Friday, June 17, 2011

The Middle-Aged Job Hunt - A Lesson in Stupidity

The pool of friends my age searching for jobs gets larger and larger every day. I write resumes as a service to friends of mine who are unemployed and looking for work. Things have changed in the resume world, which I learned when I lost my job last year and started looking for work.

I am happy to report that I am employed, as well as at least three of my friends -- using the resume I wrote for them. Granted, they got the job based on their skill set and background, but I'd like to think I helped get them in the door.

Some tips for we 40ish and 50ish looking for jobs:

  •  List only the last 10 years of your career on your resume. That's all employers are interested in, unless you won a Pulitzer Prize, Oscar, Nobel Peace Prize, etc., beyond that date.
  • Hide your age -- don't put the year of your graduation and quite honestly, don't list the years of your employment.
  • Don't list your previous salary - everyone is paying less and employers still haven't figured out we realize we have to work for less and will work for less.
  • Avoid the stupid interview questions such as "If you could be an animal, which one would you be and why?" A good friend actually got this question in an interview. Here's the answer: "How does this relate to this position?" and jump into your qualifications for the job before they can answer.
  • Apply only for jobs you are qualified for -- extremely overqualified and they won't look at you. Same goes for under qualified.
  • Realize you are likely to interview with someone very much younger than you are. Try not to roll your eyes during interview, even though you will have the strong urge to do so.
I was lucky - my boss and those I work most closely with in my job are in my age group or older. But that seems to be the exception and not the rule. Yes, there is a generation gap in most job hunts these days. But with open minds and a willingness to work together and recognize everyone's skill sets, that gap can be breached.

1 comment:

  1. Yup, that gap has to be breached. We have to be able to get on with younger workers. They were raised in a different era and have different views about the ways things should be done. Though I like to think I know everything, younger people can teach me a thing or two.