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Hello Brian,

Need your guidance.

Have been recently made aware of a re-org due to acquisition at a company in an industry which I worked in for 25 years and left some 20 years ago.  I am currently 60 years of age and working for the past 8 years in a completely different industry. In researching the new ownership I noticed that one of the company directors is someone whom I previously knew and who had, at one time, approached me for a position.

In the last 10 years I have tried on several occasions  to re-integrate into the industry with no success as there are far and few opportunities.  I have no doubt that age and the disappearance of old contacts have not helped the cause either.

My question to you is since he is an outside director and does not have any  operating responsibilities, would you consider it appropriate for me to forward him my CV directly.  The second question, is how would you approach the cover letter given that I have had no contact with him for 25+ years. By the way, he and the headquarters of the company are 3K miles away. Further, they have not posted any positions so my approach would be to offer myself as a generalist with the ability to perform in various line/management positions.

Thanking you in advance for your reply




There is no better network than one that is 20+ years old.   It is hard to say how to address a cover letter.    I'd base the content on your real relationship with this person back then.   Any letter you write should have a serious undertone and cut to the chase-- you want to work again in THIS industry (whatever industry it is you refer to#.

I would not bring up the fact you seem to have interviewed him/her and passed on them... and so now it seems the tables are turned.  Anyone with character will not allow that to play into a good business decision.  IF they bring it up,  say, yes, not choosing you was one of those hard decisions I still recall today.   Many HR people recall a few people they passed over for different reasons and apparently it is true you remember passing him over.   No big deal- he is doing good today with no worries.        

You should send your resume and cover letter  to him.   Explain briefly that although you are out of the industry now, you keep an eye on it and noticed his/her name and that things were looking quite interesting.    You would like to get back into the ring and would request an opportunity to hear more about the plans to  A, B, C  and at a minimum perhaps set a time to chat by phone.

Since I don't know the industry you were in, it is again impossible to say whether being out for 20 years will make you ineligible for the work due to industry changes, technology changes or just being our of touch with compliance, regulations, trends, etc.   I cant say.   Also not know ing what position you are applying for can be hard to address as well.   # you say "Generalist" is this HR Generalist ?#   

Last,  since you did "know" this person,  why not try this... in addition to the resume and the cover letter, add a third "personal"  letter written from you to him as a professional courtesy/ catch up and   "I hope you and your family are fine",    Maybe tell him a little about you and your life over last 20 years and that you see he is doing well  # a little compliment  )  keep it short and don't beg.   Write it in such a way that if you were in his shoes, and received the letter,  what would be appropriate and also too much.

Keep it short and tasteful and at the end leave him an "out"  to say I look forward to hearing from you.   

Not much more I can suggest.    Maybe you think the extra letter is too much,  but this is an idea.  This is not a clear answer so I hope this helps somehow.

Brian Phillips

Human Resources

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Brian Phillips


Foreign and US university students -*PLEASE*- DO NOT waste your time asking for my opinions, comments or analysis of your homework questions. Homework questions are not answered and are rejected. I am happy to help answer questions asked by employees and employers regarding United States based state and Federal wage and hour, OT, Fair labor standards, FMLA, COBRA, Recruiting, Interviewing techniques, employee manuals, discipline, terminations/quits, unemployment, HRIS rollout, Employee Leasing or Staffing company cost analysis, day to day scenarios, work situations and more. Essentially a well rounded HR generalist who operates Harvis, Inc., a human resource consulting and service business based in Northeastern Pennsylvania "NEPA".


At Harvis, Inc., we provide Human Resource products, services and advice to small businesses that may not have the time or resources to hire a full time HR department. For larger companies with HR managers in place, we compliment their expertise to help with time consuming or time sensitive projects like updating policy manuals, screening and interviewing and more. We make workplaces better by becoming that 1/2 person they need to help handle HR responsibilities on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Formerly responsible for all Human Resource activity for a staffing agency with 2,500 annual employees as well as an employee leasing / PEO business with 1,500 annual employees. Designed and implemented the HR structure to support hundreds of clients in excess of $ 500 million in payroll volume over career in Human Resources.

* President 2006- Harvis Inc. HR Services * President 2010-13 Business Association of the Greater Shickshinny Area - Shickshinny PA * President 2013- ShickshinnyForward Not for Profit Community Long Term Revitalization Organization and former member of varios Chambers of Commerce and HR Taskforce, former President of NBC Business Club 2 years

Bloomsburg University - 1993 BS Marketing, Bloomsburg Pennsylvania and Luzerne County Community College - 1991 Business Administration, Nanticoke Pennsylvania

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* Better than average - 20/10 vision * Bestowed with an occasional "Thank You" from clients and their employees.

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