Concerns mature candidates face
Dear Sam: I am 51 years old and looking for a part-time clerical position. I havenâ€™t had much response in sending out my current rĂ©sumĂ© and I feel it could have something to do with my age and Iâ€™m not sure how to â€śhide itâ€ť because I was at one company for 17 years.
I have omitted my first employer from my rĂ©sumĂ© so I have two jobs listed; one for 17 years and the other for 4. I have not listed any years regarding my education. â€“ Martha
Dear Martha: If you are only presenting 21 years of experience then a reader may assume you are in your early 40s, making your fear of being seen as 10 years older not a concern.
Perhaps it is more than just your chronological age that is dating your candidacy. Take a look at the roles you have included and make sure you are using up-to-date jargon and hard-hitting keywords that position you for what you now want to pursue.
What I find in a lot of rĂ©sumĂ©s is that candidates, when presenting long-term tenure with one employer, often take brevity too far. Be sure you have a nice mix of your roles presented along with, and most important, the value you contributed presented in the form of accomplishment statements.
I hope you are spreading your experience on two pages versus trying to squeeze it all on one, and I also hope you are opening with a strong qualifications summary which â€śframesâ€ť your experience and your candidacy for the reader.
It is really easy to pin a lack of response on a fear of ageism, and while I do understand that it is a rational fear, in your case I think the lack of response is likely due to formatting and content strategies.
Take a look at some rĂ©sumĂ© samples on my website to confirm you are presenting a document in line with best practices and, once you perhaps revamp a little, Iâ€™m sure you will start to hear your phone ring.
Dear Sam: l lost my management job a year ago. Since then, I have held two jobs each lasting six months. I am afraid that I may not be hired by another company, as I am 59 years old. What would you suggest? â€“ Simon
Dear Simon: First, determine an appropriate amount of experience to list on your rĂ©sumĂ©. Based on the level which you want to pursue, I would imagine that would be between 10 and 15 years.
You may want to omit the earlier of your recent short-term positions â€” as I am assuming they are not incredibly strong, based on your short tenure â€” as doing so would not cause a gap when only presenting years and not months of employment.
As your manager position would include many more accomplishments, I would suggest having a â€śSelect Highlightsâ€ť section on your rĂ©sumĂ© where your achievements could be previewed on page one of your rĂ©sumĂ©.