“Is age a factor in getting a job?”, “Am I not being hired because I’m too old?” If you’re in your 50s or older, you’ve probably uttered either or both of these questions. Don’t worry because you’re not the only one who’s experiencing job search ageism.
Age discrimination comes to mind when talking about unemployed workers above the age of 50. But is there any truth to this claim? Isn’t it illegal to ask someone’s age during application? Did they choose a candidate that is younger, albeit less experienced, than you? Let me give it to you straight right now: Asking an applicant his/her age is legal. What’s not is forming their judgement solely on it. There’s no way to tell for sure whether they based their decision on this factor or not and believe me, hiring managers won’t admit it even if they did.
Is Age a Factor in Getting a Job? Here’s What to Do
But we’re not here to dwell on things that are out of our control. What we’re going to do is help you conquer this seemingly impossible obstacle. Follow these steps and you’ll surely knock off job search ageism and boost your chances of landing a job:
Look in the Right Places
Don’t waste valuable time and energy in companies that will surely pass up on you because of your age. Look for job postings in web sites specially designed to help older applicants. Here are a few of them:
- Workforce50.com (http://workforce50.com/) – Provides job listings from employers interested in hiring from the over-50 community.
- Seniors4Hire (http://seniors4hire.org/) – An online career center for businesses that value a diverse workforce to actively recruit folks in the U.S. 50 and older looking for a job and/or other ways to earn money.
- Encore.org (http://encore.org/) – Their goal is to tap the skills of those in midlife and beyond to improve communities and the world.
- ExecuNet (http://www.execunet.com/) – Aims to help former executives use their experience and talent to make a difference.
Make an Ageless Resume
This is something that should be entrusted with professional resume writers. They can tweak it for you, make the dates disappear, and make you look younger – on paper.
Be One with Technology
This is one of the biggest concerns of employers with older applicants; show them that this will not be an issue with you. Share experiences that show you’re tech-savvy, and that you wouldn’t have any issues riding the artificial intelligence train. Having a blog will also give more conviction to your claim.
Be in the NOW
It’s important that you keep up-to-date with the latest trends in the field you’re trying to get into. Let the hiring manager know that you’re willing to try new approaches. You would need to set ample time for research.
Answer Unasked Questions
Most of the time interviewers keep certain queries to themselves and make assumptions as to the answers. It would do you great to anticipate these unvoiced doubts and subtly address their concerns. Here are a few samples:
- Share experiences that show how much of a fast learner you are, that you really enjoy new challenges, and how you wish to expand your skill set.
- Highlight your flexibility and adaptability.
- Take the initiative to tell them how much you enjoy working with and learning from people of all ages.
Turn Questions in Your Favor
For example, you’re asked why you wish to take a position that is lower that what you previously held. You can answer with something inspiring like, “Being a manager was something I enjoyed immensely, but at this point in my career, I’d like to get back to the basics and really get involved in projects. I’d like to have that sense of fulfillment again.”
Be Positive and End Strong
Employers want employees who are optimistic, confident, and receptive to innovation. Toward the end of your interview, you could throw a line like, “This conversation made me want to work more for the company.” It makes you sound energetic and enthusiastic. You also gave their organization an ego boost, so that’s hitting two birds with one stone.
Dress to Impress
An employee’s medical condition is important to employers. So make sure you’re fit and that you don’t have any illnesses that would raise any concern. Take time to groom yourself as well. You don’t have to dye your hair an unnatural color, or try to fit in clothes that don’t suit you. Just be sure to look neat, chic, and confident. Like other applicants, you have to dress to impress.
Now, will you still ask yourself, “Is age a factor in getting a job?”
The point is that age does matter but it should matter for all the right reasons. It should also not be a hindrance to further progress your career. Take note of these tips that we’ve shared with you and don’t hesitate to ask for help from the best resume writing service provider to aid you in battling job search ageism in a most efficient way.
Source: Huff Post | Market Watch | Careerialism | The Week
Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay