Marty was adamant that she was not landing a job interview in her field of technology solutions marketing due to her age. When she called, she told me that she expected me to disagree with her but I didn’t. Silence on the other end of the phone followed when I replied, “Marty, I agree it could be a strong factor why you have not heard from one of the 16 companies you contacted or submitted applications to.” “Oh?, she replied. “Tell me more and how you can help.” So I did.
Yes – job seekers over 50 have a tougher time finding work but there is good news.
The Age Advantage
Both recruiters and hiring managers are changing their attitudes towards older job candidates. Many are impressed by decades of experience and they know the benefits of an older employee include:
- better attendance
- company loyalty
- less drama
In addition, they are appreciated for:
- wisdom in decision-making
- enhanced communication skills
- the ability to mentor younger employees
- strong work ethics
I know this to be true based on my corporate experience managing a recruiting team and also weighing in on selection decisions with hiring managers.
However, expect to encounter these perceptions
Unfortunately, there are negative attitudes towards employees over the age of 50 and these include concerns about them being:
- less tech savvy
- less agile
- resistant to change
- less adaptable
- not as innovative
- not able to work well with younger employees
The good news – you can overcome these biases
- On your resume
- Utilize a progressive format – no objective statement
- Communicate in contemporary verbiage and use current keywords
- Reference experience and knowledge of technology
- Showcase achievements with metrics and data
- Do not list experience or education prior to the year 2000
- In your Linked In Profile
- Your photo – is your clothing and hair style contemporary?
- Do all your connections have gray hair?
- Networking with Gen X and Y keeps you current
- Avoid obsolete or dated language, phrases or words
- In the Interview
- Watch your language – avoid “1980s and 1990s speak”
- Use examples from recent experiences
- Don’t say “Back when I ………” or “It used to be…….”
- Cite references to your current personal development
- Refer to process improvements you have made recently at work
- Share a change you championed or examples of your adaptability
- Demonstrate enthusiasm and commitment to work for the long-term
- If asked about hobbies, refer to those involving vitality, health, exercise
Having done all this, you may still encounter recruiters and hiring managers who assume they can’t afford you because you come with a much higher price tag than a younger candidate. That’s the reality; maybe it is true in your case and maybe it is not. Be prepared to state a salary range which is commensurate with the position, your experience and value and what is fair.
Looking for more strategies to land your dream job, your perfect career? Contact me at Patricia@CareerWisdomCoach.com for a free consult. I’ve reviewed thousands of resumes, interviewed and hired hundreds of professionals and I know what it takes to get hired.
Ready for a leadership position? Good for you. Interviews for a management or executive role are more strategic oriented and focus more on emotional intelligence than your technical skills. It is just a different experience all together than what you have experienced up to this point in your career.
- Win their trust
- Help them see you in the position
LEADERSHIP INTERVIEWS INCLUDE:
- questions about your prior accomplishments which align with the position you are interviewing for and
- responses to questions which demonstrate your leadership and mentoring styles.
Your goal is to impress, build intrigue and trust
Get them to invest their energy in you first
Early on in the interview, ask the interviewers to define what their ideal candidate looks like, what they personally like best about the organization and as much information as you can about the company’s priorities. Add to the responses with the research you have done, such as competitors for example.
The DREADED salary questions – answer in “ranges” such as:
- My total compensation has been between $100,000 and $260,000 the past three years
- My base has been $50,000 but my annual bonuses have ranged between another $50,000 and $200,000
- I am hoping to find a position paying at least 6 figures
Then ask them, “Can you provide me with the budgeted salary range for this position?”
Job seekers over 40 and 50 years old are challenged. Ageism exists and finding a new job can be frustrating. You have two battles to fight:
Recruiter and Hiring Manager Perceptions of You
Your own Perception, Confidence and Job Search Strategy
You will probably hear the dreaded word, “overqualified”, from a recruiter or hiring manager at some point in your job search. Often that term really means:
You require a salary so high that the company either cannot afford you or it can find someone else (stay tuned and read below how you can convince them that you are worth your salary) at a lower salary.
- If you are hired at a lower wage than you used to earn, you won’t be as happy and either start looking for another job or not be as committed to the job.
- Based on your experience, and especially if you have held a management position, you will start trying to change things or tell people how to do their jobs.
- You may not get along with the younger employees or your manager if younger than you.
Much of an older job seeker’s perceptions that they are too old or overqualified are self imposed. Continue reading
I am honored to have been recognized for writing a top job search article in 2017 by JobMob under the category of “Job Applications”.
Originally posted July 8, 2017, on http://www.CareerWisdomCoach.com and later on LinkedIn, here it is for your reading enjoyment and job search empowerment.
Most people agree: the key and foundation of an effective job search is a strong resume. But creating one is easier said than done, as most job seekers know from experience, and it takes a lot more than an impressive career history to catch the eye of the hiring manager.
Three strategies to an interview-worthy resume
- Accomplishments – not Duties
Many resumes resemble job descriptions and nothing can be less compelling, less effective in demonstrating your value to potential employers, and downright boring to read. Your resume needs to grab attention and incent the reader to continue reading.
Hiring managers want to see results.
- What improvements have you made to processes
- Have you increased sales or expanded business
- What cost savings have you contributed
- Have you created new programs
If the answers to the above are “yes”, back up that claim with data and metrics. Numbers and Continue reading
Consider these facts: On any given day, almost 500,000 job applicants apply to the Monster job board in hopes that they will be contacted for an interview. Additionally, an average of 250 resumes are received for each corporate job opening. Finding a job posting that seems a perfect match for you isn’t the answer either because the first resume is received within 200 seconds after a position is posted. (Source: http://www.ere.net)
Now that you understand what you are up against, how do you differentiate yourself from your competition?
Demonstrate your credibility.
Showcase your strengths, reputation and value.
#1 – STORIES
Enhance your job search strategy with Stories. But not just any stories; your storyline must be about WHAT you did for WHOM to produce WHAT RESULT. Throw in the obstacles and challenges you faced and you just made it a story people will remember. Why is the obstacle important?
It invokes emotion in your reader
It creates suspense – the listener will want to know the end of the story
#2 – QUOTES
It may sound overly formal or old school; however, when you receive a compliment that speaks to your differention, your BRAND, ask “May I quote you on that?” Of course, s/he will say yes and humbled that you would want to use their statement of endorsement. Continue reading
You got called for a job interview and you think it went well. Now you’re being called back for a second interview. It’s a promising next step, but you’re not hired yet. You’ll have to perform well in this second round and it all depends on how you prepare.
The second interview is different from the first interview
In the first interview you probably met via telephone, SKYPE or in person with a recruiter for about 30 minutes. In this second interview, you’ll most likely meet with the hiring manager or several senior managers and you might even meet with some of your potential colleagues. Ask your human resources contact for the roles of the people with whom you will be meeting and ask for their names so you can research them on LinkedIn.
Interviewers are impressed when job candidates have researched both the company and the background of those interviewing them.
Ask them how they define the company culture, how they came to work for the organization and what it takes to be a success
Interview #1: a screening; Interview #2: the “real deal”
Prepare for your second interview by expecting a series of questions to identify your technical skills, how you’d add value and relate your experience to the new position, as well as behavioral or Continue reading
You found a job posting that really intrigued you, customized your resume and cover letter to match up the keywords and hit the submit button. The telephone screen went well and the two interviews too – or so you thought until you were told by the hiring manager that you were OVERQUALIFIED.
Have you ever been blindsided with those words after spending hours and hours applying and interviewing for what you thought could be your perfect match?
Are you “Over Qualified” or is there another reason you weren’t hired?
Newsflash: you may never know the real reason you weren’t hired. Very often, recruiters and employers tell candidates that they found another candidate who was a better fit. Or you might be told that you were not hired because you are overqualified.
What to do? If you are still in the interview and have an opportunity to respond, here are my suggestions:
- Hit the pause button before responding
- Muster up all your strength to avoid a defensive response
- Seek out clarification
This scenario is a perfect occasion to showcase your emotional intelligence.
Self awareness – identify your emotions and thoughts
Managing your emotions – avoid being defensive!
Reading the other person – his/her communication style, body language and other clues to demonstrate the degree of receptiveness to your questions
Influencing the other person – through authenticity, calmness and honesty, seek to clarify the reason for their conclusion and decision Continue reading
Summer and holidays are a time when most people sit back, relax and do their best not to think about work but, for many, it’s a time to contemplate a new career altogether.
These breaks in your regular routine provide an opportunity to take stock and reflect on your working life and consider taking a big leap to do something different.
As part of that decision, you will need to have a strategy.
For beginners, Avoid these 5 common pitfalls.
- Don’t jump into a new career before some serious reflection
You might be miserable or unfulfilled but make sure you don’t just make the change to escape your current situation. Take the time to complete some self and career assessments as well as researching a “day in the life of” that profession you have interest in pursuing. A good resource is www.Onetonline.org, especially when combined with connecting with someone already in the job so you can ask candid questions.
- Don’t chase what is popular; make sure you see yourself in it for awhile
Research the forecasted workforce needs of your newly discovered interest to make sure you don’t make the change to only discover the job soon becomes obsolete due to technology or lack of Continue reading