Much of the career advice that you see online is geared, as most topics are, towards younger people. However, a rising percentage of people over the age of 40 are making a career change. In fact, some people who are of retirement age are still working out of choice or necessity. Unfortunately, many are facing the ugly reality of age-based job discrimination. As one of the top staffing firms in NYC, we value the contribution that older workers make to the workforce. We would therefore like to offer the following strategies to help you overcome ageism during your next job search.
- Stay relevant and current: Often recruiters who are working with older workers assume that person may not be experienced with the latest technologies in his or her field. Thus, older workers should be sure to stay current in their field. They should seek professional development and/or training in new technologies, methods, etc related to their field.
- Market yourself effectively: Focus on your strengths when applying for a job. Older people often acquire wisdom, perspective and maturity as they go through life. These are important qualities that marketed correctly can help any company. Finally, make sure that you become familiar with all the portals that are available in which to market your skills.
- Carefully assess and upgrade your resume: Unfortunately, some recruiters are unable to get past their biases when it comes to older workers. Therefore, when you submit your resume to companies assume that the person reviewing it may be younger than you. Be sure to limit your resume employment history to the past 15 years if you can.
- Prepare for age-related questions during your interview: Employers are not supposed to ask questions about your age during an interview. However, some do in subtle and not so subtle ways. One question they may ask is: “How do you feel about working for a manager who is younger than you?” Anticipate and prepare to be asked this and similar questions during your interview.
- Use networking to your advantage: While networking is a good idea in any job search situation, it can be particularly effective for older workers since they have had more time to build up their network of associates, former co-workers, etc. Before you go seeking employment, be sure to activate your network and to provide them with a list of your accomplishments.
Way back in 1967 the The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protecting people over the age of 40 from unfair employment practices became the law of the land. Unfortunately, as is the case with many laws, people do violate it. Follow the tips and hopefully you can still land the job of your dreams regardless of your age. Our executive assistant staffing firm in New York stands ready to help you accomplish this goal.