Resume Help/return to work


I am a 49 year old, still ok looking (don't look like a dumpy housewife going back to work)female who has been out of work for over 7 years. I have a long list of jobs on my resume but almost every  one is out of business now and I have no idea where any of the people I worked with went. I have experience in many fields but it looks terrible on paper. If I can get an interview I always get the job and excel at it, itís just that my life looks bad on paper in the traditional resume format.
I have 3 excellent professional references so that helps, but my office skills are just so-so. I am willing to work as a receptionist or retail even though my experience shows I have risen higher, to be honest I am sick of the corporate grind and just need extra money for my daughter's college and our retirement and to get me out of the house.
Is there a new kind of acceptable format for a resume that says I have worked on and off but that I do have something to offer?
I need 2 resumes. I need to make one to use as a reference to fill out the tedious job applications for the retail jobs I am applying for and am wondering if just fudging a lot of it is something people do when everyone, including the company, is gone?
The other resume I need would be for office jobs. I would like to be able to say something about various administrative jobs since I got my associates degree in 1985 which gave my xyz skills, then highlighting the really good few jobs I have had, and the skills I have acquired, and what I can do for them. Can you get away with that type of resume? I am thinking things must have changed for everyone since the recession.
Thank you for any advice you can give me. I am really lost.

Dear Diana:

First of all, when you get the interview, you need to state that you are re-entering the workforce because you have to help pay for college expenses and future retirement, and that you do plan to work for a stable and reasonable period of time.  This way they will know that you won't quit after a year or so.

Try a functional resume format.  Look them up on the interview to get a feeling for what they are and what they do, and then write me back with specific questions.

The functional resume will allow you to tailor the resume to the jobs you want to highlight without being in chronological order which will make you look better on paper.

You can do 2 of these types of resumes that are tailored to you and they will be better than the traditional resume in your case.

Explore these and then write me back.

Warmly, R. Butler

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Ruth Butler


I will answer questions about resumes and how to do well on an interview. I am a former employment counselor and I have owned my own resume and career counseling business since 1982.

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