Expressway: How I lost 11 years of my life

Your resume may be great and, as an Your resumé may be great and, as an older job seeker, you may be protected by federal law. But proving age bias is hard, and regulators have limited resources to take action. Photo Credit: iStock

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After attending a recent Long Island job fair at the Nassau Coliseum, I went home and erased most of my resume.

Various company representatives told me that since my last job was about 18 years ago, I needn't bother mentioning it. At best, my experience in retail and corporate marketing jobs was irrelevant, and at worst it could be a "red flag" because of the gap in time.

One recruiter even politely advised that I would be better off with a resume that simply carried my name, email address and work objective. Revealing my degree in journalism-communications from St. John's University was harmless, but my two pages of work experience were seemingly past some expiration date.

Sigh. Now the rule seems to be: Deny your past and start from scratch. So, I figured I'd do what was advised, but include the following:

 

To whom it may concern,

I have attached my resume, which lists a bachelor's degree, but doesn't even hint at my 11 years of experience in the workforce. In addition, in my capacity as a full-time parent for 18 years, I have been "multi-tasking" since before the term was invented. I've found there is simply no way to manage children, laundry, cooking, cleaning, shopping, holidays, relatives, entertaining, finances, PTA, college searches, pet care, car care, child care, teenager care, chauffeuring, driver's ed, homework help, parent-teacher relations, community service, church and the lawn -- and still remain an informed citizen -- without being a master of time management.

If doctors could hand me two babies with no training manual, and I successfully raised them to be kind, smart, active, healthy human beings, then you can place me anywhere -- because nothing could be even half as daunting as that.

Please note that I have my own health insurance and do not need benefits.

As a member of the generation of three-dimensional friends, I have no use for Facebook. Therefore, a prospective employer needn't waste time trying to locate an embarrassing photo of me swinging from a chandelier. For me, the idea of "tweeting" remains exclusive to birds.

I am smarter than my phone, and perfectly content with that advantage. My cellphone can't double as a camera, so I won't waste company time taking pictures of myself when I should be working. It also doesn't have a full keyboard, so I won't be texting while working. Only three people (plus my daughter's school) have my cell number, so there's no risk of my being distracted by anything ringing or vibrating.

Don't worry about employee turnover. I will not use your company as a stepping stone to "build my career." Rather, I hope to work for an employer where I can contribute long-term. I admit that idea of being someone in her 40s trying to get a job in this economy is something I never want to have to repeat.

Also, I am healthy, well-spoken, well-dressed and honest. And I won't quit to start a family, because I already have one.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Dina Whorlow

Reader Dina Whorlow lives in Syosset.

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