My company offered me an early retirement package, which I took. I am in my late 50ís, but I am not completely ready to retire. I still have a few good years left in me. However, I am having problems even getting even an interview; I think my age is getting in the way. How can I avoid my resume giving me away? I am not even getting in the door.
You are not required to state your age or give any clues as to how old you are. I often work with candidates like you that have 35+ years of work experience. First off, I have never seen a job description that says, "Over 35 years of experience required," and I am sure you have not either.
A quick solution is to use your headline, (the grabber at the top of your resume), to steer people away from dating you instantly. Instead of saying "35 years of experience," simply state, "Over 20 years experience." A candidate with over 20 years of experience will be no less desirable in terms of skill level than a candidate with 35 years.
You might also consider not including the year you graduated college, especially if you graduated from a university prior to the first landing on the moon. In terms of employment, only list in detail your last 5-8 years, 10 tops. It is only this more recent experience that recruiters are most interested in reviewing and will dictate if you are called for an interview. For instance, if you are now a controller in a $400M per year manufacturing firm, I highly doubt that first audit grunt position you had in 1970 will come up in the interview process.
For much older work, simply create and include a Previous Employment section. It is here you can briefly list some of your older positions, but donít list the ones that might make you look older. You should be able to just get away with listing company name, location of organization and your titles.
Also, if you are in the technology field, make sure your resume is clear of older technologies that are not relevant and will date you. For instance, if you are a high-level embedded software developer, I highly doubt your reader cares much about that Fortran program you wrote in 1972. Not only do you risk dating yourself with this old technology, but also you are risking burying the good stuff, (the more recent languages, environments, platforms, etc.), that your reader is making a decision on.
Best of Luck,