Business, Economics and Jobs

Botox your resume

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Unemployment has spared no community in the past few years, but it's been especially hard on older workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job-seekers over the age of 45 make up a disproportionate percentage of the long-term unemployed population. And in many cases, those older workers never even get asked in for an interview.

Kat Brown, a 58-year-old resident of Northern Michigan, has been out of work for four years. She’s had employers tell that she's too old to be hired.

"I'll tell you what, if you've got any crow's feet at all nowadays, it gets a little scary out there," said Brown.

So how do people over 45 who are applying for jobs avoid getting their resume tossed in the trash, and increase their chances of getting their foot in the door?

Beth Kobliner, author of "Get a Financial Life," suggests older job seekers "Botox" their resumes.

Employers fear older workers may increase healthcare costs, and may have more difficulty learning about how to work with new technologies, says Kobliner. And while experience is important, too much of it on a resume could work against an applicant.

Kobliner suggests these simple steps for taking some years off a resume:

- Have a one page resume
- List an email address, and make it a Gmail address rather than an AOL address
- Email your resume; don't mail it in
- Don’t include a cover letter; a few sentences in your email should suffice
- Emphasize only relevant experience, and go back 10 years or less

Unemployed Kat Brown tried to "de-emphasize" her experience on her resume in order to look attractive for lower level jobs.

"I actually ended up with a trio of resumes," she said. "I affectionately refer to them as dumb, dumber and dumbest to try and get those lower-level jobs, and still couldn't."

"The Takeaway" is a national morning news program, delivering the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what’s ahead. The show is a co-production of WNYC and PRI, in editorial collaboration with the BBC, The New York Times Radio, and WGBH.

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