I have been trying to put my resume together and, boy, is it a challenge.
A “recruiter” recently told me that the two biggest obstacles I face in my search for employment are my age and the “one dimensional” nature of my experience. By this he means, basically, I’ve had the same job for 35 years. It’s going to take some literary magic to re-package a one dimensional old bat like me.
Of course, for a mere 5,000 bucks he would take a shot at it. It’s nice to know that my life can be made marketable for about the cost of a root canal. It would be even nicer to know I had 5,000 bucks.
He suggested that I “de-emphasize” my age by chucking the chronological approach to resume writing. For you first time readers, I am 63.
He suggested going with an accomplishments and skills approach rather than a year by year list of positions and activities. Of course, using this technique, while factoring in my one dimensionality, I am left with a one line resume. Pithy, indeed.
I am not sure I agree with this. If your resume has no references to years and dates, I think the average employer will catch on that you are hiding something. I mean these people are employers, not employees, for a reason.
A friend of my thinks I should just lie about my age. When I asked her what she thought I could get away with, she said 61. Not only does this not help, but it also hurts my feelings.
Another approach I have considered is to pretend I really don’t know how old I am: “I was raised by a family of seals in the South Atlantic. They didn't have calendars.” This would be confirmed by the layer of blubber around my mid-section. Or maybe I will have a section on my resume called The Lost Years. It would be blank, of course. This would perhaps give me a certain romantic cache, while clouding the whole age issue.
Maybe I should deal with it head on. Let’s face it the major reason corporate brass doesn’t want to hire seniors is they are afraid we will go face down in our pudding in the company cafeteria upsetting everyone.
I can assure them that I am in sound health, except for that vagueness thing, and bring many things to the dance like experience, wisdom and one dimensionality.
My mere presence can raise the morale of the entire staff by making them feel superior: “At least I’m not like him, I have a future.”
And besides, many of the younger set find uncontrollable flatulence humorous.