Concerns mature candidates face

BY SAMANTHA NOLAN Modified: September 14, 2012 at 1:30 pm •  Published: September 14, 2012
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By doing this, you will push your most recent, short-term experience toward the bottom of page one (or the top of page two), ensuring it plays a much less significant role during the screening process.

Once you present a strategic amount of experience (to avoid unnecessarily aging your candidacy), highlight your accomplishments up front, and minimize the impact of having moved around twice in one year, you will find you have a strong résumé that will open doors.

Dear Sam: I retired from the DoD with 31 years of service. During those years, I held different positions. At this time, I am trying to find a part-time position, with no luck.

Most of the part-time jobs I have located are for positions similar to what I did more than 10 years ago (or longer). How can I incorporate my older work experience, in my résumé, to be considered for a part-time job now? – Carole

Dear Carole: To avoid unnecessarily aging your candidacy, include only your most recent positions with dates you performed each role after your titles, and add a byline to note that you have additional experience with the organization.

You should focus on the past 10 or so years of employment and the related achievements and responsibilities. To incorporate notes about your previous positions, while avoiding presenting years upon years of experience, add a career highlights section to your résumé.

You may want to employ a functional approach to this section if you are trying to highlight certain areas that relate to your current job search. By this, I mean include a career highlights section after your qualifications summary but before your professional experience section.

Within this section, utilize functional subheadings to focus the hiring manager's attention on the experiences within your background that support or enhance your candidacy for what you want to do now.

Here you can highlight achievements and responsibilities related to the positions you held 10+ years ago, without exploring them in detail within the professional experience section.

In the professional experience section, after you hit about the 10-year mark, you can take the byline approach to present additional positions. This is essentially a note stating that you have additional experience within certain positions or arenas. I wish you well.