I just saw a career spot on the Today Show this morning about disguising age on resumes for job seekers over 40.
Although the advice given by their financial editor Jean Chatzky was on target, I was a little miffed that they hadn’t brought in a careers industry professional to thoroughly cover resumes and the Internet-age job search landscape.
Obvious, time-tested strategies any experienced resume writer knows about to deal with age were presented:
- Leave off graduation dates,
- Scratch lead-in statements that point to age: “20+ years experience . . .”,
- Bring relevant experience and skills to the top of the resume, and
- Pack the resume with relevant key words that can be found in corresponding job descriptions.
Given Matt Lauer’s stunned reaction, you’d think Jean had offered ground-breaking solutions.
A 49-year-old job seeker was spotlighted who had been getting little or no response with her resume. She realized her resume was aging her, so she revamped it and hired a hip, young web developer to design a blog for her. She was contacted within a day of re-sending her new resume to some of the same companies, ultimately landing two jobs.
It would have been helpful if they’d mentioned that there are endless FREE opportunities to take advantage of online social media. Getting free online publicity, spreading your brand around, and creating the kind of online image you want can be done fairly easily:
- Creating a compelling on-brand profile for online business/social networking sites (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) is free.
- Starting a blog is free.
- Guest blogging and commenting on other blogs are free.
- Writing book reviews for Amazon is free.
- Writing articles for professional associations is free.
- Sharing your expertise on Yahoo! Answers and Google Groups is free.
My main take-away from the spot was that most people are intimidated by the prospect of job search at all, let alone online job search. But job search 2.0 is here. The impact of the Internet is inevitable . . . it can’t be dismissed or ignored.
I’m also thinking most job seekers are not aware that there is a growing community of talented careers industry professionals out here ready to help them navigate the intimidating and daunting job search waters, if they just can’t do it themselves.