I’m an aero science engineer with 25+ years of experience with security clearance. I was on contract for many years at a corporation until the contracts ran dry and I was forced into early retirement. How can I at the age of 69 make myself job savvy and downplay my age?
Let me get right to answering your question and that focuses on one word you used in your question–savvy
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) – /ˈsæv i/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[sav-ee] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation verb, -vied, -vy·ing, noun, adjective, -vi·er, -vi·est. Informal. –verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
|1.||to know; understand.|
|2.||Also, sav·vi·ness. practical understanding; shrewdness or intelligence; common sense: a candidate who seemed to have no political savvy.|
|3.||shrewdly informed; experienced and well-informed; canny.|
I bolded some of the words in the definition because, in my opinion, they reflect the most common uses of the word. Can you, at 69, be savvy? You bet. How do you do that? Use knowledge and information.
Search for information that will give you the knowledge that you need. What is the market looking for? What is it paying for that? How does your experience match up? Where can you strengthen or refresh your skills for the demands of the market?
People are also a great source of information but they are not perfect. Start sampling people that you know for introductions to people that you don’t know to collect more information. Often called informational interviews, this is the process of having a conversation with someone to obtain information. Do not make it seem like you’re asking for a job. You don’t want to act like one of those people. Instead, since you want to be savvy, compile information from conversations with people that answer your questions.
Next, instead of sending out the same generic resume over and over again, network to people within organizations who can introduce you to the hiring manager. LinkedIn is there for that very purpose. Find someone who works at the company and contact them. Politely ask for an introduction to someone within the group if not the hiring manager themselves.
If you are unwilling to do the work that I just recommended because you believe the black hole (the applicant tracking system) is the better way to go, send tailored resumes to every job listing you choose. Sending the same generic resume is little more than spamming. After all, are all the jobs you forward your resume to identical? Of course, they aren’t. So why send the same resume to every job? Tailor them to each job in such a way as you show that you for the requirements and responsibilities for the position and then track which version you send to each ad.
When you receive a call from someone representing a firm, check your list for what the changes were in your resume and what they were looking for so that you can target your answers to what they care about.
Next, if there is one more way to appear savvy and that is by using The Ultimate Job Interview Framework (also available as a paperback and for Kindle on Amazon) People tell me all the time that they get a great response when they do.
Delete the items in your cv that are more than 15 years back. Take the dates off for your degrees. It is unlikely that anyone will hire you based upon the experience you had when Clinton was President so get it off your resume. Emphasize the work you’ve done since 9/11. The further you go back in time for less space you should spend describing the work. Thus, you may use timelines for recent work and one or two lines to describe the antiquities.
Good luck; I hope this helps
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2100 episodes.
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