So, you’ve hit or even passed the big 4-0. You have life experience, professional experience, a certain amount of wisdom that comes with age and yet, you are still struggling to secure that new job. You suspect that your age may have something to do with it. Unfortunately, you are probably right.
As an older job seeker, you need to be aware of the mindset that you will encounter in interviews and be prepared to adapt and ask questions accordingly. Here’s a few things that will help the over 40s overcome potential barriers to that much sought after new job.
1: Older People Are Stuck In Their Ways
This is a common misconception among employers. There is a belief that the older you are, the more resistant to change you become.
While it is certainly the case that there are people over 40 who do exhibit this characteristic, the truth of the matter is that older employees are actually better at coping with change as they have experience in adapting to changing circumstances, management, policies in the past. This is not true of younger employees.
You can use your resume to provide examples of where you have changed in order to achieve goals. Prepare a few stories for the interview too and you will be able to make a prospective employer see that not everyone over forty is stuck in their ways.
2: You Are Overqualified
Frankly, this is usually an excuse trotted out by employers who can’t think of any other reason for not employing someone after their 40th birthday. However, there is occasionally some logic to the idea.
No employer wants to hire someone they think is just using it as a stop-gap and will be off as soon as they get a better offer.
There are two approaches you should consider here. Firstly, change up your resume so that it is relevant only to the job you are applying for. That should help you get through to the interview stage.
At the interview itself, make it clear that you are not just looking for something short term and that you are here because you are committed to this opportunity.
3: Does Your Resume Resemble A Retirement Speech?
Obviously, someone with a 20 plus year career behind them will have more to their resume than someone who has just turned twenty-one. However, if your resume runs for pages and pages and reads like a speech at your retirement dinner, then you are doing yourself no favors.
Keep your resume to two pages at most and focus on showing potential employers what you can do for them in the future instead of what you’ve done in the past.
4: Emphasise The Advantages Of Your Age
Both in your resume and in interview situations make certain that employers are aware that being older offers plenty of advantages. For instance, if your children are now adults themselves, you can offer to put in longer hours than those who have family commitments. Additionally, let potential employers know that you frequently upgrade your skills and learn new technologies. This gives you a huge base of experience and breadth of knowledge that younger candidates will find it hard to compete with.
It may take you sometime to land that dream job, but these tips will even up the playing field and give you the best possible chance of getting where you want to go.