Tips, Wisdom and Just Plain Old, Good Advice for Mature Job Seekers
By Ms. Judy Cherry, Career Advisor/Program Coordinator, JEVS Career Solutions for 55+
1. Should I include my entire work history on my résumé?
MS. JUDY: No! You should only include about your last 10-15 years of work experience on your résumé. I’m sorry to say this, but that first job out of high school or your positions from 20, 25, 30 years ago may no longer be applicable to today’s workplace. Therefore, it may not benefit you to include them. Let’s face it, technology has changed the way that so many jobs are done. So, I say that it’s really important to emphasize your latest employment, and detail the responsibilities and achievements that make you appear to be up-to-date, industry savvy, and current with your skills.
2. During the interview process, what if the hiring manager asks me to describe myself?
MS. JUDY: First, resist the temptation to begin answering with personal information. Believe me, a future employer doesn’t want to hear all about your grandkids, sightseeing adventures, or latest health issues. I’ve heard these stories all before from my clients. While they are very interesting and reveal a lot about your character and personality, use this opportunity to immediately talk about your relevant professional experience in the workplace. Explain (with confidence!) your skills and qualifications. Talk about how you can identify and resolve problems, citing strong examples. And, here’s the best advice that I can give you: when you are done with your answer, stop talking. If the hiring manager is quiet for a moment, don’t feel that you have to break the silence by telling him/her more. Don’t fall into this trap! You may wind up talking about your personal life and miss an opportunity to explain more about your experience.
3. I have a lot of years of experience under my belt, so what kind of pay should I look for in a new job?
MS. JUDY: We’d all like to earn 6 figures! Don’t let the discussion of salary scare you, my friend. Prepare yourself by doing some Internet research on this topic before you even apply for a job. You can access the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website at http://www.bls.gov/ to see salaries in your field of work for entry-level, middle management and executive positions (as well as other great info. like benefits and skill requirements). You can also check out www.salary.com. You can get an idea of what the employer will pay by checking out their other job openings on LinkedIn or www.indeed.com. If you’re lucky, the job posting you are responding to may even list the salary range, and then you’ll know how to position yourself. Quick, related side note: If you are required to list your current job salary on a job application, don’t lie and put a higher figure just so that you can ask for more money when you get a job offer. Don’t even try it!
Be sure to check out all of my Ask Ms. Judy blogs:
Part 2… July 2016 – New to Job Searching? 4 Tips to Get You Started
Part 3 … February 2017 – Time for a Career Change!
Part 4 … July 2017 – How to Prepare and Beat the Competition During Your Job Search
Part 5 … February 2018 – Determining Company Culture; Why it Matters to the Interview
Part 6 … July 2018 – Did Your Job…Lose You?
Part 7 … January 2019 – How to Convince Hiring Managers That You Are Indeed Tech-Savvy
If you are a Philadelphia resident over age 55 and looking for a new part-time or full-time job, I can help you. (For free!) Call me at JEVS Career Solutions for 55+ at 267-647-7137 or click on this link for more info.