The Age Barrier: 4 Employment Tips For Older Job Seekers

  • Michael Grant
  • March 18, 2018

Although you may not feel old if you’re 40 and over employers may hesitate before hiring to you. Age is becoming a barrier you have to overcome if you’re looking to compete for jobs with younger professionals. Older workers are stereotyped as costing more than young people, being set in their ways and having less energy than the average employee. Fortunately, this blog post looks at four different tips you can use to your advantage as an older job seeker.

1. Streamline Your Resume For Each Position You Apply For

Streamlining your resume for specific positions is a tip anyone of any age can benefit from. Hiring managers have a ton of resumes to review, and they’re only interested in finding a candidate that looks like they could help the company. The best way to showcase your abilities to someone who’s scanning your resume is to make your resume specific to the position.

A lot of older job seekers have their resume clogged with things they did 10-15 years ago. While these accomplishments are still valued, you should only include them if they’re relevant to the position. The more concise and easy to scan your resume is, the better. If a hiring manager examines your resume and sees relevant skills, it’s unlikely they’ll hold your age against you.

2. Find Ways To Stay Relevant

Skills are always valuable, no matter how old you are. If you find yourself stuck in an employment rut, consider learning some new skills that will enhance the type of work you’re able to do. If you’re looking for a job in the food services industry, it’s worth taking some continuing education courses and highlighting the credits on your resume. If you’re unsure what skills you should improve, consider consulting with an employment lawyer.

Another way to stay relevant is to stay up to date with technology. This doesn’t mean you have to know about every new gadget that comes out, but you should make an effort to sharpen your computer skills. YouTube is an excellent free resource that can help you master pretty much every essential computer skill. Don’t be afraid to invest in a course if you need to learn more advanced skills.

3. Take A Flexible Approach

Staying flexible is going to help you overcome the age barrier. You may not be able to command the same senior level positions as you did before, but if you’re ready to prove yourself, this won’t be a problem. If you can demonstrate to your employer that you’re ready to adapt to a new role, it’s easier for them to see your value.

Although it may be difficult, it’s important to stay positive during your job hunt. As mentioned before, finding ways to remain relevant such as learning and volunteering are excellent activities to enhance your job search. As long as you stay relevant and offer something valuable, you can grow into a positive asset for an employer.

4. Prepare Yourself To Explain What You Can Offer As A Mature Worker

While an employment lawyer will tell you it’s illegal to discriminate based on age, employers will still find a way to ask you about it. Questions such as “how do you feel about working under someone younger than you?” are designed to gauge how you’ll fit into the workplace. Be prepared to answer these questions and try not to take it personally.

It also can’t hurt to show some extra energy at the interview. Older workers are often stereotyped as being a step behind and lethargic. During the meeting you can do things like taking notes, sitting up straight and speaking clearly to demonstrate your energy. If possible you can take notes on a Tablet or smartphone to show your familiarity with technology.

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Hello, my name is Michael and I'm a cancer survivor. I'm also a home entrepreneur and stay-at-home grandfather. In the past thirty years, I've dabbled in the the financial sector, the technology industry, as well as a little business consulting. I guess you can call me a jack of all trades!

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