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Resume Help/Very old, very relevant experience

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Question
I think I'm in a tough position here.  I am applying for a position I believe I can do very well and for which my experience suits me.
The position involves community and classroom presentations, organizational outreach, and collaboration. It has an environmental justice and species welfare focus.

I worked as a community educator, organizer and volunteer coordinator in behalf of migrant workers on full-time basis for 2 years in the -get this: 70s.  My experience and training were very extensive and invaluable and very relevant to skills required for this position.

I also formed a 200 member volunteer org in 90s performed extensive outreach, network, presentation to gov and ngos, community work projects, community education with conservation and wildlife focus. Achieved goals, wrote and acheived larg grant.
Four years in this, but volunteer.    
I have taught college and adults and kindergarten for semesters, but not recently.  I have worked in organizational outreach position.  But... my recent experience is not directly relevant to the position. I am a classroom assistant to kids with disabilites.  I am in this position because I'm a writer.  I like the work too, but it provides not enough income. So, my difficulty, is not unusual, I suppose.  It is that the most relevant experience is so old that it makes me seem antique even before I'm in the door. ( I'm sixty)  How much of it can I use?  Ive been at my teacher aid job for three years.  Thanks.

Answer
Hi Gigi,

There are two perspectives to consider in answering your question.

1) Use all of your experience (past and present). The talent management systems and applicant tracking programs used by HR to screen candidates are designed to parse, interpret, and quantify candidate background prior to your data ever making it to an HR rep or hiring authority. So, to generate the proper credit for experience gained through early career contributions, you must include the older periods of employment. Since these online application programs rarely seem to limit the data candidates include, use this to your advantage. Resumes generated through programs like USA Jobs for government agencies can range in size up to, and exceed 10 pages of information. Compile lengthy job descriptions for these opportunities.

2) When you make it through the initial screening process, be ready to answer pointed questions about how relevant you feel your past experience is in today's labor market. The technology available in the 90s to conduct outreach is not the same as available today, and you do not want to find yourself behind the power curve when screened for knowledge of current programs and processes used for social networking, outreach, and even education.

You cannot get away from being 60 - on the front end of an application, or when finally in the door. Embrace your age, embrace your experience, and overcome perceived obstacles by maintaining a positive outlook and motivated disposition. Some employers absolutely prefer hiring more seasoned employees. This can be due to a perception of maturity, dependability, loyalty, and work ethic. Others prefer younger employees that tend to be more hip with social media, flexible in scheduling due to class schedules, or the lack of family commitments. You cannot control these preferences, but you can control how you present your skill set and perform in an interview! Since employers have the option to train new employees, experience and age are not always the primary deal breakers.

Remember, the competition is tough and you have to capitalize one everything you can offer to a potential employer. Hope this helps you with outside perspective and to develop thoughts on how best to proceed with your job search!

Lisa  

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Lisa Parker, CPRW

Expertise

As a Certified Executive Résumé Master (CERM), Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW), Certified Employment Interview Professional (CEIP), Disabled Veteran Outreach Program Specialist, Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Facilitator, and retired service member; I can answer your questions on a variety of subjects. Ask me about résumé and cover letter preparation, military transition, federal or government résumé resources and other career development topics.

Experience

28 years of combined experience in both Federal and State organizations. Extensive background in promoting personal and professional development, and providing career development guidance.

Organizations
Career Directors International (CDI), National Résumé Writer's Association (NRWA), Professional Association of Résumé Writers and Career Coaches (PARW-CC), Career Thought Leaders (CTL), Disabled American Veterans - Life Member, Cambridge Who's Who-Life Member.

Publications
Résumé for Dummies-7th Edition Quill Magazine Pro-Files Magazine Spotlight Newsletter (PARW-CC) The Business Writer's Handbook Handbook of Technical Writing

Education/Credentials
Certified Executive Résumé Master (CERM), Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW), Certified Employment Interview Professional (CEIP), Labor and Employment Specialist, Case Management, Instructor/Trainer, Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Facilitator.

Awards and Honors
Customer Service Award - 2007 GA Department of Labor

Past/Present Clients
Career Professionals from a variety of career fields and professional backgrounds (Entry Level, Professional Level, Executive Level, Military Transition, Government Applicants, Federal Executive Applicants).

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