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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Laid-off Older Workers Face Biases In Job Search

If your over 40 and looking for a job this is a must read article from MSNBC.
"Laid-off older workers face biases in job search.
There are ways to craft a resume and image to blunt its effects, experts say.

After a few months of searching for a job, 53-year-old Marc Karell decided to open his own firm out of his home in Mamaroneck, N.Y.
As he spoke to other laid-off employees of the same consulting firm, he found they had something in common: They were all older staffers.

With unemployment edging toward 10 percent and companies going through several rounds of layoffs, many are now cutting from the top ranks. More workers aged 50 and older are job-searching in the middle of a recession. 

Recruiters say experience is still valued, but the image of the older job seeker as overqualified and overpriced is still a hurdle to overcome.
A study sponsored by the AARP found the same resumes got more calls for interviews if they appeared to come from a 32-year-old than from a 57-year-old.
That was eight years ago, but "we believe in recessions things get worse," said Marc Bendick, an economist with Bendick & Egan Economic Consultants in Washington, D.C. who did the research.
A second experiment sent the resumes with cover letters touting either qualities associated with older people, or those associated with younger people. The older workers still got fewer interviews, but those among them who touted younger qualities — defined as creativity, energy or technological skills, among other things — did better."
For rest of story go to lSource: MSNBC

Learn More: Free 18 Networking Tips For Older Skilled Job Seekers
Download Now: 18 Networking Tips For Older Skilled Job Seekers


    1. Sure, I may get an interview, but when I show up, everyone will think, "Who the hell is this old guy?!"

    2. Why not Network?? I am over 70 and enjoy everyday speaking and working with other seniors offering products that address Health & Wellness and are holistic!

      Would you like to learn more about the products that I represent ... ask me! Hugh Love ... hughlove@shaw.ca

    3. I've crafted and re-crafted my resume so that it looks like it's coming from someone with 15yrs experience. I still only got called for 2 interviews this past year. I've always looked younger than my years and can easily pass for a 40-something. At the end of one interview, when it was time for me to ask "my question" of the interviewer I said, "of all the many resumes you got for this job, why did you call me?" She said, "because you had the background we are looking for and are the most qualified." You guessed it, I didn't get the job. I didn't even get a rejection letter. Too busy, I guess. The 2nd interview played more like an "ask the wise industry veteran" when I sat down with "the team." We got along just fine -- they just seemed to be in awe of my background and experiences.

    4. Last interview went poorly, less than 5 minutes in my interviewer, I'm 45 she was 25 told me my background was too heavy for the job. Would you like to hear what I propose based upon the job description- "No, I don't work in the Marketing department anyway, I'm just here to screen the first cut". Funny thing is that I didn't apply, the called me out of the blue to tell me I'm overqualified.

    5. The industry has not changed,but people have changed their outlook towards one another, because hiring practices have changed. And within the gamut of all this change- most recruiters are either young,arrogant and confused or the organization does not conduct business with a humane heart

    6. great article-

      Truthfully there obviously is a major age bias happening. All organizations will ensure compliance to prevent potential law suits. What is disappointing is for enterprises not to think out of the box to find a way to contract with a potential hire if they could bring added value.
      Hopefully tides will turn and somehow or someone will enable insight into options and the value "older" generation people bring.

    7. Age discrimination at its finest coupled with unemployment discrimination. It is a double edged sword.

      Yes, I agree if you dumb down the resume and drop 10-20 years of experience you may get more phone calls. I have even gone with my initials instead of first name due to sexual discrimination that come with older female hires. Still in the end; once you walk through the door for the interview, your age and sex show just as the others have pointed out. Unless you are getting a face lift, a good wig and some clothes that don't fit your age; it is going to be a tough nut to crack.
      Moreover, why do we have to hide all we have to offer just to suit that new college grad and the low budget job?

    8. OK the real reason they have the 25 year old chicky poo is she is banging the boss behind the wife's back.

      There is no other reason I can think of to have someone that dumb and clueless represent your company to the public.

    9. I seem to get a lot of attention for 12-hour Shift positions- as a 57-year old, not exactly my cup-of-tea. Unfortunately, many of these Recruiters can't write, or be very clear over the Phone- they are Indian, or similar nationality. I haven't found Age Discrimination yet in my Job Search, but, it's only a matter of Time

    10. In many fields of activity there's no age discrimination at all; Politics,Litterature,Music,Craftmen,Fashion,Architeture....the more experience you have the more attractive to the job you'll be.
      However I will agree to the fact that the recruters have no real brief as to what they want,a little like someone in a top restaurant who can't decide,and when they do they order a big mac with extra fries.The result is that they're bloated and become lethargic,resulting in indegestion and eventually vomit.Sorry to be crude but often the person that gets the job in your place,doesn't stay for long,so they have to start all over again a few months later.

      I always say,"All that know,is what most have already forgotten!" If they can catch that,then we usually have a deal.

      Good Luck

      Keverne E.Mapp

    11. As a 58 yr old CAD designer in fashion, I have consistently maintained training on the latest developments and trends. I agree with the comments above, most recruiters haven't a clue how to interview an experienced worker with skills. And my criticism comes from the experience of also working in graphic design for the pharmaceutical industries, where I have often worked assignments for 2-3 agents at a time. It wasn't until I branched out my skill-set that I realized how poorly trained and inadequate fashion recruiters were.

      I also find it amazing that we now view the "older worker" as anyone over 40. Are we kidding? You are just hitting your stride at 40! It's this mindset that is holding back companies from hiring the people they really need to move their business forward into the 21st century.

    12. I recently had a recruiter tell me
      I have been out of work 3 years and
      he can't present my resume to his
      client , even though my background
      and expereince is perfect for the
      job they need filled. Waiting for the right job with the right Co is
      not working out. This is a form of
      discrimination and needs to be addressed.

    13. As a couple of others have pointed out, most recruiters -- especially with contract and agency firms -- are 20-somethings fresh out of college. Just think about this logically. At that age, who wants to get too friendly or help out someone who's practically their parents' ages? At that age, it's important to fit in and make friends with others your own age. This does not translate well when they are supposed to be recruiting for jobs requiring various levels of knowledge. Also, they simply do not have the experience needed to adequately determine anyone's qualifications.

    14. HAHAHA...if you think a fashion career is exempt from age discrimination obviously you do not work in fashion.. Age discrimination is alive and well in the NYC garment center my friend. Unless you are 35 or under, a gay man or a metrosexual male forget it. From the Fortune 500 companies to the small time firms below 34 street, age AND sex discrimination live on. I see it , hear it and live it every single day.

    15. I have written my resume every way in the world. In August, I was flown in for a job interview. 2 of the 4 interviewers were actually waiting outside the door for me when I arrived, they were so anxious to talk to me. We talked about the job, my background, our common contacts, who's who, what many of "our" customers were doing. The whole interview was great until the owner of the company came in and asked if it wasn't time to "slow down" after so many years of working in the field. I knew she thought I was TOO OLD, even though she was my exact age!!!! Needless to say, I didn't get the job and they took more than a month to reimburse me for my expenses to get to the interview. I could have driven the 5 hours and stayed at Motel 6 if I'd know I was going to have to sit on $1200 in expenses for a month and end up paying interest to Am Ex.
      I've now been out of work for 2 yrs! I have gotten only a handful of interviews.
      The biggest bite of all came last Saturday when Kohl's rejected me for Christmas seasonal work. I did over 7 years of retail work in my youth, and resurrected that for XMAS a few years back and sold computers at a KIOSK. I am a multiple award winner for sales, marketing, customer service, crisis management. Yet I was unqualified to ring up purchases or handle returns for minimum wage.
      Tomorrow, I have another interview for part-time work. They didn't want to interview me because I would be "making so much less than in the past" Guess what guys??? It doesn't matter how much money you made in the past. In this economy, with age discrimination, we'll take any job in the world just to buy FOOD!


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