Dinosaur Unite! Use Some Resume Botox…

“Those young people are stealing our jobs!” Someone actually said this to me recently. My jaw almost hit the floor  when they did.

In the current game of ‘let’s find some income’; this is dangerous thinking. In fact, anytime we engage in ‘I want to win and I want you to lose’ thinking, the likelihood of failure increases.

Being an ‘older’ worker myself, I am aware of the challenges we face. But we have a choice about how we think and act. One way is to be afraid and ‘circle the wagons.’

Another choice is learn everything we can about finding work, reach out to others with an open mind and heart and look for ways to collaborate with younger people to our mutual benefit. We have much more to gain from exchanging experiences than trying to exclude or one up each other.

I serve as Chairman of the Board for a small non profit. I have had the privilege of getting to know several 20-somethings who are helping us out. They have a lot to teach me and I hope my experience will benefit them. We’re all in this together.

A few resume tips for us oldsters-

  1. Limit your work experience to the past 15 years. Create a summary section for work prior to that. Put relevant experience from that time in the cover letter.
  2. Leave off dates for your education
  3. Show that you’ve been continually learning or demonstrate that your skills are fresh and in demand, that you’ve taken on new roles, and are flexible/willing to adapt to organizational changes.

If you can’t do #3 then get on the stick. Opportunities are all around you. No whining.

Here are a few more tips.  Resume Botox…Take Off Your Early Experiences

Linked In – the Eggplant That Ate Chicago

What's a Rolodex?

I like Linked In. I think it has done a lot of things right and I appreciate all the forward thinking people who have created this terrific tool.

Everything in social media is changing all the time and while it makes it challenging for us to stay on top of those changes, it’s logical because there are financial, technological and practical reasons for the constant upheaval.

I am surprised by job seekers who know little about how the power of Linked In can help them in their job search. It continues to be the #1 tool I recommend for people looking to build their network contacts and find work. There are so many ways to use it to attract recruiters and hiring managers; particularly now that the job market is picking up. For more tips on using Linked In, check out this article, Ten Tips for Getting the Most Out of Linked In.

There are a few negatives in using Linked In that in no way outweigh the benefits. However, in recent months, these issues have become more problematic and if you are just starting with Linked In,  you may benefit from understanding these things.

  1. Large groups can be full of spam now. Don’t let this discourage you from using groups. They are a fantastic way to meet people. You may have to work a little harder to find groups that are just professionals talking to one another.
  2. I’ve noticed that some people are sending out unsolicited emails about events or their groups. When I replied to one person that it was spam, they started arguing with me. I said, “if it comes to my in box and I didn’t ask for it and I don’t want it it’s spam.” Period.
  3. I’ve noticed that when I look at the connections for one of my contacts, they are no longer in alphabetical order. This isn’t a big deal but…

Asking and answering questions, uploading presentations, looking for jobs and searching for contacts at key companies are all incredibly useful parts of Linked In.

Here’s my funny Linked In story. I was giving a talk at an entrepreneurial conference on social media. The crowd was great. As I left the venue, a young man stopped me and said, “I’m sorry I missed your talk on social media. Can you tell me about Linked In?”  I said, “Sure, it’s like an electronic Rolodex.”  He looked at me blankly and said, “What’s a Rolodex?”

“We’re Letting You Go” – What to Do Next

Patience worked out for George Clooney

“We’re letting you go.”

For those of us who have heard these words,  just reading them in can make us wince.

The new George Clooney movie, Up in the Air, is about being let go. I recommend it to anyone who’s in transition. (Grab a friend and head to a matinee; you’ll be glad you did.) Up in the Air is just like hell in the hallway. You may not choose it, but once you’re there, you have choices to make. Action is necessary, patience is key.

When I was young, I was fired from a job. Here’s the story. For one of my first jobs, I worked part time selling shoes. The store manager kept telling me to ask every customer if they wanted a purse, stockings and other ‘stuff’ in addition to the shoes. The few times I tried it, the customer snorted at me. I didn’t like pushing items that people didn’t ask for.  I knew I wasn’t cut out for that kind of selling and so did my boss.  He gently “let me go” 2 weeks before Christmas.

Later in my career, when I was laid off from Eastman Kodak after 17 years; I was fortunate. I was offered several alternative positions but ultimately I took a package and left the company to start my own business.

Do you feel stuck or are you energized? Are you using your time wisely or are you worrying your days away? What are you teaching your children by your actions?

There are so many free interesting educational opportunities. Here is just one:  free video courses from Columbia, Yale, UCLA, Michigan and MIT.

Whether it’s continuing your education, upgrading your skills, finding a mentor, starting a business or deciding to change professions; you do not have to be afraid to hear those words. My favorite saying works at any time of the year:  change is good, timing is everything, patience is the key.