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Job market - testing the waters.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by imwjl, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

    I have not pedaled a resume or been serious about any job hunt for a long time and with a strong job market am looking into other opportunities.

    What I perceived from some some word of mouth and personal connections is people shocked and seemingly put off when the supposedly sharp and energetic person they heard of ends up being older.

    How do you disguise age? Other than hair color I am physically fit. How do you disguise age in your resume?

  2. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    I don't know how you can avoid it. Obviously you don't put your birthdate on your resume, but other things need to be dated or else it's suspicious. Anyone looking at your resume can take the year you got your undergrad degree and work backwards to estimate your age.
    Piggy Stu likes this.

  3. Nickadermis

    Nickadermis Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Dec 18, 2016
    Camden Point, MO
    I am probably not normal. But the employees that I value most and whom contribute the most are all over 40. But I am in construction so maybe we are different.
    Piggy Stu likes this.

  4. ale.istotle

    ale.istotle TDPRI Member

    Mar 22, 2016
    Keywords are what get you past the filters. Helps to put a skills section up front with skills acting as keywords. You should tailor them to the roles as you apply. Leave date off of undergrad degree if you have one and don't list every last minor position dating back to your entry into job market. Go back maybe 10-15 years depending on experience. Experience older than that is usually not going to make an impact. Got this from experts in my travels and also by considering what I look at when hiring. You should be able to search for examples.

  5. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 7, 2017
    While the age thing is real and next to impossible to get around, you may also be too "sharp and energetic" in my experience many people especially small business owners are wary of any one they perceive as "wanting to run the show" they may say other wise but actions speak louder than words.

    I live in a small town and unless you are a MD, vet, dentist or attorney, you best keep your accomplishments and education on the down low, especially is you have attended anything perceived as being "fancy" (i.e. not a "State" school) lest you be painted w/ the "too smart for your own good" brush. If you are getting push back for being yourself you need to either dumb things down,( not the best option IMHO) or seek out opportunities where the management & work force is more in line w/ your reality; this may require relocation.
    Piggy Stu likes this.

  6. raito

    raito Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Nov 22, 2010
    Madison, WI
    I'm lucky. The company I work at prefers people who've seen everything and anything.

    As for the resume, it's hard to disguise several decades of experience, isn't it?

  7. Frank'n'censed

    Frank'n'censed Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 27, 2011
    Parts Unknown
    Your concerns are understood, being in the same situation...yesterday was 4 years since I last worked. The last time I applied for a job was in ‘89, hand written, getting the job 2 weeks after arriving in Raincouver...I was with them for a quarter of a century. The job market process has changed bigtime! Cover letters, resumes, portfollios, work cards & follow up letters + interview tactics
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
    Piggy Stu likes this.

  8. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    I believe you, but that has never been my experience.

  9. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Feb 14, 2011
    Annapolis, MD
    I don't see how you can. Hopefully you can find opportunities where experience is important.
    imwjl likes this.

  10. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

    That was 10 years after high school graduation so I'll trash any old resumes and have that date and maybe still be able to describe the business I had in that 10 years in an overall experience paragraph.

    I seek older and very young so understand that.

    I get that too. My frustrations leading to this state of being come from the culture I report to and complications from nepotism. There's a frustrating level of can't win when the c suite is filled with family, spouses and nieces. You are hero or enemy.

  11. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Tele-Meister

    Feb 11, 2006
    I went through a lengthy job search for about 8 months and saw considerable ageism disguised with HR appropriate terms. The trick is finding a company that's less concerned about your age than they are your skills.

    Sure, you can hide your age somewhat by not including dates, such as your graduation, and shortening your experience somewhat. Your knowledge may get you past the initial phone interviews. But, unless you are very youthful looking naturally, they'll figure out your age early in the face-to-face and show you the door quickly and probably rudely. The HR department will tell you that you don't fit the team's cultural dynamic or some other HR BS platitude.

    Anyway, good luck with your search.
    thegeezer and SnidelyWhiplash like this.

  12. Random1643

    Random1643 Tele-Meister

    Mar 11, 2015
    Upper Midwest
    I'm 64 years old; worked blue collar for 10 years after high school, then did B.A. & M.S., and then hit the white collar job market so I appear younger on paper. Most of my 30-year post-grad career has been about some aspect or application of community, economic and/or business planning and development. Over the last few years I've been looking into a slight career shift but, as others note and to the OP's question, at the interview I flat-out look like an old guy. I'm pretty sure I have run into age discrimination which bothers me but sometimes I kind of understand: Why hire me for maybe 5-7 years when you (the hiring organization) may be able to hire a younger man or woman who perhaps stays in the position for 20+ years? As a hiring manager I might have the same thought process.

    I recently came in 2nd in an extended national search for a job that I would've been really good at and really wanted. In the interviews - knowing that my age was obvious - I was totally open about it, but also because of my experience was able to hammer points such as "I can hit the ground running," "having already designed and operated an applied research program like X I can do the same for your organization," etc. I don't know who came in first or, in this case, whether age discrimination was involved. I do feel based on the process that they took a really good look at me and decided to hire someone who - in some sense - was just a better candidate for their shop. I accept that. I've been in other hiring processes over the last few years where I wasn't given serious consideration and found that to be super annoying, whether age was a factor or not.
    thegeezer likes this.

  13. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    Who stays at a job 20+ years anymore? I think this change in the job market should help older worker somewhat.

  14. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

    Aug 29, 2007
    MV, CA
    I think trying to cover your age just appears like personal insecurity. I've known a lot of guys that dye their hair and frankly I feel embarrassed for them. It doesn't make you younger, it makes you appear as if you are trying to look younger.

    A more useful focus would be weight reduction if you are overweight. Looking healthy at any age makes you look younger.

    Reducing age in your resume, just keep it simple and designed for them to ask the right questions you want asked. Too many pages and too long of descriptions are generally not good.

    Also note, resumes don't find jobs, they are the last step in getting a job. Former business contacts can be the best network for finding a good job. Alternatively friends and people you know at church or your community. Let everybody know you are looking.

    The headhunter and placement services of today focus on body count positions which turn over repeatedly. That's not where you want to be. Create your own network.
    Tommyd55, PacificaChris and Piggy Stu like this.

  15. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 7, 2009
    Kansas City, MO
    Mention Tide pods, PRS guitars and contempt for baby boomers. It'll take 20 years off your perceived age...
    bgmacaw likes this.

  16. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 26, 2017
    I wanna get some hair implants now, and dye them!

    Seriously, I think tricking people into employing a person they don't want to employ is like stealing clothes that you know are not your size. If you do succeed, you got the wrong thing for you?

    I did a lot of interviews and do everything I can to get to the truth of who they are and how they will fit the truth of what I do

    Avoids turnover

    I figure if people don't understand how wonderful I am, they are idiots I don't want to associate with

  17. thegeezer

    thegeezer Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

    Jul 5, 2010
    West Michigan
    It's tough for older workers. And the definition of older becomes younger all the time.

    I was the Director of Financial Services for a Fortune 500 company once upon a time. I left at the age of 40 and took over my father's business as he was retiring because I was well aware that the two layers above me (the Executive and Senior VPs and the President and CEO) were all within 2-3 years of me. Clearly, their version of ageism started early. And, this was 1992.

    Granted, all work cultures vary to some degree but I could see what the future held. Over the next few years, I did some outside consulting on special projects for them but within about 5 years everyone I knew at that company had been put out to pasture ending that, since I no longer knew anyone there.

    Fortunately, I had a going concern to take over and made a living for the next 20+ years. Many I know have not been so lucky. And it won't get better.

    Best of luck and choose wisely.

  18. lucidspoon

    lucidspoon Tele-Meister

    Apr 5, 2013
    Avon, IN
    As was mentioned, you really only need your last 10 years worth of employment history, and you don't have to put dates for you education.

    From my experience (software development), companies want younger people because they can pay them less. The trick is to get your resume to convey that you have the right skills without seeming like you would require a high salary to get it pass HR. Then once you get the interview, prove that you're worth the extra money.

    FYI, I'm 35 and right at the cutoff where most companies will start to want someone younger / cheaper.
    Doghouse_Riley likes this.

  19. archetype

    archetype More tone than talent Ad Free + Supporter

    Jun 4, 2005
    Williamsville NY
    This, folks. You're interviewing the employer as much has they are interviewing you.

  20. archetype

    archetype More tone than talent Ad Free + Supporter

    Jun 4, 2005
    Williamsville NY
    Excellent points, above. The other point of employers wanting the young is that the young are less likely to have independent judgement and opinions. Often, an employer doesn't want the voice of experience saying "I've tried that and it doesn't work."
    Piggy Stu likes this.

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