How Does an Older Worker Tailor Their Resume? |

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As an older worker, how do you tailor your resume to duck the possibility of bias?

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Someone had forwarded a question to me. It was lengthier, but the crux of it is this person's 60 and they've been working as a contractor for the last few years. They're trying to figure out how an older worker should tailor their resume with specific hints to "mitigate length of time, while emphasizing breadth of experience. "
Now, I'm going to translate this into plain English because they're concerned about how much should you show in your resume . . . The philosophical mistake that they're making is their thinking of one resume and it's one document as though you don't tailor a resume. Let me explain.
As I'm recording this, it's 2019. This person's had a career for about 40 years. Do you think anyone cares about anything that they've done before the turn of the century? Of course, not. As a matter of fact, do you think that they care about anything that they've done more than 10 years ago? Probably not.
So, the first thing to do is to focus in on relevant work to demonstrate your fit for a role that you're networking to or applying for. Now, if the question's around job boards and posting your resume on a job board, number one, just recognize that job boards are much less effective than they used to be. Number two is if you're working with recruiters, recruiters are trying to fill a specific job so they're not looking for a generic resume. You've got to give people an opportunity to see how your background fits?
So, in terms of mitigating all this experience, it's kind of like the way I teach how to answer, "Tell me about yourself." You know, it's a quick thumbnail about your background. "I've been in the field now for however many number of years. For the last few years, I've been working as a contractor, or have been involved with such and such and such and such. But what's probably most relevant to this role is my experience doing boop, boop, boop. The idea becomes, you want to make it easy for people to know how your background fits the role that they're trying to fill. Otherwise, you're just sending them a bunch of garbage, that they don't care about focusing on what matters to them.
Don't just talk about everything that you've done forever, because frankly, you can't consolidate 40 years of experience into one document, can you? And, if you could, who cares about what you did at the beginning of your career, right?
Like I said, who cares about anything that you did more than 10 years ago? The probability is, they're not going to care about that background. And,, if by some chance they do, it's a minor miracle AND it probably indicates their interested in obsolete work that you've done.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1500 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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