I'm always a little surprised at how young can be considered old by employers. In some industries, especially high-tech, even mid-thirties can be considered old. In fact, I spoke to one computer programmer who considered the workers in his office who were over thirty old!
Unfortunately for older job seekers, the older you are, the longer it can take to get a job and the harder it can be to get hired.
What can you do to address age discrimination and promote your candidacy for employment? There are strategies older job seekers can implement to help expedite a job search and to find gainful, and meaningful, employment.
Job Search Tips for Older Workers
Resume Tips for Older Job Seekers
One way to overcome the perception that your age is an issue, is to age proof and edit your resume. Limiting what you include on your resume, from a chronological perspective, can help job seekers avoid the stigma of being considered "too old" by a prospective employer.
Cover Letter Tips for Older Job Seekers
Your cover letter is critical, as well. Review these cover letter tips for older job seekers, including what to include in your cover letter, how to showcase your skills, and how to effectively market your candidacy to employers.
Emphasize Your Relevant Experience
When writing your resume and your cover letters, there's no need to mention every job you've ever had. Include only the most recent positions and, if you attended college, don't list your graduation dates.
Interview Answers for Older Applicants
Even though employers can't legally ask directly about your age, they sometimes ask questions during a job interview to try to determine how old you are. Here are some age-related interview questions and advice on how to respond.
Interview Tips for Older Job Seekers
Tips and advice for successful interviewing for older seekers, including how to make experience an asset, what to wear, how to address age issues and how to stay positive when interviewing can be especially challenging.
Fashion Tips for Older Job Seekers
You can strategically write your resume and cover letter, but you can't change the basic facts - your actual age and your employment history are etched in stone. However, there are ways you can work on your appearance when you are job searching. And that can make a big difference when you're interviewing. Here's how to update your job search image.
Use Your Network
Networking is still one of the best ways to find a job. Regardless of when you graduated, if your alma mater has a career network use it to contact alumni in your field of interest. Use online and offline networking resources to make connections to help with your job search.
Consider a Career Change
It can be easier than you might think to change careers. Here's advice on how to successful implement a mid-life career change.
Get Job Search Help
If you're struggling with your job search, consider seeking assistance. There are no-cost programs provided by OneStop Career Centers, non-profit groups, and local libraries, for example, that can assist.
Keep Your Skills Current
Everyone applying for employment, regardless of age, needs to be computer literate. If you can't send an email, or don't know what Instant Message is, take a computer class. There are classes offered, free or low-cost, by continuing education centers, churches, libraries, and school. The more current your skills, the better your prospects for finding employment.
Don't Give Up
Job searching typically isn't easy, regardless of how old you are. So, don't give up. It might take a while to find a job, but, there are employers who understand the value of an older worker with maturity, life experience, and skills.