Big mistake for baby boomer job-hunters to sell old experience

There are plenty of us still working, and plenty more who want to be but for whom, in today’s economy, the job hunt has not worked. Bob Weinstein, author of the new book So What If I’m 65: Get a Job, Get the Most Out of Your Best Years, believes there’s a better way to hunt for that next job, and it begins with discarding some of your past achievements!

One of the biggest mistakes baby boomer job-hunters make is selling old experience.

Bob Weinstein

They sell old skills on their résumés, and if they land interviews, they concentrate on past accomplishments, rather than targeting the skills necessary for the job they’re applying for and, most importantly, explaining why the organization can benefit from employing them.

Boomers don’t have a monopoly on this faux pas. It’s made by most job-hunters. The difference is, it’s more apparent with candidates who’ve accrued more than 25 years of experience in a field. That’s why, you should only list the last ten to twelve years of job experience.

On résumés, drive home the fact that you’re ahead of the curve, not behind it. Use current terminology and acronyms. Examples: Human Resources vs. Personnel; Aerospace Engineering vs. Aeronautical Engineering. Terms that date older workers are terms like TQM; Quality Circles; and ISO9000 Implementation.

To stay on top of the market–– better yet, ahead of it–– you ought to take classes and network with people who can teach you the newest trends, technologies, and information about the field you want to be working in.

On interviews, 30-something CIOs don’t want to hear about the depth and breadth of baby boomers’ programming expertise and their knowledge of COBOL, C++, and other languages that were hot twenty years ago. They want proof that you can adapt to new technologies. They don’t want to hear aging techies ramble on about the elegant code they used to create, and their accomplishments at defunct dot-com companies. They want visionary job candidates who can talk about innovative ideas that could lead to groundbreaking products.



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