Today more and more resumes I receive have one major flaw. One that I would like to discuss which happens to be the topic of age. Who out there is advising job candidates to hide their age? Has hiding your age on your resume ever worked for someone? Listen it’s stupid to broadcast that you have 20 plus years experience, because all that’s saying is “hey don’t look at me”. Hiring authorities aren’t dumb so listing your first job as being the Controller isn’t tricking anyone to call you. What do you think goes through their head about that? “Oh the dude must be a prodigy” “WOW right out of school he was hired as the controller”. And oh yeah, the big kahuna is when you glance down at the education and the dates are missing. What’s that all about? Perhaps it was just an oversight? Certain dates we don’t forget LIKE WHEN YOU GRADUATE FROM SCHOOL!!! I am aware that there is a recession but this tactic is not going to help you.
So guys and gals listen UP because you are wasting your time. If you happen to get lucky because the HR person is brand spanking new and they call you to come on in for an interview. The gig is up when you fill out an application, or its when you trip over your cane in the interview room.
Listen, I know this is a serious issue and I’m trying to make light of it by pointing out the obvious that doesn’t seem to be obvious to some.
Age discrimination is without question a real issue, however it goes both ways. There are companies out there that want to hire older workers. In fact they prefer it! So use it to your benefit. Don’t play into it by leaving things out.
Tom Watson last week almost won the British open at age 59. I must admit I couldn’t believe that his age was all they talked about. I understand that competitive sports is dominated by the young, but Golf on the other hand??? Granted when you get older your not as strong and you lose some flexibility but after all it’s just a game. He can drive the ball as far as anyone he just needed to sink that 8 foot put. When these guys turn 50 they enter into the senior tour. Perhaps the work force needs a senior tour. Something beside being a Wal-Mart greeter or shelling out samples at Costco.
I personally believe that experience in the work force is more valuable than what a newbie has to offer, except a newbie comes at a cheaper price. Remember that your desire to earn more comes at a cost to the company you work for. From day 1 you and your company have different and conflicting goals when it comes to your income.
So what can you do about this situation?
Keep your resume short to no longer than 2 pages. You don’t want people falling asleep reviewing your resume so keep it relevant to your most recent jobs. Put your dates on your resume including your undergraduate degree. Be aggressive with following up on your resume with phone calls. Make sure that you have high energy when speaking with someone live. If your having resume tracking issues go sign up for MyJobCAST.com and start using it for FREE!
Stop making your age an issue. Make it your strength. Stay current with technology and all it has to offer. Do not avoid CHANGE! Embrace it and be flexible. Lastly, you need to understand that not every new job comes with a raise! You might want to start thinking about cutting your personal expenses and figuring out how to make ends meet with less. I would have to say that 99 out of 100 people do not realize how short careers are. More and more people think that their pay will continue to increase and all I can tell you is it doesn’t. Control what you can control and plan! Unless you work for yourself corporate America does have short term problems for long term careers.