Five Ways to Take Age Out of the Equation

If you are a mature worker and you are concerned that your age may be a factor in your job search, rest assured that there are a few simple steps you can take to show employers that you would be a valuable addition to their teams.

1. Make your resume and cover letter “ageless”
Avoid dating yourself with a few simple guidelines: exclude graduation and certification dates on your resume, and list only your most recent 10 to 15 years of work experience. (Include positions prior to that time frame only if they are crucial to your application.) In your cover letter, don’t state the total number of years of work experience you have, and avoid using age-related words such as “seasoned,” “veteran,” and even “energetic” or “youthful.”

2. Keep up-to-date on technology
Our reliance on computerized systems and the rapid rate of change in the tech world makes this an important point for everyone of working age. Software updates are coming more quickly now than ever before, so chances are good that the program you knew inside-out five years ago has changed at least a couple of times since then. Self-guided tutorials are available online for many popular computer programs, or you can seek adult education classes if you have a more traditional learning style.

Some local courses are offered by JCPS, University of Louisville and the Louisville Free Public Library, just to name a few.

3. Use social media
According to a recent survey, 69 percent of human resources professionals use social media for recruiting.

BLR's 2013 Social Media Infographic

BLR’s 2013 Social Media Infographic: By HR.BLR.com

Increasingly, HR representatives are seeking more information about candidates via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. Your presence there indicates that you’re following trends in technology, and it also gives recruiters and hiring managers the chance to give you a closer look before an interview. Be sure that you control how you “brand” yourself in these spaces. We’ve given some recommendations for your LinkedIn profile that might be helpful in that regard, and we also have an upcoming workshop to help you create your LinkedIn profile.

4. Anticipate employer concerns and address these in the interview
Employers legally are not allowed to discriminate based on age, but they may have some concerns based on their own personal biases or preconceived ideas about mature workers. Be ready to discuss your technology skills, your ability to handle the physical demands of the position, the ways in which you adapt to change, and your ability to work effectively with coworkers of all ages and backgrounds.

5. Keep current on what is happening in your industry
If you are able to intelligently discuss recent changes or trends in your industry, not only will you impress the interviewer with your knowledge, but you will demonstrate that you can be a valuable asset to the company. Staying on top of the latest news can help you to make better decisions and formulate effective strategies. Trade organizations, conferences, industry publications, blogs and social media can all be excellent sources of current information.

 

These simple steps can help you make an easier transition into a new career. For more personalized help with your job search, Jewish Family & Career Services offers FREE career counseling to individuals aged 60 and older who live in Kentucky. To schedule an appointment, please contact Andrea Brown at (502) 452-6341, ext. 334.

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