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Don’t Make Them Think

It’s as plain as the nose on your wizened face

➔ There are few areas where this old maxim is more apropos than the job search. In fact, one of the mantras of a job coach we know is “Don’t make me think.” Especially for the older job seeker, this is critical.

Ducking all references to your age – graduation years, the number of years in the workforce, large gaps in your employment history – will only slow down the average hiring manager. They can put two and two together. Let’s not forget that they deal with this sort of thing everyday. Don’t delude yourself for a minute that you’re fooling anyone.

There are a lot ways to go

Using acronyms or industry-specific jargon when referring to professional associations or technology or the like will not make you sound more knowledgeable, more experienced or more contemporary. You’re more likely to confuse or to stymie your reviewer. You actually may make a recruiter stop and look them up, but for what gain?

Don’t make them think. If anything, go the extra mile to explain whatever may come across as being vague or misleading. Don’t take anything for granted. Don’t assume that “everyone knows what that means.” Maybe everyone at your past company was familiar with those references, but you’re in a different world now.

Whatever the circumstances, don’t make them think. Be thorough. Be comprehensive. Be forthcoming. Try to anticipate their questions or doubts and tackle them head on rather than trying to hide behind them or to obfuscate them.

Better to be obvious than clever.


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