Retirees should avoid these pitfalls if they are planning to get back into the workforce - Active Living - Explorer

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Retirees should avoid these pitfalls if they are planning to get back into the workforce

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James C. Sandefer

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It’s a fact that retirees, typically seniors, often get rejected more often than others when applying for jobs. There are some basic reasons for this occurrence, but a primary source is found in a common word-retirement. Simply mentioning the word retirement to a potential employer conjures up images of gray hair or baldness, golfing, tennis, bocce ball, bingo halls, afternoon naps, and a lack of currently relevant workplace skills. One of the greatest misunderstandings about retirement is that idleness is not doing anything when, in fact, idleness is being free to do anything you want. And wanting to rejoin the workforce on some productive level is a worthwhile objective for many retirees nowadays. However, getting employers to understand this fact is your responsibility and leading with your strong points is critical. Let’s view this in greater detail. 

This may come as a surprise, but one of my secondary career occupations has been working for a resume writing and career transition company that creates resumes for transitioning military service members in virtually every career field imaginable. Some of them possess decades of experience and education while others have a high school diploma and a minimal number of years of military experience to offer an employer. I share this information with you to help reinforce the fact that getting a job these days is a formidable challenge because there are so many people vying for them and most of these people will be younger than you are. But I want to assure you that there are some things you can do that will make you stand out from the crowd in a positive way. 

First and foremost in beginning your job hunt is getting a professional resume and cover letter. Believe it or not, employers want to read your cover letter and be greeted with finesse and a precisely delivered overview of your positive accomplishments and determination to be a success from day one. They need people who are ready and capable of assuming the tasks at hand with a minimal amount of instruction and supervision. Keep this critical fact in mind; the average amount of time an employer or personnel staffing specialist spends scanning a cover letter is about 15 seconds. If they like what they read they’ll spend another 90 seconds perusing your resume. These statistics were acquired from a nationwide survey completed last summer. If they don’t see what they’re looking for within either of these timeframes they’ll toss your paperwork into the large pile of non-qualified applicants and move on to the next one. It’s imperative that you sell yourself on your cover letter and resume; otherwise, you’ll never have an opportunity to seal the deal during a job interview. 

Making a potential employer see you as a conglomeration of proven accomplishments, positive attributes, and a collection of worldly assets worthy of serious consideration with the energy necessary to offer value to the company or organization you wish to join is critical and must be done using honest, straightforward, positive key words and phrases. Regardless of what you may have heard, a resume gets you one thing—an interview, not a job. An interview is where you sell yourself face to face and get the job. 

A critical error many wannabe job hunters at all ages make is offering negative personal information. When you’re selling yourself, why would you ever mention a topic that might work against you? You’d be surprised at the number of resumes I receive for review and rewrite that contain downright derogatory information. These aren’t lies, simply unintentional negative personal commentaries. Here are some actual examples of resume inclusions made by applicants who became so distraught about the job hunting process that they finally opted for professional assistance in preparing their cover letters and resumes.

Always avoid using terminology such as this:

I am unable to (?).

I am only capable of doing (?).

I can’t get involved in (?).

I     have never had any experience in (?).

I am not interested in (?).

Employers what to hear what you can do for them, they aren’t interested in hearing what you can’t or aren’t interested in doing. You can be positive and honest while making yourself a viable asset.

You have a lot of talent and experience to offer, so don’t sell yourself short—but do sell yourself as a valuable asset that an employer needs on his or her team. 

Now get out there, they’re waiting for you.

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James C. Sandefer

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