Wear Just One Hat
While you may have accumulated experience in a number of areas, don’t confuse the reader with all the varied roles and jobs you performed over the years. Focus only on the job title for which you’re applying. Tell the hiring decision-maker what he or she wants to know, and nothing more. Most likely you’ve worn many different hats during your career. If you had experiences thast don’t directly address the job title’s requirements, don’t emphasize them. In fact, remove them from your resume entirely, if possible, as they will only give employers another reason to screen you out, and you don’t want that. This is your story. Tell it your way. Magnify only the aspects of your background that are relevant to your target objective. You want to focus your resume to reflect yourself in the most positive, powerful ways possible.
Modify Your Resume
Take another look at your resume. Ask, “would I hire myself for this position?” Spin your story in your favor by reworking your resume to emphasize your strengths. Make sure everything on it relates in some way to your desired job objective. Drop older job titles. You generally shouldn’t need to show more than 10 years’ work history. Any prior work is most likely irrelevant now and will take the reader off track. Remove college degree dates and other older professional training dates that may go back more than a few years.
If you’re an older, experienced worker, you don’t have to take a one-down position in the hiring process. While there will be age discrimination with some employers, you can still stack the deck in your favor. Focus on the employer’s needs and draw from successes in your past to provide solid return-on-investment answers to their questions. Remember, it’s about being honest, but also about emphasizing your strengths rather than magnifying your vulnerabilities. If you do so, you can find a great job regardless of the economy.
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Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
As a recruiter, Joe Turner has spent the past 15 years finding and placing top candidates in some of the best jobs of their careers. Author of Job Search Secrets Unlocked and Paycheck 911, Joe has interviewed on radio talk shows and offers free insider job search secrets.