Doing a History Dump
The No. 1 mistake I see with older candidates is they include too much information in their resume," said Cathy Severson, a career coach who runs the site Retirement Life Matters. "Clear the clutter, old-dated, irrelevant information from your resume."
Instead, tailor your resume to the job you're applying for -- each time. Two to three pages and 15 years of relevant experience is more than enough.
Likewise, be careful that you don't turn an interview into a snooze-inducing laundry list of your top 100 achievements over the past 30 years, said Tom Mann of TR Mann Consulting, a marketing and advertising firm specializing in boomers and older workers.
Experienced workers are so eager to show their skills off that they do a 'history dump,'" he said. "While it's important to share your relevant skills, how you present is equally important. Show that you are also fun. Remember, Gen Y doesn't want to feel like they're working with their mom or dad."
Copping an Attitude
Equally damaging is acting superior to an interviewer who's younger than you or showing up with a chip on your shoulder the size of the national debt.
"It's not a good idea to tell the person how much you can teach them," said Cynthia Metzler, president and CEO of Experience Works, a national nonprofit that provides job training to low-income workers over 55. "But it is a good idea to tell them if you have any experience working or volunteering in a multigenerational workplace."
Winging the Interview
Not practicing for your interviews is another no-no, especially if you haven't been on one since the Reagan administration. If you're not sure how your interview rap is coming across, Metzler suggests enlisting a 20- or 30-something pal or colleague to do a test drive with you:
"If you know you're going to be interviewed by someone who's 25 and you're 65, then find someone who's 25 and have them interview you."
Arthur Koff, the 70-something who runs the job site Retired Brains, suggests taking it one step further:
"Try to get an interview with an employer you are not interested in working for as practice. You don't want to go to your first [important] interview in a long time and make easily correctable mistakes."
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