donlan finds that those experiences, properly described in a résumé and interviews, transfer into the workplace today.

"A woman's résumé must amplify her lifetime of experience – at home, in the community, and at work," says Ms. Donlan, author of "Her Turn: Why It's Time for Women to Lead in America."

She is currently advising a woman of 60 who owned a day-care center with her husband. He died suddenly, and she wants to parlay those skills into a corporate job. On her résumé, simply stating "Ran a day-care center with my husband" doesn't sound like a transferable skill, Donlan says. But bullet points of skills required for that role paint a different picture: "Dealt with state licensing. Helped children transition from preschool into public school. Dealt with different levels of management."

Whatever an over-50 job seeker's résumé does or doesn't include, Matuson puts it in a broader context. "You really have to focus on what your attitude is. Workers looking for new positions can come up with a million reasons why someone isn't going to offer them a job. They'll send out two résumés and not get a response and say, 'See, no one wants to hire me. I'm too old.' It's ridiculous. If you're 20 and send out two résumés, you're more than likely going to get the same result."

One way to counter age-related stereotypes is to accentuate your openness to learning, says Scott Erker, a senior vice president at DDI, human resource consultants in Pittsburgh. Mention courses you've taken and professional certifications you've maintained. "Companies want people who are willing to learn, adapt, and be stable, who aren't looking for the next job before they start this one." He finds that older workers are "not very aggressive" about emphasizing things they've done outside of work – volunteer work, travel, and diverse experiences.

Noting that the biggest obstacle older applicants face is discouragement, Skladany encourages an upbeat attitude.

"Be positive," he says. "You have no alternative but to be proud of your age and qualifications."

ADVICE FOR OLDER JOB APPLICANTS

Last month, Melanie Holmes, a 26-year veteran with Manpower North America, started writing about various workplace topics in a blog called Contemporary Working. She offers the following tips for over-50 job seekers:

• Flexibility is a big plus – emphasize that you can be open to a variety of scheduling, titles, consulting, etc.

• Experience is a given – provide details on your familiarity with processes, equipment, and systems.

• Past titles on your résumé may or may not be useful. Be sure to include a brief explanation of duties and related accomplishments.

• If you've upgraded your skills via a short course or certification, make sure it shows up on your résumé and in the interview.

• If you can work it into your cover letter, talk about loyalty, willingness to learn new things, and your comfort with technology.

• Try to limit your work history to what is relevant to the job for which you are applying. But, beware of leaving employment gaps – these can be a red flag to hiring managers.

By Marilyn Gardner
http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0204/p13s01-wmgn.html



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    Monday, May 11, 2015

    20 Ways Older Job-Seekers Can Sell Themselves


    There are PERFECT INTERVIEW ANSWERS - Learn them HERE



    Are you an older skilled worker who has been through a couple of decades of cyclical job expansion and contraction? Then you should be able to gain a few pearls of wisdom from this article. We sometimes forget the benefits that older works bring to a potential (or existing) employer. You do not have to be in sales to leverage you strengths. So how about selling yourself?(Editor's Note) 


    1. You understand recessions: Older workers have seen hard times before -- the bursting of the 1990s tech bubble, recession in the early 1980s, the oil crisis of the mid-1970s -- and they understand that businesses have to adjust. Knowing, too, that expansions always follow, older workers can bring a steady perspective to a jumpy workplace.


    2. You have a healthy fear of slowdowns: Sure, you've seen them before. Older workers' steadiness can be accompanied by a fair dose of worry: You know that downturns can last for long periods of time, and you've witnessed the obliteration of job security, so you know that you need to be increasingly ready and willing to do what it takes to keep your job.

    3. You're willing to work part time: Older workers most crave flexibility, according to a RetirementJobs.com survey. Many want to spend more of their time doing things they enjoy -- traveling, perhaps, or playing with their grandkids -- and they're often willing to accept a part-time schedule or reduced hours. As employers increasingly cut back on hours, a willingness to be flexible can make a job seeker more attractive to a greater variety of companies.

    4. You have real-life experience: Today, employers need workers who can hit the ground running, and older workers have more real-world, less theoretical experience, says John Challenger of Challenger Gray & Christmas. "They've been there before and seen more situations," Challenger says.

    5. You want to be challenged: Forget resting on your laurels -- a Penn State study found that challenging work is the thing that older workers want most.

    Click here to read part 2 of this article



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      Age Bias: Do Hiring Managers Care That Federal Laws Prohibit Age Discrimination When Hiring?

      Free Webinar- : “5 Tips to Battle Ageism” Register Here

      WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

      Many people struggle with the definition of "age discrimination in the workplace." Although, ageism can affect workers at all stages of their lives, there are specific laws intended to protect 40 plus year old job seekers from age discrimination.  

      But do hiring managers really pay any attention to laws regarding age discrimination? What are your thoughts and comments? 

      This information is provided by the The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.(Editor's note).

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Federal Laws Prohibiting Job Discrimination 
      Federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Laws

      What Are the Federal Laws Prohibiting Job Discrimination?


          * Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin;
          * the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which protects men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment from sex-based wage discrimination;
          * the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), which protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older;
          * Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (ADA), which prohibit employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in the private sector, and in state and local governments;
          * Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities who work in the federal government;
          * Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), which prohibits employment discrimination based on genetic information about an applicant, employee, or former employee; and     
         * the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which, among other things, provides monetary damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination.


      The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces all of these laws. EEOC also provides oversight and coordination of all federal equal employment opportunity regulations, practices, and policies.

      Other federal laws, not enforced by EEOC, also prohibit discrimination and reprisal against federal employees and applicants. The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA) contains a number of prohibitions, known as prohibited personnel practices, which are designed to promote overall fairness in federal personnel actions. 5 U.S.C. 2302. The CSRA prohibits any employee who has authority to take certain personnel actions from discriminating for or against employees or applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age or disability. 



      It also provides that certain personnel actions can not be based on attributes or conduct that do not adversely affect employee performance, such as marital status and political affiliation. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has interpreted the prohibition of discrimination based on conduct to include discrimination based on sexual orientation. The CSRA also prohibits reprisal against federal employees or applicants for whistle-blowing, or for exercising an appeal, complaint, or grievance right. The CSRA is enforced by both the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) and the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).

      Additional information about the enforcement of the CSRA may be found on the OPM website from OSC at (202) 653-7188 and from MSPB at (202) 653-6772.

      Free Webinar: “5 Tips to Battle Ageism”Register Here>>>>>>>


      Sometimes older job seekers have to overcompensate by just being more prepared for their Next Interview. Are you?





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        Tuesday, May 5, 2015

        From The Atlantic: The Mental Health Consequences of Unemployment

        "Recession is when a neighbor loses his job. 
        Depression is when you lose yours."
        ~Ronald Reagan


        Editor's Note: In this article published in The Atlantic, research shows that people who have been out of work for at least six months are more likely to suffer from depression than those with jobs. Even sadder - often, people who find work after extended periods of unemployment lose their jobs within the first year, and the theory for their job loss is debilitating depression.
        “Your whole life your job defines who you are,” Yundra Thomas told The New York Times two summers ago. “All of the sudden that’s gone, and you don’t know what to take pride in anymore.”
        ... A new poll from Gallup ...finds that "unemployed Americans are more than twice as likely as those with full-time jobs to say they currently have or are being treated for depression—12.4 percent vs. 5.6 percent, respectively." Moreover, for those who have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more (the "long-term unemployed," currently numbering 3.4 million people), the depression rate is 18 percent, nearly one in five."
        Read the entire article here.
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