The perfect fit, isn't: the imperfect fit may be the perfect choice

By David Hunt, P.E.

Hiring "the perfect fit." It's the fantasy of every employer. The problem is, this fantasy hurts companies because it increases employee turnover, increases downtime, and promotes corporate complacency.

Perfect frustration
As an engineer currently "in transition", I've been quite fortunate during my job search. Unlike lots of people, I get interviews. But, agonizingly, I don't get many employment offers. My problem? I'm not a perfect fit. Since my credentials and accomplishments are very good, I've taken to wondering what a perfect fit is -- and whether companies are deluding themselves that perfect fits are the best hires.

The feedback I get is positive. I interview well. I have excellent qualifications and I am articulate, sincere, and results-driven. My engineering experience is solid and includes significant accomplishments in product design, cost reduction, and process improvements. I've even got two patents -- plus masters-level degrees in both Engineering and Management.

I've met quite a lot of imperfect fits like me who share my frustration. The consensus is two-fold. First, companies fear hiring a poor performer or someone who will leave soon. Second, they want someone who has done the job already and can drop into the position and be effective with no learning curve.

The pigeon problem
On the face of it, given the seemingly large pool of available talent, the desire for a perfect fit seems smart. After all, a perfect fit (assuming one really exists) can hit the ground running. But ironically, the closer to a perfect fit a candidate is, the more likely that person is to leave soon because the narrow job definition is likely to create dissatisfaction. In other words, I think people take new jobs for new experiences and the chance to learn new things -- not to get pigeonholed.

I pursued a Masters in Engineering to break out of a specialty into which I'd been pigeonholed. But the only position I found after receiving my degree was doing it again -- I was a perfect fit. No wonder I left within a year. That same danger applies to everyone taking a position identical to one they've done before. Employers should bank on the fact that most will keep looking because few employees want a stagnant career. Pigeons leave and the job is once again left undone.

Analysis paralysis
The cost of leaving a position unfilled can be significant, not only because work is left undone and schedules slip, but because other functions that depend on the empty position are affected, too. The question is, does it cost more to leave a job undone, or to hire a worker who needs a bit of a learning curve?

In his book Winning, Jack Welch addressed the debate about hiring someone who can hit the ground running versus someone capable of growth. He'd choose the latter. Additionally, he acknowledges the risk of making imperfect hires and considers it preferable. After 30-plus years of hiring, he says he got it right only 80% of the time. Any hiring is risky and there are no guarantees. Ultimately, dithering and delaying in hiring produces "analysis paralysis." Hoping to avoid unavoidable risks, jobs are left unfilled, the employer's needs are left unmet and customers are left unhappy.

But there is another danger to discounting imperfect fits. While hiring a perfect fit is a good tactical move, it can be a strategic error in an economy that is increasingly dependent on rapid innovation and revolutionary, not evolutionary, thinking.

Do the job or solve the problem?
Companies make a strategic error when they hire people who are easily pigeonholed. Pigeons will peck away at a task because they've done it before. The imperfect hire asks, "Why?" Imperfect fits see opportunities that aren't obvious. For example, I worked in automotive lighting, and then transferred to climate control. My "outsider's" lighting experience led to an unusual idea with the potential to save my company over $750,000 annually. Insiders doubted it would work, but the idea was completely validated -- ironically, just weeks before I was laid off.

In another case, my imperfect attitude led me to question why the company was scrapping so many parts purchased from a certain supplier. The parts were failing our test procedures. Rather than focusing on the part itself, I asked whether our tests were unnecessarily stringent. It turned out the parts functioned just fine -- the problem was with the testing process, not our parts vendor. Suddenly, expensive parts were no longer being scrapped and our productivity improved. The experts were doing the job the way it was always done. They made assumptions and blamed the supplier. It took a fresh-eyes perspective to see the reality and to solve the problem.

The perfect choice
Nobody has a lock on all the best practices. Few problems are new or unique to any one industry. New solutions come from a fresh look at problems. That's why it's dangerous to hire narrowly. Imperfect fits bring new perspectives and experience to a company. Continuous innovation and growing, enthusiastic employees are critical. In learning the industry and in bringing outside experiences, imperfect fits will find innovations that just might be hiding in plain sight. Further, growth opportunities actually reduce the risk that an employee will leave since they are not repeating stale tasks that have been done the same way for years.

Innovation means new products, new solutions, and money saved. Employees who are free to meet challenges in new ways enjoy career growth -- and that means long-term retention for employers. In other words, the imperfect fit may very well be the perfect choice.

David Hunt is a Mechanical Design Engineer in southern New Hampshire looking for his "next opportunity" that allows him to design new products and shepherd them to stable production. His LinkedIn profile is:; he blogs at and tweets at @davidhuntpe.

Looking for a Job? Why You Need to Go Social

by Jane Bryant Quinn, AARP Bulletin

When you apply for a job today, here's what the recruiter is likely to do to get a more rounded view of your accomplishments: Check your profile on LinkedIn. Browse your Facebook page. Look for a blog or a website. And see if you're tweeting, which shows that you at least know what it is.

If you look competent online, you might get a response to the résumé that you emailed to the company. If you have no digital footprint, you're likely to get a pass. The only exceptions might be jobs at very small companies or nonprofits, or lower-level jobs, for which résumés are enough.

All this might come as a shock to job seekers over age 50, who have been happy to leave tweeting to the birds. But employers today need people who are comfortable online, and digital recruiting is the way to find them.

I recently recommended an editor who was over age 60 for a job, and the first question I got from the recruiter was, "Is she good at social?" - meaning social media. A job seeker over age 55 told me that even temp agencies want you to have a website as part of your job portfolio. "Seasoned, mature workers look young online, if they show they can communicate in the digital world," says James John, chief operating officer of, a job search site.

Get Social!

1. Make yourself visible

If you're just browsing company job boards - boomers' favorite sources of job openings - and sending résumés online, you're not doing enough: Employers need proof that you're up-to-date. Even if you network the old-fashioned way, by calling friends and having lunches, the employment decision will probably be funnelled through the hiring office, which will search for you online.

So before you even begin a job search, you should set up a digital profile or improve the profile you have. It's your calling card to the new generation of recruiters.

Begin with LinkedIn. Last year, AARP launched a program on LinkedIn - now called Life Reimagined for Work - that brings together workers, employers and career management experts. On LinkedIn, there's a profile page where you present yourself - showing your employment history, skills, certifications, honors, volunteer work and anything else you'd like a recruiter to know. Don't hesitate to brag - your competition does. Post an appropriate head shot. Recruiters won't look at profiles without one.

Then search for friends and business colleagues on LinkedIn. If they have profiles, send a request to connect with them online, and ask key people to post a written recommendation on your page. See if the companies you'd like to work for have LinkedIn pages. You'll find job postings there, as well as company news.

"Some companies don't even ask for an emailed résumé anymore," one young job seeker told me. "When you're on their job site, they ask you to apply by clicking a LinkedIn button and uploading your profile." Don't even think of faxing. That's so yesterday, and a sign that you're out-of-date. Snail mail just wastes a stamp.

2. 'Friend' someone (lots of someones)

Use Facebook to set up a free profile page. Again, search for friends and business colleagues and send them a "friend" request to link to their pages. You can ask them about the job market or about the companies where they work. This is another place to inform your community about the work you're doing, such as consulting, writing or developing a part-time business. Companies have Facebook pages, too.

To step up your game, consider a personal website under your own name - for example, You want the site to come up if a recruiter searches for you specifically.

A website is the place to demonstrate professional expertise. You can expand on your accomplishments and link to any work that already appears online, such as papers, articles or professional awards. (Enter your name into an online search engine to see what shows up.) Keep up with the news in your field and post commentaries - that section of your site is called a blog. Every couple of days, write something on the subject, under a headline that will attract attention.

(As an example of how this can work, take Mitchell Hirsch of Wilton, Conn. When he was out of work, he blogged regularly on unemployment data and issues. His posts were discovered and he was asked to add commentary to other websites. "At first, I was writing for $25 a post," Hirsch says. "But I told my wife that something would come of this, and it did." Today, he advocates for the unemployed at the National Employment Law Project in Washington.)

3. Learn the joys of tweeting

Then there's Twitter - the place where you summarize the world in no more than 140 characters. Each post is called a tweet, and it's delivered as a text message. You can follow the tweets not only of colleagues who might be on Twitter, but also of recruiters or important people in your field. You also can follow companies that tweet job openings. Twitter doesn't carry the heft of LinkedIn, but it shows employers that you're keeping up with the digital world.

Once you've set up your digital presence, you have to feed the beast with regular posts, comments and links to interesting developments, which is a job in itself. But the modern job hunter can't avoid it.

"The online world is the new talent pool," says Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding. "If you aren't in that pool, because you don't have profiles on the networks, then you won't be found and aren't as employable."

If all this sounds daunting - and it flummoxed me when I first set up my profiles - you can find plenty of advice online. Search the Web for answers to your practical questions; buy a book about websites; ask your children and grandchildren for help; or, for help with everything from the most basic Web skills to how to use online organizing tools, hire a computer tutor or attend a continuing education class.

4. Start drilling down

Once you've established - or enhanced - your presence online, you're ready to drill down on jobs. Big companies and many smaller ones have "Careers" pages online. Job boards such as, and list thousands of jobs. will build a profile from your résumé that can go to any employer who checks you out. There are job boards for particular professions, such as and newspaper want ads.

As in the old days, you still need a cover letter, tailored for the job you're seeking. Tip: Use the same keywords that the company put in its job posting. It will help the computer find you.

Once you get in the door for an interview, you can sell your experience, contacts and successes. The interviewer will have read your profiles, so he or she already thinks you might be a fit.

"Employers are always going to question the energy and relevancy of older workers," says Wayne Breitbarth, a social media trainer and author of The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success. "An online ID shows that you've already changed with the times."

Jane Bryant Quinn is a personal finance expert and author of Making the Most of Your Money NOW. She writes regularly for the Bulletin.

Teenage Kicks - 5 career secrets our kids don’t want us to know

By Anna Pitts

As a mature person, there's a lot you can teach the next generations of job hunters, budding entrepreneurs and go-getters from your time in your profession. The successes you've created, the mistakes you've learned from and the opportunities you have had will no doubt equip you with valuable words of wisdom for anyone looking to learn from your unique experience.

However, this is not to say that you have nothing to gain from listening to a younger, fledgling career maker. ‘Young’ people can have the upper hand in one, important sector of knowledge, and one that is rapidly shaping the modern world: social media.

Of course you can use the internet; you’re always on your email, you have a Facebook account and send the odd tweet, but ‘young’ people are the ones who are dominating this new technology and therefore the ones who are shaping how these vital communication tools develop. And they are developing and changing fast.

Social media is one of the biggest tools at your disposal in terms of career development. Here are five career enhancing tips on social media from Anna Pitts at the Graduate Recruitment Bureau

1. Take the ‘work’ out of networking

LinkedIn is the fast track to the people you need to be connected to. You can easily find and engage with people that you might never meet in your ‘real-world’ activities, therefore broadening your horizons and expanding your opportunities.

Statistics on show that 61% of professionals use LinkedIn as their primary networking site and over 50% of users have a graduate degree. The internet erases the boundaries of ‘possible’ networking, opening up an almost infinite number of valuable contacts to you.

Conferences will always be a fantastic way to network, however they sometimes leave out junior professionals who aren’t yet ‘important’ enough to be invited to big networking events. Young professionals often overcome this handicap by using their social media connections to compensate for their restricted access to this networking channel.

Having grown up with text messaging and social media, they are expert at connecting and nurturing relationships through digital media. It could also be argued that they are often better at this than real life interactions!

Almost subconsciously, they have learned that valuable relationships begin with gentle, almost casual interactions. Over time they cultivate these to become as valuable as or even more valuable than a ‘real world’ relationship might be.

The Baby boomer generation have spent their lives in a different world. One where a desire and respect for privacy and some ‘old-fashioned’ etiquette still survives. And they often apply these attitudes to how they use social media.

The inevitable result of this is that their LinkedIn network is often restricted to being a subset of their real world connections and no more. They miss out entirely on a potential global network of contacts that hold the potential to be of immeasurable value.

2. Learn the new rules of online networking

Just blundering up to someone on LinkedIn and asking to connect with them is likely to result in a rejection. So totally unsolicited invitations may result in rejections, but if you add a polite and flattering message as to why you are inviting them to connect, the chances are they will accept.

Better still, your chances of having an LinkedIn invitation accepted will be almost 100% if you’ve first paved the way by means of a lower impact connection through other platforms like Twitter, Facebook or a LinkedIn Group discussion.

Additionally, messaging on LinkedIn can get faster results than emailing a work address, as it has a personal touch - don’t be afraid to take the direct approach. It may be the enthusiasm of new professionals that lets them make such bold networking moves, but using social media in these proactive ways will exponentially boost the size, quality and value of your network.

3. Job hunt sophisticatedly

You might be ready to take the next step in your career, meaning you’ll be looking for new, better job opportunities. By all means, ask around your colleagues and look on job sites, but the first port of call for your younger counterparts would instantly be social media sites. Recruiters use LinkedIn to look for candidates and publicise their roles.

Use the search box and edit your preferences so that relevant information will be filtered onto your feed. Make sure your profile is attractive and eye catching to recruiters and companies; update your experience and bio, making sure your achievements are highlighted.

Using the advanced search on Twitter can expose you to many opportunities. Companies will often hashtag their roles, so searching for specific terms on the advanced search will bring the information to you in the click of a button.

A recent phenomenon among job seekers is the ‘Twitter CV’; used by young job hunters and graduates as a quick way to get their information to employers who are recruiting. A template of such a tweet looks like:

[name][current position][seeks new position][link to online profile/cv/work][relevant hashtags]

For example:

annaepitts. Sussex uni English Lang student. Seeks marketing role. #CV #marketingjobs

Alter the information and use targeted hashtags to personalise your tweet and make sure it reaches the right people.

4. Tweet all about it.

Twitter is fast becoming the most influential social media site there is; according to over 100,000 tweets are sent every minute so its contribution to the business world is massive- think how many of those tweets will be from major companies! Having initially been developed as a way to spread news fast, it has taken off (no bird pun intended) and is now used in a plethora of ways, limited only by your creativity. The simple fact is that Twitter doesn’t come with a set of user instructions!

As well as being a new job hunting method, Twitter retains its primary function of rapid communication in the corporate setting. This is the aspect that you, the professional, can access and utilise. Connect with companies and recruiters or colleagues that would be beneficial to your career.

It’s all very well having lots of followers, but to get noticed you need to be engaging- creating and sharing content that your followers will be interested in. Join in discussions, retweet points of interest or send direct messages to companies you want to work with. Including targeted hashtags in your tweets will mean they join relevant trends and your tweet, and hence name, will be seen by anybody searching for that term.

Putting ‘RT’ (retweet) at the end of tweets you particularly want shared and seen can boost the chance of it being retweeted, meaning the chance you get noticed increases too. According to 92% of retweets happen in the first hour, and 29% of tweets get a reaction. Say something worth sharing to make sure you are in that 29%.

5. Have dual accounts.

On the internet you do need to be careful about what content and information you have your name associated with. This is a lesson, many of the young (and not so young,) have learned the hard way. Remember, once something is on the internet you can’t get it back; digital footprints are indelible so think about the effect certain material could have on yours.

For instance, some MET policemen made a Harlem Shake video recently which had serious repercussions on their careers, as their behaviour was deemed unprofessional and immature, although the video itself is seemingly harmless fun.

A smart way around this issue of not being able to share funny cat videos is to have two accounts; a private one, which only friends have access to, and a professional one.

On Facebook, you can make a page for your professional account, set it to public, and treat it as a kind of CV and platform to publicise your work. Follow employers and relevant people to showcase your professional self. Additionally, your page will come up before your personal account when people search for you meaning your professional image will be the first one people come to.

However if you are looking for a new job it might be best to discuss with potential employers within the privacy of other platforms, such as direct messaging on LinkedIn. There’s no harm in connecting with other employers, but make sure you respect your current place of work and use appropriate methods if you are looking elsewhere.

A great example of youthful social networking that led to career success is the story of Ulrike Schulz. Ulrike was a German graduate looking for a job in London. She created a Twitter account solely dedicated to her job search and professional musings, through which she found and messaged relevant contacts. This resulted in a six week paid internship in London after one of her Twitter contacts passed on her CV to colleagues at a London firm. During her internship she blogged for the company and was involved in their social media. She continued to use Twitter and other sites to network, whilst employing more traditional methods, such as passing out business cards at events and approaching business owners. Her cyber-networking efforts led her to what she calls her ‘career destiny’; a job in her dream sector- social media. Read her full account here for inspiration!

So next time you get an invitation to a 2 day conference and are thinking about it as networking opportunity, ask yourself, ‘could I get more value from investing the same amount of time online?’

Anna Pitts, is a Marketing Assistant and Online Researcher at the Graduate Recruitment Bureau. Her work involves PR and outreach and writing informative, interesting advice based articles for graduates and students. Follow her on twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.

A Message from Millenials to Boomers – We Want Traditional Values Back

By Cindi Bigelow, President of Bigelow Tea

When I was invited to speak about leadership at a local high school recently, I found myself looking out into an audience of expectant faces - typical American parents concerned about their kids' future at a time when jobs are scarce, college costs are high and people are debating the value of a liberal arts education.

I have two children, one who recently graduated with a degree in Spanish and English, and another who is studying business... so I know the competition is intense, compounded by the fact that some 78 million members of the Millennial Generation are entering the workforce at a time when some 76 million Baby Boomers don't really want to retire.

The audience was looking for answers. I'm an established businesswoman and a parent. What could I tell them?

"What do you want your kids to be?" I asked. "Doctors? Lawyers? Investment bankers?" And I could see heads nodding in agreement around the room, at least until I threw them a curve ball and asked, "How many of you said in your minds, 'I want my kids to be NICE?'" You could see their eyes open wide.

You see, in my mind, it's of incredible importance, even though, I will admit, "niceness" isn't on any curriculum at any liberal arts college I've visited. Furthermore, "niceness" isn't part of any professional performance evaluation in Corporate America, probably because we sometimes operate under the misguided notion that nice guys, and girls, finish last.

I'm here to dispel that notion. I look for "nice." I need to see "nice," not only in my kids, but also in my employees - all of them.

Yes. I want my kids to be "nice" people, and I don't really care if it's one of the least-discussed values in modern America. But in my opinion, we need to talk about this virtue much more often. These words need to part of our daily lexicon.

A "good" education should make sure it's teaching young people about values, and let's be honest, young people need to focus on these virtues because in many ways, our society has taken kindness, niceness and compassion (things that our parents and grandparents in the Greatest Generation practiced so naturally), for granted.

My list of what I want my kids to be is actually much longer than merely "nice." In no particular order, I want them also to be:

• Caring
• Hard-working
• Balanced
• Fair
• Resilient

I also have a list of what I don't want them to be. I don't want them to feel "entitled" or be disrespectful. And I certainly don't want them to have an "attitude."

And how do I impart this important information to my kids? By "messaging" to them continually (maybe similar to how a company tries to advertise its products). This kind of steady repetition of values is essential in raising our children. "Say please and thank you." "Hold the door." "Be kind to your brother." "Be friendly to the kid who doesn't have any friends." "Tell the truth even when it hurts." "Learn how to say 'I'm sorry.'"

And the good news is it works. I've seen the results.

This is how values were traditionally passed on from generation to generation, back in the era when we talked with our children at the dinner table and didn't spend the time texting.

The crazy thing is that research on the Millennial Generation shows they are looking for values, they crave them, and many are concerned with the direction our country is taking.

There have been many studies of the Millennial Generation, particularly by marketers and retailers who recognize their buying power, not to mention politicians, who recognize their voting power.

Here are some of the relevant characteristics of a generation that is typically defined by its love of technology:

  • Some 63 percent of Millennials, as opposed to 55 percent of Baby Boomers, consider it their duty to care for their parents who are aging, according to a study by Focus on the Family. To me, that's great news.
  • Equally important, 52 percent of people in the Focus on the Family study say that "being a good parent" is their most important goal in life. How can you argue with that personal goal?
  • At the same time, this is the generation that might just change the face of Corporate America. A poll by the Marist Institute of Public Opinion found that almost two-thirds of Millennials think the nation's moral compass is pointed in the wrong direction.
  • In addition, they have a problem with "compartmentalization," and 88 percent of them think people "have a different set of ethical standards in business than in their personal lives," and 66 percent believe there should not be two sets of values governing people at home and in the office.
  • When it comes to the traditional juggling act of balancing work and family life, 75 percent of those polled said they believe they can balance the challenges of their careers -- but not at the expense of their families.

What I find so inspiring is that the younger generation is already wired for success and committed to traditional values like kindness and compassion and integrity. We just have to keep reinforcing that message and not let our society's love of professional and material success overshadow the importance of being a good and decent person.

When I finished the presentation I asked the group of parents one more time, "What do you want your kids to be when they grow up?" All of them raised their hands and said "Nice" at the same time. Made my heart warm and put a huge smile on my face!

Mistakes People Make When Changing Jobs

Taking different turns in a career is not uncommon. According to research, an average worker switches jobs 6 times in his/her career’s lifespan. There are several reasons people switch careers – either for career advancement, avoiding job dissatisfaction or just job hopping; changing jobs may not seem a bad idea after all but there are several things people rarely pay attention to before deciding a job or career change.

Research carried out by Boris Groyberg and Robin Abrahams – both associates at the Harvard Business School – revealed very common mistakes people make in the job-change process. The survey covered more than 500 executives across 50 industries in 40 countries and HR heads in 15 Multinational companies.

Listed below are a few job-change mistakes people make.

Inadequate research

Often impelled by the need to settle bills and earn a living or simply avoid waiting too long doing a job search, many job candidates fail to do quality research on the companies and industries they are to work in; consequently, they miss important factors that determine job satisfaction like the specific functions required in a role, the companies’ cultural fit and how it affects their role, talent/skill, values or personality and company’s performance assessment methods.

Leaving for more money

The topic of money being important for daily survival undoubtedly overrides other important factors influencing a job change. According to the study, many job candidates claim to have money rank fourth on their priority list but jump on any job that offers more money for a similar role. This impedes job candidates from looking out for more information and also deciding what other things non-monetary packages can compensate for a lower pay. Small wonder many employees complain about experiencing job dissatisfaction despite the mouth-watering salary they receive.

Making moves under pressure

Many employees are recurrently unhappy with their present job positions; they make frantic efforts to get out. The co-workers are unfriendly, the boss is a devil’s incarnate, the organisation has nothing good to offer; and so candidates jump on any new job offer not considering the possibility of the next job being the worst career step they’ll ever take. Not only does this makes them do poor research, they also (to their detriment) miss out on available opportunities within their present organisation.

Impractical measures and decisions

The research showed that many job candidates are unrealistic about their skills, prospects, salary expectations and the levels of impact they intend to make; and by having an excessively optimistic view of themselves, fail to admit being a part of the problem when they begin experiencing job dissatisfaction; rather, they are quick to shift blames on the organisation believing they give more than what is required in their role and the organisation is under-utilising their skills or not giving them adequate opportunities to explore those skills.

Suggestions for Managing a Job Change

  • Do not think short term: Rather than rashly deciding to leave an unbearable environment, think instead to search for a more comfortable work environment (they are two different things). Consider what benefits you’ll accrue overtime in your present job position, be wary to look out for immediate results.

  • Is this company a good fit for you? Getting core information about a new job is extremely important to help you make smart decisions, ensure to do an exhaustive research on the next job, company/organisation while you are bearing up under unfavourable circumstances in your current position; the outcomes will sure outweigh the present pains.

  • Groyberg and Abrahams suggest you ask recruiters tough questions during interviews to get clues on what their corporate culture is like. Find out what the hidden expectations are in the job. Find out who your potential employers are and the ways you can best work with them, get wind of the potential skills you can acquire in the new job and get as much inside information as you can about the job and the organisation as a whole.

  • Consider seeking a different role within your current organisation. You are probably experiencing a career rut and perhaps will find working in a different department more fulfilling.

  • You probably aren’t the only employee experiencing setbacks in your current organisation, observe and reach out to colleagues having similar experiences; find out how they manage in such situations. Ask questions about yourself; find out what your co-workers think of you and start working on the things you can to help facilitate a convivial working environment.

  • Device several means to make your work more interesting: work and hang out with a different set of people, take up more challenging responsibilities and engage in fun activities outside work.

  • Consider the non-monetary benefits in both your present job and the new job; decide which one you are more comfortable with. Also consider the sacrifices required and to what extent the respective job disadvantages might affect you- your present job ‘A’ may pay less but gives you more time while the new job ‘B’ may pay more but demand 60 percent more of your time.

What other job change mistakes should be avoided in a job search? Please share your thoughts in the section below.

This post originally appeared here: 

7 Ways Your LinkedIn Profile and Resume Should Differ

By Arnie Fertig

The core of your LinkedIn experience is your profile. As you complete it, you are prompted to include information for all of your educational background as well as companies and positions that you've held over the course of your career.

Sounds pretty much like a résumé, right?

Not so much.

LinkedIn is evolving and if you are a savvy job hunter, you will seize the opportunity to utilize its new features to your advantage.

When looking for a new job, you might be tempted to choose the "easy" way of simply cutting one section of a résumé after another and pasting them in turn into the corresponding spot on your profile. However, doing this demonstrates a failure to understand what social media is all about, and limits the information about yourself that you can convey. Both your résumé and LinkedIn profile speak about you, but they do so in at least seven different ways:

1. Résumés are limited in length to a page or two. Meanwhile, on LinkedIn you can use a personal branding statement that’s up to 2000 characters in your profile summary. Plus there is no overall constraint for the total length of your profile.

2. The etiquette of how you present yourself in these two media sharply differs. Résumés are formal documents — for instance, you would never see the pronoun "I" in a well-written résumé. While you should view LinkedIn as a business site, it is social. Rather than you conveying information to your reader, social media is about two-way communication. It is beneficial to be personable, if not personal, and that includes commonly speaking about yourself in the first person.

3. A well-crafted résumé will be tightly worded, conveying a story in just a very few lines. STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) bulleted points, or something close to them, is the expected norm. Although you might include a link to something online, your résumé remains simply a text document.

On LinkedIn, your language should be much less formal, and you can ditch the STAR format. Demonstrate your accomplishments by including multiple forms of media both in your profile summary and tied to any relevant position you list. Depending on your profession, you might include a PowerPoint financial presentation, a portfolio of your art, pictures of your work product, a PDF eBook, videos or links with an explanation to whatever you wish.

4. Typically you send your résumé out on a targeted basis to recruiters or companies at which you want to be considered. On LinkedIn, your profile is searchable and thereby becomes bait, making you "findable" by anyone seeking to develop a targeted candidate pool of people like you. Positions which you had no idea existed can thereby be brought to your attention. Rather than trying to create a document appropriate for a job, online you can provide a more rounded view of your interests, knowledge and activities.

5. Once you complete your résumé, you will continue to tailor it to mirror the priorities of any particular position. Still, it is a completely finished document for whomever you submit it to whenever you hit "send."

By comparison, your LinkedIn profile grows organically each time you include a new skill, accomplishment, share information or engage in various other types of LinkedIn activities. When someone comes back to your profile time after time, what he or she sees will be somewhat different if you take care to keep it up to date.

6. Generally, you shouldn't include a picture on a résumé. But a close in headshot is now expected for an optimized LinkedIn profile. Again, LinkedIn is about building relationships with real people with real faces.

7. Your résumé is about the past. Your profile, while also conveying your prior professional history and accomplishments, is ultimately about the present and future.

The status updates that you post become a part of your profile. They need not be limited to accomplishments, but can include articles you find of interest, references to events you plan to attend, and more. Also, LinkedIn now allows hashtags, which makes your updates easier for others to find. You can also include rich media such as pictures, e-Books, links to other articles or sites, etc.

When you send a résumé into an employer, it might just sit there until someone happens on it. But each time you post an update on LinkedIn, it is shared with all your first-degree connections, plus you can also opt to have them appear on your Twitter feed and more. You can thereby put yourself in front of your audience repeatedly.

Often, even if a recruiter or human resources professional has your résumé in hand, they will still check out your profile to learn more about you to determine if they would like to initiate a conversation with you. LinkedIn's new features enable your profile to shine in ways far beyond a résumé's capabilities. When you take advantage of them, you'll be able to demonstrate very clearly the value you bring to any employer lucky enough to find and woo you.

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How to perform brilliantly at interviews AND every single day

By Neil Patrick

I was going to title this post, ‘How to think about your thinking’, but decided that title didn’t even begin to explain the great insights this talk contains.

When we feel under pressure, humans perform sub-optimally. We are all walking around with a 200,000 year-old release of our brain software. Our brains were designed to perform so that we can avoid being eaten by bears.

And that’s the origin of the pre-programming that leads to our instinctive ‘fight or flight’ instincts and many other behaviours which are completely unhelpful in tackling our challenges in the modern world.

No doubt, you’ve heard all sorts of advice on how to overcome this. And a good deal of this is half-baked ‘new age’ nonsense.

So I was thrilled to be sent this TEDX talk by Dr Alan Watkins. The video not only explains how you can actively control your brain power, it also includes a live demonstration of how something as simple as breathing has huge effects on the performance of our brains and hence how well we perform.

If you want to know how to perform brilliantly at your next interview, presentation or meeting, this film will give you simple and really effective ways you can do this.

So grab your beverage of choice, relax and discover how in 2 minutes you can learn how to enhance your brain power and performance to put yourself in ‘the zone’ any time you want to.

Alan is the founder and CEO of Complete Coherence Ltd. He is recognised as an international expert on leadership and human performance. He has researched and published widely on both subjects for over 18 years. He is currently an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Neuroscience and Psychological Medicine at Imperial College, London as well as an Affiliate Professor of Leadership at the European School of Management, London. He originally qualified as a physician, has a first class degree in psychology and a PhD in immunology.

5 Simple Steps to Baby Boomer Personal Branding Success

By Marc Miller

Are you a baby boomer? Are you using social media to develop and promote your personal brand? Am I speaking gibberish? I wrote in a previous post that many baby boomers struggle with the concept of personal brand. In the old days it was your reputation. With the rise of the Internet many jobs can be done from just about anywhere.

So, you aren’t just competing for your next job with the guy around the corner but everyone around the world. How do you create a global presence? Social media.

So how do you create a personal brand using social media?

Step #1 Pick a Social Network There are a lot of social networks to choose from. You cannot be on all of them. There is just not enough time in the day. So pick one! If you are looking to create a personal brand around your professional life I would recommend you choose LinkedIn.

Step #2 Create a Profile Get a good picture. Yes, you need a picture. When you think of a brand do you get a picture in your mind? Of course. Not having a picture raises questions. Sometimes just throwing one up there raises questions, too. When someone looks at the picture what does it tell them about you? You have to be recognizable from the picture. I have seen a few pictures where so many years were removed using Photoshop that I could not recognize them from the photo. Enter only your last 10-15 years of work history. Do not enter the year you received any college degrees.

Step #3 Get Connected Go through all of your e-mail contacts and connect with them. Search LinkedIn for colleagues from past jobs, college friends, high school friends…. Take the time to reconnect on a personal level. That means don’t just send the standard message. Write something personal in your invitation. Join groups that pertain to your career interests. There are a million of them. And visit them frequently. Comment, positively, on other people’s posts.

Step #4 Engage You are now virtually connected with people on line. Read, share and comment on what you find. The whole idea is to be social. Meet new people. It is in this last step that you develop your personal brand. How you interact, what you share or even what you create will tell people a lot about your talents, skills and expertise.

Step #5 Return to Step #1 and Repeat Once and only once you have become comfortable with the selected social network pick another. For baby boomers who are looking to create a professional personal brand beyond LinkedIn I recommend Google+. Google+ is about finding people with similar interests. If you are adventurous you might try Twitter. It has taken quite a while for me to get comfortable working with and interacting on Twitter. But the site has video tutorials on how to use it. So go for it! Are you ready to take the plunge?

Author: Marc Miller is the founder of Career Pivot which helps Baby Boomers design careers they can grow into for the next 30 years. Marc authored the book Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers, published in January 2013, which has been featured on, US News and World Report, CBS Money-Watch and PBS’ Next Avenue. Marc has made six career pivots himself, serving in several positions at IBM in addition to working at Austin, Texas startups, teaching math in an inner-city high school and working for a local non-profit. Learn more about Marc and Career Pivot by visiting the Career Pivot Blog or follow Marc on Twitter or Facebook.

8 Things Boomers Should Know When Job Hunting

Don't ... try harder.

You read that right. Don't.
If you've been on the job hunt for a while, with little or no success, you may have heard this platitude: Just try harder! But according to Bob Sullivan, co-author of "The Plateau Effect: Getting From Stuck to Success," it's actually the worst thing that you can do in this situation.
"When you find yourself putting more and more effort into something that’s getting less and less results, it's not a sign that you should keep trying — it’s just the opposite," says Sullivan. Of course, this isn't to say that you should stop putting in effort altogether. Rather, you should try something different, whether it's re-vamping your LinkedIn profile, networking more consistently or working with a career coach to more effectively bust through a job-hunt rut.

Do ... make your resume ageless.
Lisa Johnson Mandell was in her late 40s when she suddenly found herself without a job. Although she made sure to show off her 20-plus years of experience as an entertainment reporter on her résumé, after countless job applications went unanswered, her husband gave her the hard truth. "He said, 'Lisa, don't hate me, but you really look kind of old on paper,' " she recalls.
So Mandell removed key age indicators from her resume, such as the year she graduated from college and the lengths of time that she was employed. "As soon as I sent out this new résumé that wouldn't tell anybody how old I was, I started getting responses—I'm not kidding you—within 20 minutes," she says. "And, in two weeks, I had three full-time job offers."
The result wasn't just a new gig, either—she also wrote a book, "Career Comeback: Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want," in which she shares strategies for giving a resume a more youthful spin. "Somebody in their 20s looks at 20-plus years of experience and puts you in the same age group as a mother or grandmother," she says. Of course, in an ideal world, experience should trump age, but Mandell adds that "if you're really intent on getting a job, you have to make concessions."

Do ... brush up on your interviewing skills.
If you haven't interviewed in a long time, you could probably use some practice. Instead of role-playing with a too-comfortable friend, try going on a few interviews for jobs that you aren't as jazzed about "because what you don't want is to go on an interview for the job that you most want and screw up," explains Art Koff, founder of, which connects older workers with employers. "Every interview is a learning process."
You may also want to record yourself speaking. It's a tip that David Welbourn received while making a career switch at the age of 59 from a fundraising post at a hospital to a director role at a nonprofit. His advice: "Listen to your own voice, and ask yourself: Do I have enough emotion? Do I sound like I care?"

Don't ... write off temporary or part-time work.
"Employers are particularly receptive to hiring the over-50 set on a part-time, temporary or project basis," says Koff. "The employers get experienced, reliable employees, and in most cases, they don't have to pay benefits for these positions, making these workers cost-effective."
Koff even advises reaching out to a company that you admire and offering to work on a part-time, trial basis. "It gives you a little bit of a leg up because the employer can then say, 'We can hire this guy, and if it doesn't work out, we'll let him go,' " he says.
In fact, that's exactly how Evelyn Wolovnick found her way back into the workforce after being laid off from her job at an insurance company at the age of 59. After writing a few letters to companies suggesting that they hire her on a temporary basis, she landed a part-time consulting gig with a business in Chicago. Wolovnick signed the six-month contract six years ago—and she's still happily employed.

Do ... start a blog.
Blogging about your field will help alleviate younger hiring managers' concerns about your tech-savviness, advises Mandell. "It shows that you're web savvy and that you're up-to-the-minute in your field," she says. "If you're blogging about the latest advancements going on in your field, potential employers will say, 'Wow, this person is really current.' "

Do ... give yourself a makeover.
Mandell often advises older job seekers to make an effort to look younger, like dying gray hair or shaving your head to disguise balding. "It sounds kind of vacuous, but it really can make a difference," she says.
Welbourn received similar advice during his job hunt. "Somebody mentioned to me that I should get my teeth whitened, and dress a little less formally," he recalls. "It doesn't show a lack of understanding of the corporate culture—it shows confidence in being able to be a little informal with people in an informal setting."

Don't ... ignore alternative ways to make money.
There are a number of things that you can do on the side to earn money while you look for more permanent employment, such as freelancing in your field or even participating in market research surveys. “If you're working a 30-hour side gig, we're talking about making anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 on a monthly basis," Koff says.
There's also an added bonus to this approach: If you're forced to step away from a full-time job, you may stumble onto something different—and even more lucrative. Koff recalls the story of one man who, after being laid off in his 50s, said to his wife, "After all these years, I'm going to finally clean out my garage." He did such a great job that he now operates a garage-cleaning company that staffs five employees!

Do ... view your age as an asset.

While working with New Directions, a company that provides career transition training, Welbourn learned how he could differentiate himself from younger competition. "I got wonderful coaching about how to make the case for myself not as an older person," he says, "but as an experienced individual who was less likely to be fooled by situations, and someone with a good track record of success."
In fact, it's something that he takes into consideration when doing his own hiring. "This may sound ageist, but as a leader, I would rather hire somebody who really has good experience," he says. "Someone who can weather the ups and downs."

The Secret Benefit of LinkedIn Endorsements

By Mike Allton

A little while ago, LinkedIn began allowing members to endorse each other. Unlike recommendations, endorsements were simply a way for one member to confirm that another member has a particular skill. Because LinkedIn made it extremely easy to quickly endorse people for multiple skills, and because there is no verification required at all, many observers questioned the validity or use of the feature, myself among them.

Of course, it's nice to have a great list of skills on your profile, and having tons of endorsements for your skills is certainly more impressive than none at all. Furthermore, each time you endorse a potential partner or prospect, that person gets a nice email telling them that you thought they deserved to be endorsed for some skill.

If you thought that was all there was to LinkedIn Endorsements, then you might not have noticed the Skills & Expertise section.

Skills & Expertise

Like the old LinkedIn Answers, Skills & Expertise is hidden within the More drop down. If you can find it, you'll be rewarded with a great-looking landing page that announces that Skills & Expertise is there to help you "Discover the skills you need to succeed. Learn what you need to know from the thousands of hot, up-and-coming skills we're tracking." According to LinkedIn, this feature is still in beta.

The top of the page features a search bar where you can begin typing in a skill. It can be for someone you wish to hire, or something you want to learn about and are looking for someone whose blogs you might want to read. Or, more interesting, do a search on one of your own skills to see where you stack up.

Below is a summary of a couple of specific skills. For me, iPhone was the first "skill" listed, and the summary included cities, related skills, and featured professionals.

Skill Details

If you search on a skill and select it, you'll see the full Skill Details page. The left side lets you search for a different skill or take a look at related skills. We'll get back to the importance of related skills in a moment.

In the middle, you'll see your selected skill and a nice box that details the industry the skill is typically associated with, whether or not you current list that skill, and a button to see suggested skills. You'll also see a percentage followed by y/y, which stands for year over year. We'll talk about the importance of this metric as well in a moment.

Below the info box will be a list of professionals who list that skill. You might think that these professionals are ranked according to the number of times they've been endorsed for that skill, but that isn't the case. The top ranked professional for "Social MediaMarketing" only has 33 endorsements for that skill, while the #2 individual had 99+. So getting ranked isn't solely based on the sheer number of endorsements.

At the bottom is a list of LinkedIn Groups that are associated with that skill.

Along the right side you'll find buttons to share the skill, charts for relative growth, size and age, related companies, related jobs, and related locations.

Using Skills & Expertise

First of all, getting yourself listed as a Featured Professional within a specific skill could potentially result in a significant number of new leads. If LinkedIn members begin using this feature to contact and hire professionals, you're definitely going to want to be listed.

Or, on the other hand, if you're looking for an expert in a particular field or industry, this might be a great place to start looking!

One of the suggestions I've given people in the past is to seek out leaders and mentors in their field and learn from them. What better way to find an industry leader than to check on LinkedIn's Skills & Expertise? You can identify one or more individuals you might be interested in learning from and take a look at their profile, follow their updates, and subscribe to their blog.

Those are all fun, but there's one more use for Skills & Expertise that could be a game changer for you.

Social SEO

I'm sure you know that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to making your website as attractive to search engines and their users as possible. You identify keywords that your potential customers are using in searches and find ways to increase the frequency and prominence of those keywords in your site code and text. But what about social media? How do we help social network users find our profiles? That is where Social SEO comes in.

All of the major social networks include internal search capability, and that's a feature that is continuing to be refined and improved (like with Facebook's Graph Search). And while targeting keywords like we do in traditional SEO plays a role, optimizing your social media profile for social search has some differences.

On LinkedIn, for instance, your profile lists your previous jobs and job titles, and includes a summary. Many people fail to take advantage of those fields. LinkedIn allows you to be as descriptive as you want, so power users take advantage of that and go into detail about where they've worked and what they've accomplished.

Now, thanks to Skills & Expertise (and Endorsements), we have a great way to monitor, adjust and improve our Social SEO for LinkedIn. Here's how it works.

Go back to Skills & Expertise and look up one of the skills you already have on your profile. Take note of its Relative Growth, Size and Age. Also make sure that the skill is growing compared to last year, and how much. Now, check out some of the related skills. What you're looking for are potential skills that will be even better for you to list on your profile.

You're limited to 50 total skills, so add any that apply to your profession until you reach your max. At that point, it's time to prioritize. You will want to look for skills that are growing, but aren't used by absolutely everyone. Like a long-tail keyword, a more specialized and less-common skill will make you more competitive.

Once you've refined your skill list and you're happy with them, it's time to fill up your endorsements! I am not a big fan of emailing LinkedIn users and asking for endorsements. Instead, sift through your own connections and start endorsing the people you know. They will get a notification and many will reciprocate.

Take the time to check out this LinkedIn feature, and you might get some real value out of it.

This post originally appeared here:

195,000 new jobs in the US. But is this good news or spin?

Last week, like many, I was keenly awaiting the announcement of the June US non-farm employment figures on Friday. And the headline figures were not too disappointing.

June 2013 non-farm private jobs growth came in at 195,000. The market expected 165,000. And understandably, the headlines were generally more positive than negative. The Wall Street Journal headline ran:

Job Gains Show Staying Power: Recovery's Gathering Momentum Drives Treasury Yields to a Two-Year High

USA Today ran with: Obama team: Recovery continuing

Whilst in Europe, the BBC reported (in its typical ‘yes, but’ fashion): Positive US jobs numbers add to rate rise speculation.

Commentators were generally upbeat too. Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics said:

The job market continues to gracefully navigate through the strongly blowing fiscal headwinds. Health Care Reform does not appear to be significantly hampering job growth, at least not so far. Job gains are broad based across industries and businesses of all sizes.

Carlos A. Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of ADP commented:

During the month of June, the U.S. private sector added 188,000 jobs, driven by gains across all sizes of businesses, and with small companies showing the largest overall monthly increase. Most notably, the goods-producing sector added 27,000 jobs in June, a marked improvement over the decline the previous month.

ADP’s analysis in summary was:

  • Small and medium sized business created the majority of the jobs;
  • Manufacturing and goods producing industries are not adding much to jobs growth;
  • Most all, the jobs growth came from the service sector. The three month average of jobs gains improved – the rate of growth is accelerating. This month reverses the 4 month “less good” trend.
  • May’s report (last month), which reported job gains of 135,000, was revised to 134,000 jobs. 

But I was less convinced than these expert commentators. Why? Because the US is still deeply mired a fiscal crisis that shows no signs of abating. Real economic growth remains elusive. Government debt is at unsustainable levels. The US and all the major world economies are more interdependent than at any time in history. Instability in the Eurozone remains an unresolved threat to the global economy and dangerous bubbles are continuing to inflate in all sorts of areas as diverse as commodities and student debt.

Equities markets continue to remain buoyant. But this is another bubble, supported by a flight from risk in the previously danger free bonds markets. So in my view equities prices are illusionary right now and do not represent the real prospects of the businesses concerned.

Of course, employment data is a rear view indicator. But looking at the ADP data, the overall trend for the year on year rate of growth has been literally flat since mid-2010. The year on year jobs growth has been in a tight range of 1.6% to 1.7% for the last 6 months and in June the jobs growth was no different at 1.7%.

So I decided to look behind the headlines and dig deeper into the data. I present this here so you can judge for yourself if you think such optimism is justified or not.

1. Non-seasonally adjusted non-farm payrolls rose 856,000 – better than last year, but 4 years showed better growth in the last 10 years.

2. There has been NO change in the number of unemployed

The BLS reported U-3 (headline) unemployment was unchanged at 7.6% whilst the U-6 “all in” unemployment rate (including those working part time who want a full time job) jumped up 0.5% to 14.5%.

BLS U-3 Headline Unemployment (red line, left axis), U-6 All In Unemployment (blue line, left axis), and Median Duration of Unemployment (green line, right axis)

3. Employment levels have been flat for three and a half years and the changes reported as signs of recovery are truly insignificant

Econintersect measures employment supply slack using the BLS unadjusted data base, shown in the graph below. Here you can see how insignificant the reported improvements really are (and how there has been little real change in the level of employment since the recession 'ended' ):

4. The total hours worked has flat lined since the middle of 2010.

Percent Change Year-over-Year Non-Farm Private Weekly Hours Worked

5. Sustainable long term jobs have contracted whilst short term floating jobs have increased.

  •  Average hours worked was unchanged at 34.5. A falling number does not indicate an expanding economy. This number has been in a narrow channel several months.
  • Government employment contracted 7,000 with the Federal Government down 7,000, state governments down 15,000 and local governments up 13,000.
  • The big contributors to employment growth this month were accommodation and food (57K), retail trade (37K) and administrative including temp services (36K).
  •  The big headwinds this month was state government jobs (-13K) and education (-11K)
  • Manufacturing was down 6,000, while construction was up 13,000.
  • The unemployment rate for people between 20 and 24 decreased from 13.2% to 13.5%. This number is produced by survey and is very volatile – and this month’s degradation only reversed last month’s improvement.

6. Real earnings have stagnated at the lowest level for more than decade.

In June, average hourly earnings rose just ten cents to $24.01.

Private Employment: Average Hourly Earnings

So there you have what I consider to be the real numbers behind the headlines that show just how much the US jobs market remains stuck in an increasingly dangerous and precarious position. More than anyone I want to be able to report good news, but my conclusion is that we don’t really have any just yet and we should all plan accordingly.

Over-50s resort to extreme job hunting

We may be expected to live for 80 years, but we are only worth hiring for 20 of them. The rest of the time, we are either too young or too old.

That appears to be the rule of thumb in the job market, where people over the age of 50 take an average 73 weeks to find employment and 11.6 per cent of young people are looking for work.

So, from the age of about 25, we have just two decades to capitalise on our education, health and energy to build our careers and wealth before we start to be tossed aside at about the age of 45.It is no wonder that taking a couple of years out to have children has such a massive impact on women’s ability to earn and save for retirement.

The managing director of recruitment agency Adage, Heidi Holmes, says older workers have to be relentlessly inventive to overcome the bias stacked against them in the job market.

She lists five of the “extreme job-seeking” tactics now being used by the over-’50s:


1. Buy a job

When an acquaintance, who I will call Bob, was retrenched from a senior position in the financial services industry, he used his savings to buy his way into a small company so that he could install himself as CEO. It worked for a couple of years but ended unhappily, and he was left holding equity in the company when he resigned.

Holmes says other use their redundancy payouts to buy into a franchise, hoping that an established brand will give them some security.

“If people are looking at buying themselves a job, (franchising) is generally where it happens,” she says.

But if people have been unemployed for six to 12 months, they are less likely to risk putting their savings into a business, she says.

Buying a job is not usually an option for young unemployed people – unless their parents are able to fund them into it.

2. Reinvention

Cora, a journalist, knows her job is unlikely to survive the restructuring of the industry and has spent the last couple of years studying to become a psychologist.

Holmes says it is better to start studying before you lose your existing job, when you have the resources to do so.

“Mature-age people have had to learn and adapt to change throughout their lives,” she says.

People in this age group can present themselves as “current” and “innovative” by doing online courses, many of which are free.

However Holmes warns that if people study things they are interested in, rather than looking for areas of employment demand, their study may be no use to them in the job market.

3. Working for free

Unpaid internships are commonplace in the youth market, but older people find it difficult to get employers to let them come in for some work experience.

Timothy Gleeson was a 38-year-old Sydney taxi driver who had devoted all his free hours to studying accounting, when he approached a local firm and offered to do some work for free. If they liked him after six months, they could hire him.

The company was impressed enough to pay him for his internship, and offered him a job six months before he had finished university.

Holmes says people offering their services for free should ensure there is a genuine chance of employment, rather than an employer who is happy to exploit them.

“If you are unemployed, you are better off showing that you are still engaged in the community in some capacity, maybe through mentoring or volunteering,” she says.

4. Consultancy

Becoming a consultant might be the new way of plugging an awkward gap in your resume, but Holmes says older people can be enthusiastic entrepreneurs.

A recent article in Forbes calls them “encore entrepreneurs”: “A 2010 survey by the Kauffman Foundation found that Americans aged 55 to 64 start new business ventures at a higher rate than any other age group, including 20-somethings.

“Fully 23 per cent of new entrepreneurs were aged 55 to 64, up from 14 per cent in 1996.”
Holmes says older people may have the resources and experience to launch successful start-ups. “If a 20 year old can bootstrap it, an older one can do it as well.”

5. Forgetting

A common tactic of older jobseekers is to experience amnesia when it comes to declaring their qualifications and experience.

“People think they will be too expensive,” says Holmes, who suggests only detailing the past five to 10 years on a resume, and tailoring it specifically for each job that is applied for.

”If you put everything down, back to 1975, chances are the person interviewing you wasn’t even born then,” she says.

“You have got to get to the most important stuff very quickly. Otherwise, the good things get missed in the noise of it all.”

6. Reality TV

Despite the fact that their generation may have invented the internet, older job seekers still have to prove that they understand modern uses of technology. 

Holmes says the use of video in an online resume or application can prove to a younger hiring manager that you are not, in fact, ancient or “past it”.

“Video can overcome bias in the recruitment process. One of the biggest biases is that older people are reluctant to change and adapt to new technology,” says Holmes.

“When we talk about mature age, the average age of our job seekers is 51, and they still want full-time work.”

This post originally appeared here: