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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mature Workers: Use Age to Your Advantage (2)

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

Source: http://www.transitioning.org/2009/10/15/older-workers-use-your-age-to-your-advantage-joe-turner/

1 comment:

  1. Based on your article I should have been re-employed within weeks of my company's closing.
    I have done all of the things mentioned in the article and am still looking with no success.
    I have around fifteen different resumes.I have modified each one to highlight one area of expertise.
    Yes, in my career, I have worn many hats.
    My last position was as a production supervisor/ shipping supervisor for what was a fortune 500 company.
    What you say may be true in some areas but we have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. Jobs are leaving Riverside County, California with no replenishment in sight.
    I was at one time a believer in the demographics that show baby boomers will outnumber generation Y people.
    I think that even older H/R managers have to first shed some of their own, or company induced, predjudices regarding older workers.
    I respect the author's fifteen years in the field of job placement and perhaps in certain areas his approach is successful, but I don't find it to be universal.
    If by older worker you are talking about people forty to fifty, I might say this is true.
    I, personally, am fifty nine. I recall being given directions several years ago to find flaws in older workers resumes that would eliminate them from serious consideration for positions while I was involved in the hiring process. I also caught hell more than once for ignoring those instructions.
    The funny thing was that the older worker, contrary to what the corporate mind set, was at work every day, did their job, learned it well, was able to transition into new changes and had exemplary attendance and longevity records.
    The younger workers were more prone to miss on Friday nights or any other night where there might be a party brewing, had to be indoctrinated into the societal structure of the work force. Did not take direction well and were neither as educated or interested in performing their job. Company loyalty revolved entirely around the size of the paycheck and benefits..

    Both of these statements are stereotypical and in fact, I found both good and bad workers from all points on the spectrum...

    The point I am trying to make is that the only place that young vs old has any bearing is in the corporate mentality.

    The unfortunate thing is that this covert , faceless mentality makes the decisions as to what the requirements are for employment.


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