Dumbing down a resume, and hiding age

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Amethyst2. Show Amethyst2's posts

    Dumbing down a resume, and hiding age

    I'm in my 50's, and may be facing unemployment...

    I've been advised to first of all, try to hide my age in redoing my resume, and to "dumb it down", in order to become more employable..

    If I just go back, say, through the last ten years of employment on my resume, then I'm not overtly declaring my age, but I'm not hiding it, either.  So I can live with that.  I do, however, resent the discriminatory tenor to that recommendation.  But what do I do?  I gotta eat!

    On the recommendation of "dumbing down", it feels deceptive in a way that could end up hurting more  than helping.  If an employer's ears would perk up if they knew I had a certain experience that I've been discouraged from mentioning, then I've just talked myself out of a job.  But I also don't want to ever hear that would "overqualified", which I think is such a hogwash term.  Either you're qualified, or you're not. 

    My tactic at this point, would be to target potential employers who work with/for/about the aging baby boomer types...I'm guessing that they'd be less prone to discriminate...

    Any thoughts?  It just feels like there are so many larger issues here, then whether li'l Amethyst gets a good meal!

    Thanks!
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from MaisieFinn. Show MaisieFinn's posts

    Re: Dumbiing down a resume, and hiding aage

    Sorry about your potential job loss.  It seems as though the lay-offs just keep rolling out.

    I chose the under-employed route some years back to allow for flexiblity and had visions of jumping back into the work force now that my youngest has headed off to college.  Yikes!  Bad timing.  

    I got the same advice about doing some creative cut-and-pasting of my resume to blur the edges, and have had some interviews, but the age is a factor vibe is definitely out there.  And it seems counter-intuitive to leave off solid experience doesn't it?

    So, I love this post and hope you get some really concrete advice.  I'll keep my fingers crossed that you're able to dodge the unemployment bullet.      
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from ManWithNoName. Show ManWithNoName's posts

    Re: Dumbiing down a resume, and hiding aage

    Sorry to hear about the potential job loss as well. Hopefully it all works out for you...

    I'm not sure what field or occupation you are in, but the hip new thing now is to "tailor" your resume to each and every job you apply for

    For example, if your applying for job title A; only put down the 2-3 positions that really tie in with the job desription you are applying for. (or if your applying for position B, leave off the jobs you put in A and add in the expereience you have in that. Its worth a shot

    Good luck and let us know how it works out.....

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Amethyst2. Show Amethyst2's posts

    Re: Dumbing down a resume, and hiding age

    Thank you both so much for your support and good ideas!

    Maisie:  I agree, it seems counterintuitive to have to play these games, doesn't it?  I hope things are going well for you -- I guess ya have to do whatever it takes, given the resources available to you.  It sounds like you're taking care of yourself...I don't know what to do about the age thing, other than get a good haircut, get some workouts in, and be clever with makeup!  Above all, show some sincere interest in the position, and confidence that you know you can do it...

    Man with no name:  I'm a medical secretary, so my situation could be worse.  However, I've also done a lot of other things with my life; volunteering, etc.  Tailoring the resume is a great idea...I've tried tailoring the cover letter and including a one-size-fits-all resume.  Maybe that's not the best route!

    Two wise people have commented....again, thank you both!

    Amethyst
     
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from MaisieFinn. Show MaisieFinn's posts

    Re: Dumbing down a resume, and hiding age

    Good call, mwnm.  I actually have several different versions of my resume Amethyst.  I've read that in this market employers expect applicants to fit the job paremeters exactly, so it would be necessary to sculpt your accomplishments to fit each position.

    What's you take on head hunters? 
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from ManWithNoName. Show ManWithNoName's posts

    Re: Dumbing down a resume, and hiding age

    I would be very careful when using a recruiter. For every good recruiter, there are 20 garbage recruiters that are just a huge waste of your time. (In the Accounting world, it seems like a new headhunting firm shows up on the block every week)

    I actually found my current position through a recruiter. He was very professional, didn't promise the world and was pretty good communicating back and forth. So they can be very useful source if you find a good one......
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from MaisieFinn. Show MaisieFinn's posts

    Re: Dumbing down a resume, and hiding age

    That's what I suspected mwnn. 

    I was once "recruited away" from one company to another (accounting job too).  I didn't even know how they had gotten my name, but it worked out well for me at the time.  But my career has been all over the place, so I'm not sure how much help a recruiter could provide anyway.  BTW, does it seem like they have any jobs to place anyway? 

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from ManWithNoName. Show ManWithNoName's posts

    Re: Dumbing down a resume, and hiding age

    The "Jobs" recruiters advertise on Monster etc.. are usually not real ones. Just examples of typical positions if they need to build up their database with a certain qualification or experience group.

    Usually when they do have a job that comes up needing to be filled, they submit all the qualified candidates (who are already interviewed, qualified and in there base already) within 24 hours or less... THEN they select 2-3 for interviews. So if a recruiter ever says "You need to come in ASAP for an interview so I can submit you for an opening", they are lying. There is no way that job (if it even exsists) will still be open for you or anyone else even if you meet with the recruiter the very next day. Time is of the essence in that business.

    I would only use a recruiter if I was unemployed and had time to go in or if the recruiter would meet you after normal work hours like what happened with me. I know a recruiter is a little more serious if they make a point of staying at the office late to bring you in. If you tell a recruiter you work during the day and they still want to meet at 2pm then they clearly don't take you seriously....

    Like I said earlier...... I have first hand experience knowing that recruiters can be a useful tool, but you need to find a good one.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from DorisAppelbaum. Show DorisAppelbaum's posts

    Re: Dumbing down a resume, and hiding age

    I have been a professional resume writer for over 30 years. My clients are from all walks of life. If information will be harmful, I suggest you omit it. Never lie, but speak only about positives - skills, achievements, awards, etc. I am a member of Mensa and have never put it on my resume because it intimidates employers. Since I am over 60, my graduation dates are also omitted. You will have at least one interview - probably more. Why "blow it" on the first try?

    The right resume can be easily adjusted with "cut and paste" techniques.

    Doris Appelbaum/CEO
    Appelbaum's Resume Professionals, Inc.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Dumbing down a resume, and hiding age

    Whatever you do, be careful to avoid even a hint of deceptiveness.  Omitting something doesn't necessarily fall into this category, but it CAN depending on what you're leaving out.  I've been an interviewer, and consistency between the person and the resume was my number two criteria (the correct skill set being number one) followed closely by personality.  I never wanted to feel duped into bringing someone in for an interview so be very careful with your approach.   Try to read your resume from an employer's perspective and ask yourself if you'd feel duped when it comes interview time if the roles were reversed.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Sara999999. Show Sara999999's posts

    Re: Dumbing down a resume, and hiding age

    It is against the law for an employer to discriminate based on age. I am not 100% sure whether the laws also concern applying for work and age discrimination, but I think they do. If you feel you apply for a job and then do not get hired due to your age, you may be able to win a case before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

    I was told by at least one quite young resume advisor that I should eliminate much experience from my resume, as I had too many jobs. Another quite young temporary agency intake person became suspicious and distraught when she saw how many jobs I had had, assuming there must be something wrong with me.

    I am not sure whether "dumbing down" is good in general, but my situation makes me think that it could be helpful. Being well over fifty, I have taken not-for-credit adult education courses in writing skills in later life, and also obtained certificates for completing online classes in writing and proofreading.  Since then, most of my work that relates to writing has been taken away from me, and I have been told that someone in another office at the organization I work for (as a long term temp, so far), will be taking over my job and all of my office's belongings need to be moved elsewhere, including to her office location. You can imagine me wondering: What good did it do me to take any of those classes?

    In my prior position, I took non-certificate writing skills classes, and then other people who had not taken the classes ended up being brought in to do much of my job. I was criticized, so I felt forced to voluntarily leave (also had issues with overwork typing causing hand pain).

    Where I work now I am "just" a contract employee, and feel like my job is again going down the tubes. I feel forced to start looking for other work, as I have no job guarantee. Rather than dumbing down, I am considering obtaining another certificate for writing skills and going into my own consulting business.

    It gets to the point where you no longer want to improve your qualifications only to feel that people don't want or need you. I don't want to "blow my own horn," but I don't want people to assume that I am not skilled because I do not have a college degree or I am older and not "quick" with everything or remember every detail of every job matter.

    Right now I am making a good but not exorbitant living and I am making money for my contractor employer. I have no pension and no job security. Other people make errors in the workplace and I sometimes make errors in the workplace. I am the one they are getting rid of.

    Good luck with your work. You may need it.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Sara999999. Show Sara999999's posts

    Re: Dumbing down a resume, and hiding age

    I forgot to mention in my post that I also learned to use Adobe in the past year, brought an Adobe book to the office to share, since nobody else knew it, and subsequently was made to feel that I would no longer be doing that aspect of the work!

    In my prior work place, I brought in a medical writing reference work--not sure whether anyone really appreciated it--it didn't get used by anyone else that I knew of.

    I am wondering if when I get a new position I should refrain from bringing any educational reference material to the office. The inference I am getting is that co-workers do not think the reference works I contribute to the office deal with important subject matter.

    It is certainly hard to be old and "old school." I recently read an article in a foreign newspaper Web site written by an over 40 author who felt she had been relegated to the "trash heap" due to her age.

    I am infering that if you are older and have had many jobs, hiring people assume that you will be in a work place for a short while, so contract jobs are what you should do.

    If you are scared about your situation, you might want to try contract jobs. You might even be able to land a temp-to-perm that works out. If it does not, you get more experience and a chance to get another temp or permanent job.

    It seems like there are two sides to "temping." The good side: You may get more experience and learning than many people who stay at one or two work places most of their life. This may help you get a job (makes sense to me, anyway). The bad side: Recruiters who see how many jobs you have had may think you will not stay at a job, for whatever reason, and will not take you seriously.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from Sara999999. Show Sara999999's posts

    Re: Dumbing down a resume, and hiding age

    Another piece of advice for an older person job hunting: When you consider jobs/places to work, keep in mind how much typing, heavy lifting, standing for long periods, and neat handwriting your employer may require. Those activities can be hard for an older person when they need to be repetitive at work. If you accept a job that requires more energy for those functions than you can still put out, you may set up yourself/your employer for a job misfit disappointment.

    It may be critical for you to emphasize to potential employers that you have skills that do not require extensive functions such as I outlined above. In this scenario, I DON'T think it would be good to dumb yourself down.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from Celia2. Show Celia2's posts

    Re: Dumbing down a resume, and hiding age

    In a resume writing class the instructor advised listing only the jobs that you have held in the past 10 years. Then creating a section immediately after your job listings titled Additional Experience where you can list pertinent experience that may not have been covered in the specific job descriptions listed earlier on your resume. This was especially helpful in consolidating several similar type jobs that I held immediately after college. Was advised to stop putting college graduation dates on resume as well.

     

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