Over Age 50? Here’s How to Get Hired
If you are a jobseeker over the age of 50, you may be among the 78 percent of people who have faced age discrimination in the workplace. In the hiring market, you are now willing to work for less money. Your interviews are with millennials the age of your children. Despite everything you do to appear relevant, it seems impossible to wash away the gray hue of age discrimination. How can you show your valuable experience but not your age? Here is how to get hired over the age of 50.
What Hiring Managers Look For
Hiring managers are not necessarily looking for a fatherly or motherly figure. Be aware that listing years of experience meant to impress can easily come across as outdated.
Hiring managers want to hire candidates who 1) meet the needs of their job posting and 2) are able to show that their skills are up-to-date.
- Match the job description. “One thing to keep in mind is that, in many cases, your résumé will be screened by computer software before it can make its way to an actual hiring manager,” says Kenneth Terrell of AARP. “If a word or phrase repeatedly shows up in the job listings you’re interested in, incorporate those terms into your résumé.” At any age, it is imperative to incorporate keywords to match a job’s needs.
- Show skills that are up-to-date. In some cases, older candidates are a close match to a job, but lack the technology skills requirements. Older workers should consider adding some recent skills, like earning a certification from Google, for example. The effort shown in taking a course to be more relevant can go a long way in getting hired.
Expand Your Knowledge of Trends
They say history repeats itself. Show your value by being an expert in the field. How has the field changed and what have you learned? “Read articles and industry reports and listen to podcasts from industry experts who can introduce you to trends and new ways of processing the same information,” says Indeed. Come across as a mentor or expert, but avoid phrases like, “Back in the eighties….” Instead, be someone knowledgeable who can be an advisor so companies do not make big-picture mistakes. Be careful not to come across as overqualified even if you are.
Remove Dates and be Current, Current, Current
Take out any experience older than 15 years and instead beef up the recent work you have done. Use younger people as references and tap into your younger network for tips. Be aware of things like outdated email addresses (Yahoo) and dates from when you graduated from college. Keep interviewers guessing your age by wearing something trendy. Go to a resume writer for a refresh of the look of your resume and help writing a punchy cover letter. In an interview, avoid talking about your kids or grandkids or anything that ties a date to your name.
Benefits of Hiring Older Workers for Hiring Managers
Artemis Consultants works with older candidates every day who bring great value to any industry. Older workers are generally more reliable and take less time off, and they also bring something called cognitive diversity. “The best way to maximize team output is to increase cognitive diversity, which is significantly more likely to occur if you can get people of different ages (and experiences) working together,” says Bersin and Chamorro-Premuzic of Harvard Business Review. There is really no substitute for the perspective someone older can bring to a business. CEO Paul Rupert, founder of Respectful Exits, calls it “intellectual property.” It is knowledge that should be captured and transmitted to the next generation.
Undervaluing experience can be a costly mistake for companies. Older employees often have more developed soft skills in handling and leading people. Artemis is an expert in creating a match between a candidate and a company.
–Written exclusively for Artemis Consultants by Content Writer Mellody Melville