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Friday, March 27, 2015

7 Mistakes Job Seekers Over 50 Make (2)

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."

Click here to read part 3 of this article


  1. I stopped reading this site's content when I read, '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."'

    This Koff character recommends lying and wasting someone else's valuable time, probably also displacing an actual candidate who wants/needs the job. This is stealing time, effort, and value from at least two persons at once.

    That is brazenly dishonest, unethical, and immoral. Imagine if a company called you in to an interview, but never planned to offer a job to anyone at all; just wasting your time, expenses, and spirit to practice interviewing skills.

    I'd rather be poor and out of work than a thief, nor would I follow the advice of anyone who publishes thievery among job hunting techniques.

  2. Steven, I agree...with all the Workforce Development offices around the country employing those who will freely help with mock interviews and resume help, there is no reason to waste anyone's valuable time. Prepare using the community resources available for that specific purpose; they cost nothing, except a little prep time for you and that's what they are there for. To locate them do an internet search on "one stop career center" in your state/city or look in the phone book under Workforce development office. Practice makes you better & better!


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