Personal Finance: Ask the Experts

Get advice on money matters from The Bee's Claudia Buck and a panel of local experts

August 28, 2013
How do I get employers to see past my age and 33-year work history?

Q: I'm 58 and medically retired from state service in 2001. After 33 yrs of working in an office as an executive secretary, administrative assistant, legal secretary and division training coordinator, I wanted to try a different career path.

I got into merchandising and for the last 5 years was a caregiver. I now want to re-enter an office environment but seem to be getting nowhere. I'm taking online courses for current computer software programs but don't think employers see past my age (it's easy enough to figure out) and my job history since state retirement. Help!
Sacramento, CA

A: As you stated, a résumé format that lists your work history does make it is easy for employers to get an idea of your general age. More importantly, you could be screened out because you are over-qualified, based on the types of administrative positions you have held.

You need to change your résumé. I would suggest that you use the "functional résumé" format, which focuses on your skills and abilities rather than a chronological employment history.

The following resources should be helpful in creating a functional résumé:

How to Write a Functional Résumé
http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Functional-Resume

Sample Functional Résumé Format
http://career-advice.monster.com/resumes-cover-letters/resume-samples/sample-of-a-functional-resume/article.aspx

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Meet Our Financial Experts

Claudia Buck

Claudia Buck is The Sacramento Bee's personal finance columnist. Read all her columns here. Contact her at cbuck@sacbee.com

Terri Carpenter

Terri Carpenter offers advice on job hunting, retraining and career counseling. Carpenter works at Sacramento Works Inc., the career and job training arm of the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency (SETA). With 15 years in the field, she has hands-on experience with everyone from first-time job seekers to career professionals seeking advice after a layoff or looking for a mid-career change. Ask her a question.

Carlena Tapella

Carlena Tapella is a partner in the law firm of Webb & Tapella Law Corp. in Sacramento. The firm specializes in estate planning and probate, such as estates, trusts, conservatorships and litigation. She is a past president of the Sacramento County Bar Association's Estate Planning & Probate Section. Ask her a question.

Kimberly Foss

Kimberly Foss, certified financial planner, is the founder of Empyrion Wealth Management in Roseville. With nearly 30 years in the financial industry, her clients include women in transition, small business owners, retirees and "pre-retirees." Ask her a question.

Jesse Weller

Gregory Burke, a CPA and tax expert with John Waddell & Co. in Sacramento since 1984, worked as an IRS tax auditor for six years. He’s a past chairman of the California Society of CPAs. Ask him a question.

Daniel Tahara

Daniel Tahara takes your questions about California taxes. Tahara, a spokesman for the state Franchise Tax Board, has 10 years of experience as a tax auditor. Ask him a question.



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