Early Retiree Resume Failure

So you retired early and are looking forward to starting your encore career living a “retire early and often” lifestyle. If you have posted your Résumé and applied for opportunities of interest or those that are aligned with your passions. But can’t seem to get a response. Then maybe some things are causing you Early Retiree Resume Failure.

It is always possible that you don’t have the skills, qualifications, education, or background your targeted employer or encore field is looking for. But there is also a chance that there is something on your Résumé. Something that is causing the reviewer to discount you and move on to the next Résumé in the pile.

The hiring manager, recruiter or human resource staff will usually have multitudes of Résumés to check. When one of their negative-triggers are encountered, your Résumé is immediately filed in file 13 (trash). The obvious Résumé negative-triggers are poor formatting, typos, and using wrong grammar. They are by far super important to clean up.

But there are other possible Résumé negative-triggers that can be present in your Résumé to be aware of and remove.

Potential Causes of Early Retiree Resume Failure

Your Home Address

It is no longer mandatory to list your home address at the top of your Résumé. I have and still list my address. I live in a smaller town outside of a major city. I admit that I have been asked when called by recruiters whether I would consider a commute to their client’s location. That is from people who have decided to call me. But I concede to the possibility that others may have looked past my Résumé by making their own commuting conclusions.

There is also the possibility if you live in certain areas that someone will enter into economic profiling. Having your email address and phone number to easily reach you is all that is required.

Unprofessional email account

Do not use an unprofessional email address. Sure it’s funny to your golf partners to have a golf related email address. Or something else related to drinking beer, fast cars, and whatever. Maybe it is something that is personal in nature and innocent like BestGrandParent@yaddida.com. Just set up a professional email address to use. For example, use your name.

Your personal information

Do not include a photo of yourself. There are very few professions that you would need to include your photo. Don’t include your birth date, marital status, gender, or physical features like hair color, height and weight. Along these lines don’t include anything about your religion or political affiliation.

Certainly there are professions when these things might be necessary. Like Actors, Models or a position within a particular religious or political party. Otherwise don’t add anything that might allow an employer to discriminate against you based on this personal info.

Obviously your name will probably indicate gender. Listing the year you graduated from college, etc. will allow someone to guess your age. But that is all you should offer along those lines.

The reason why you left your prior job and salary history

These issues will most likely come up during an interview. You should be ready to discuss it then but you do not want to list anything associated to these in your Résumé. As to salary, this should be discussed late in the interviewing process. Most likely in a second or later interview.

Salary is also a huge part of negotiation. Tipping your hand early will put you at a disadvantage. Don’t let a Résumé reviewer see a salary on your Résumé and reject you. Rejected because of the number listed before you even have a chance to prove your worth.

Use Slang, Buzzwords, Abbreviations, and Jargon

Sometimes the person reviewing your Résumé has no background in the job being applied for.  They will not understand abbreviations and slang common to those who are in that profession. Also there is nothing more irritating than reading the tired buzzwords that have circulated the past decades. Like SME or subject matter expert, synergies, mission-critical, etc.

Check to make sure that anyone who reads your Résumé can understand your abilities. Drop the code talk unless you are positive it will be reviewed by people knowledgeable of the terminology.


Listing references on your Résumé is very old-school. It is no longer required or wanted. Don’t even add the line “References provided upon request”. This is expected and doesn’t need to be on your Résumé just wasting space.

Listing your references can allow a prospective employer to contact your references before you interview,. They may formulate an idea of who your are based on their answers before they even meet you. This will more or less ruin your chance for the all-important first impression. If they are interested in you they will ask you for references later in the process.

Exaggerate, lie, or just stretch the truth about yourself

If the Résumé reviewer is reading Résumés from qualified applicants and you have stepped into the world of trying to fake your way into the interview pile, you will be spotted. Your Résumé will be immediately tossed. Besides that, even if you did or could fool them. Why waste your time getting a job you really wanted only to be found out soon after and fired. Fired for falsifying your experience, education, or skill-sets.

Everything can be verified or determined based on your performance that you up-sold yourself to get in the door or covered-up something you thought you could successfully hide. That is definitely what they call termination for cause.

Time to review your Résumé

If you find any of these issues from the above list of Things Causing you Early Retiree Resume Failure then make some changes and see if you can now start getting those responses and interview requests.

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