Although, age discrimination can make it even harder to find a new job, especially post-coronavirus, there are things the Over-50 job seeker can do to ensure they get the position they want and to get that job soon.
View Your Age as an Asset
Differentiate yourself from younger competition. Think how to best make the case for yourself as an experienced individual who is less likely to be fooled by situations and absolutely as someone with a good track record of success. Prepare interview responses that make this point with strong examples and outcomes. Emphasize how your age and experience benefits you (and will benefit the employer).
Combat the Overqualified Stereotype
A big concern about someone being perceived as overqualified is that they would overstep their bounds because they’ve been in higher roles before or they’d be resistant to change. To remove this worry, be ready to provide lots of specific examples of times you interacted with all levels of teams and let others take the lead in certain areas. Being able to delegate appropriate tasks to others to help them advance is a real strength and shows an ability to see other peoples' strengths.
Make Your Resume Ageless and Limit the Length
Eliminate dates of graduation and other things that can allow for
age discrimination on your resume
. Reduce the number of previous positions you include on your resume so that employers don’t rule you out based on a perception that you are “too experienced” or “overqualified”. If you have a 30-year career, you do not need to include your first entry-level job if you’re at the Director-level now.
Show that You will be a Good “Cultural Fit”
Not being a “cultural fit” can be code for “you’re too old.” Employers want new hires to participate in the company’s work culture, and if you’re applying to businesses with lots of young people, then that might mean physical activities like company sports teams, outings, or other extra-curricular activities. Or, it may mean engaging in social media with colleagues or fitting in in some other way.
Show Them You’re Tech-Savvy
The last thing you want is employers worrying about whether you’ll struggle with their technology. So show them how you’ve used technology in past jobs or in your current job search (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.).
Control Your Mindset and Avoid Negativity
Finding a new job after 50 isn’t easy, but having a negative mindset, complaining, feeling jealous or the like will NOT help. It’s okay to feel those emotions occasionally. Everyone does. But move past it. Get back to putting in effort and focusing on what YOU need to do.
- John Strauss, CRC Board Member