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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

10 Great Tips For An Older Job Seeker



Older and out of work? Here are tips just for you. We've all heard of the glass ceiling, but there's another insidious workplace phenomenon that can be particularly galling for older job seekers: the "gray ceiling." According to the AARP, it often takes considerably longer for people to find jobs if they're over age 55. To combat this trend, consider these tips.

1 Turn your resume into a date-free zone. So you graduated from college in the '60s? Really got going in your field in the '70s? As impressive as your history is, those dates don't need to show up in your resume. Neither does a detailed listing of every single position you've ever held. Focus on your most impressive career successes and highlights from the past 10 to 20 years, and don't spell out the year you graduated.

2 Network, network, network. It's always easier to find a job if you know someone on the inside. Think about all the friends, colleagues and contacts you've ever made in your industry and start reaching out to them. Let them know you're looking for work and ask whether they know of any openings.

3 Tap every possible resource. Another way to network is to get career and job-search assistance through One-Stop Career Centers (www.careeronestop.org) and through programs offered at many public libraries. If you're a college graduate, contact your school's career services department; many colleges and universities provide their alumni with lifelong assistance. Local offices of any professional associations for your field also could be helpful.

4 Use your experience to your advantage. True, potential employers may send you packing with lines like, "You're overqualified for this position," but you may be able to counter such quick dismissals with a few one-liners of your own. Tory Johnson, founder of Women for Hire, suggests these responses: "I thought about that very issue before I applied. I realized that because I'm committed to this line of work, my experience would be a tremendous asset." Or: "I have 20 years of experience in this industry. I'd love to apply that insight to solving problems and creating successes for this company and mentoring other people."

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    source:AARP: Job Hunting- for more over 50 job hunting articles and videos.
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    14 Post a Comment:

    college internships said...

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    Janelle Monney said...

    I must admit that I really disagree with your first point. The minute you get "date free" it says that you are old and ashamed of it and think you have to hide it. It also says that you don't know much about the web and how quickly one can find information. In this day of linkedin and the web in general, anyone can find out about how old you are in a few seconds. I think you are way better off to be honest about it and figure out how to leverage your strengths. Target the companies that truly value diversity and experience. Now that being said, you certainly shouldn't do things that exaggerate or bring attention to your age....but don't feel a need to hide it. Be proud of it. I am 20 years older than anyone else I work with and I love it and they love me. You just have to learn how to bridge the generation gaps.

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    Lynne Cogan said...

    You make many excellent points.

    And . . .

    While it is true, resumes do not generally include education dates any longer, leaving dates off of employment history is a huge red flag for perspective employers--so much so, that the resumes may not even be read.

    The first question is: What is this person hiding? Followed by: Are they job hoppers? Do they have huge gaps in employment? Do they want to hide their age?

    Instead, most resumes only include the last 10-15 years with dates.

    Kim Carney said...

    I have been advised by many career counselors to remove dates, especially higher education dates and to remove job history references past 25 years. I must admit, it feels a little odd because I don’t feel old or outdated. But in this environment, and feeling a little targeted because of my age ... I have done just that. I have my web presence and LinkedIn, etc, so yes, anyone can suss out my age quickly.

    Paul Stein said...

    As I stated once before, hiding dates may potentially get one an interview one might not have gotten with the rampant age discrimination. However, it doesn't help once one walks in the door and everyone thinks, "Hey, who is this old guy?"

    John Papers said...

    Can you write more about "10 Great Tips For A Older Job Seeker"..?
    I am making a list of the "10 Great Tips For A Older Job Seeker"..
    John..

    Anonymous said...

    If our government (quit laughing) would stand up and tell these companies they are violating the very language the place in a job posting (EEO), maybe something would change. Otherwise, for all of us with the "gray ceiling" syndrome, it is only going to get worse. People forget we helped pave the way for many of these people to even be where they are and I have found a company would rather turn a position over every 2-3 years than have an older person in a positon for 6-7 years until retirement. To have given so many years and then be turned away time and time again is very hard.

    Terry Wilson said...

    More of the same old top 10 advice, resortd and reworded.
    Your resume is just one of tools you must have in your job search tool kit.
    Please get out of the house and network. Attend local events, meet people and get aggressive.
    Do not listen to the internet advice demi-gods who are using you to advance their own careers.
    Market yourself.
    Join the Gray Panthers.

    kurttempleton said...

    I agree that the dates left out are red flags that I believe will KEEP you out of potential interviews.

    I proudly highlight the year I graduated from college and I've been told that it suggests a maturity level and an “I should know what I'm doing by now attitude”. Now if I were applying for an entry level position, could be a problem but I hope at age 52 I'm smart enough NOT to waste my time with entry level positions (They don't want me and I don't want to do it) I list my 3 most significant positions and accomplishments with exact dates as it will come out sooner than later and then buddle early achievements into one heading with a generic date illustrating 20 years of sales/marketing/leadership experience.

    My resume is 3 pages long. Recruiters hate it. Presidents of companies love it. Who is my audience? In other words I'm happy with three pages and I can’t begin to tell you how many Kudos I’ve gotten for putting out a CV vs. just resume. I was also told by a younger recruiter to eliminate my personal data such as personal interests and the like. Really? CEO's/Presidents again want to know who I am and I leave those items in the resume/CV and am having great success with introductions and interviews. I just haven't found the right company for ME quite yet.

    Be honest and use the work history and graduation dates to your advantage. Or most like you are just wasting your time by avoiding and not hitting things head on.

    Jobs WA said...

    Age does not matter when it comes to job. As long as he/she is capable, why not hire them.

    umbu said...

    I truly like to reading your post. Thank you so much for taking the time to share such a nice information.

    mightystudent.com said...

    I was also informed by a young employer to remove my individual information such as individual passions and the like. Really? CEO's/Presidents again want to know who I am and I keep those products in the resume/CV and am having good results with insights for each and discussions. I just haven't discovered the right organization for ME quite yet.

    charms adtoon said...

    Unemployed is Brave, and a choice to be a Freeman – Take your big step in changing the traditional perceptions.

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