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The Present Tense

What’s past is past. It’s time to look toward the future.

Whenever you’re faced with a seemingly insurmountable challenge (such as looking for a job past the age of 50), many experts advise to break the issue down into manageable portions. So why not try that for your job search?

One simple way to break it down is by time — as in verb tense to be more precise. Try dividing your job search into past, present and future.

The present is pretty obvious. In the present tense you don’t have a job; you’re looking; you’re searching. You’re talking to anyone who will listen. You really want to move on. Nuff said.

It may not be too surprising to think that your work experience is the past. And what do you do with that past? Why you spell it out in your resume, of course. The places you’ve worked. The positions and titles you’ve held. Your accomplishments, your highlights — they all go together to tell your story. The story of where you’ve been.

That is not, however, your future. And this is an important point. The difference between your past and your future may be as different as your resume and your next job.

It’s a mindset. Your past: this is what I’ve done. Your future: this is what I can do for you, Mr. Prospective Employer, in the future. On paper, your resume is your past and your personal marketing plan – that which will find you your next position – is your future.

Keeping the two separate is important. It’s important for you to communicate this to your prospective employer. Everything that you’ve done in the past is all well and good. From that past I can draw upon knowledge, talent and experience to create a mutually-beneficial future that will meet my need to have a new job; and will meet the employer’s need to have an experienced, responsible, reliable and effective employee.


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