Older employees make up nearly a third of the U.S. workforce, yet these experienced workers still face challenges during their job search. Ageism is common for many workers 50 and older, and encountering ageism during their job search is not unusual.
The good news is that there are many ways to fight ageism during your job search. Read on for some valuable tips to help you take control of your job search, use your age and experience as an asset, and set yourself up for job-hunting success.
Revamp Your Resume
You’ve worked for years and have the resume to show for it. However, employers are looking for your recent experience and information that shows you’re a fit for the specific role you’re applying for. Resist the urge to list all your skills and past job experience.
- Limit experience to the past ten to 15 years
- Remove graduation dates from the education section and move the section to the bottom
- Keep the resume to no more than two pages
- Use an email address with a current domain, such as Gmail, rather than outdated domains, such as AOL or Hotmail
Prepare for Inappropriate Questions
It’s not unusual for mature job seekers to face inappropriate questions during an interview. When that happens, focus on redirecting the question to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the position and to continue expanding your skillset.
Stay Up to Date on Technology and Trends
Some hiring managers and recruiters assume that older workers are not current on industry trends and the latest technology. If you’re over 40, developing your current skill set and learning new skills is vital. Keep up with the latest tech news and trends to stay competitive in your industry and the job market, including additional training and certification to help you stand out among other candidates.
Look for Certified Age Friendly Employers
The Age-Friendly Institute offers the only certification in the U.S. that identifies organizations as great places to work for employees over 50. Certified Age Friendly Employers (CAFE) exhibit the following characteristics:
- Maintain policies and procedures, practices, and programs that support employees 50 and older
- Value employees based on their knowledge, productivity, qualifications, and contribution
- Commit to offering development opportunities and competitive pay and benefits for mature employees 50+
Searching for a job is never easy, no matter how old you are. The key is to stay positive throughout the process. While ageism is real in job-hunting, many employers understand the value of an older employee with valuable skills, a strong work ethic, and ample life experience. Remember the tips above, and you’ll be on your way to securing a dream job at any age.