Young candidates worry they might not be taken as seriously as an older job applicant with a résumé rich in leadership skills and management experience. Conversely, older job applicants fret about being perceived as a “dinosaur” with outdated ideas and technologically behind the times. Given the reality that age bias does exist, here are several tactics older job seekers should consider to improve their prospects in the career search and hiring process.
- Update your LinkedIn profile; consider omitting graduation dates.
- Continue strengthening your network with new connections.
- Nurture your current personal and professional relationships.
- Make a point of checking in regularly with your connections. It could pay huge dividends if you unexpectedly find yourself in the job hunt.
Review Your Résumé
- Eliminate graduation and certification dates unless they're very recent.
- Limit your professional experience to the past 10-15 years, with a last entry of something such as, “2003 and Prior - various management positions of increasing responsibility and authority.”
- Avoid mentioning companies whose names have disappeared from the business landscape.
- Focus on specific accomplishments and skills, especially technology and self-reliance skills to counter the notion that older workers are less adaptable.
- Demonstrate your energy level. Be upbeat, positive, and enthusiastic.
- Ensure your professional wardrobe is well-tailored, stylish, and age-appropriate.
- Polish your interpersonal skills to connect across multiple generations; tolerate interviewer multitasking.
- Defer any conversations about a better work-life balance or phased retirement until after you have been hired and established your reputation with the employer.
During your career journey, you might encounter challenges as it pertains to age and career opportunities. Please share your thoughts and comments with the MOAA LinkedIn Career Networking Group.