Take control of your job search!
Yes indeed, age discrimination exists in the workplace and many mature job hunters are facing an uphill battle when competing against younger candidates. But there is still hope.
Whatever how old you are, whatever you are being told, you do not have to take the back seat. Here are some leads on how to do it.
It is all about spinning and reframing.
Change Your Mindset
The first thing to be done is to relentlessly remind yourself that you are experienced, not old. You are seasoned, not over-the-hill. You are here and now, not history.
Go on the Offensive
Then, go on the offensive. You may be, but you are not stupid, and you are not dead. Use your know-how to sell your experience against youth. Sell the fact that being older often brings more wisdom, more common sense, and a long work record of real life accomplishments. Sell your track record. Take advantage of your lengthy work history and turn your age into an advantage.
Make Sure to Wear Just One Hat
The most important thing you now have to do is to focus on the job description and the title of the job you are interviewed for.
Tell the prospective employer what he wants to know and nothing more. If your duties and experiences from some of your previous positions do not address the job title’s requirements or the job description, do not emphasize them. Whenever possible, get them off your resume.
Do not give prospective employers another reason to screen you out. This is your story. Tell it your way. Magnify only the aspects of your background that are relevant to your targeted objective.
Have a Second Look at Your Resume
Before sending in your application or presenting yourself to a prospective employer, have a second look at your resume and ask yourself: Would I hire myself for this position? It is a well-known fact that you cannot do anything about your age. But one thing you can definitely do is to stack the deck in your favor.
Spin and reframe your story in your favor. This is your story. Tell it your way. You don’t have anything to lose and everything to gain. Drop old work history from your resume. You generally should not need to show more than 10 years’ work history. Remove obvious road markers such as dates.
Remove college degree dates and older professional training dates that go back more than a few years. Make sure everything in your resume relates in some way to your goal and that there is nothing in your resume that gives up your age.
Now that you have the interview: Sell Results
Here is the most important thing to remember: Today’s hiring managers and business owners and managers are looking for performance and results. Talk the only language they talk, understand and really appreciate: Return on Investment. Identify your benefits and put them into monetary terms.
Back up your accomplishments with facts that are benefit-based. Sell them from the perspective of the end result of your work and how it served your present and previous employers and/or customers. Get as close to money as you possibly can in the language of your accomplishments, and list them on your resume.
In difficult economic times, money talks and it talks rather loudly.