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Friday, January 22, 2010

Mature Workers: Use Age to Your Advantage

by Joe Turner

While it’s true that not all employers will be gung-ho about hiring, or even retaining, older workers in the coming years, the overall statistics might well be on your side, if you’re 50+ years. As has been reported often enough, the limited numbers of workers in the Gen-Y age group will not match the rising need for workers over the next 10 years.

This discrepancy means that employers will be faced with more vacancies that force them to look at alternate labor sources. Sure, they can outsource, further automate, or contract their staffing ranks, but these approaches will not suffice in all cases.

The plain fact is that you hold many advantages over your younger colleagues, but you will need to play your age to your advantage. If you have a few years under your belt, here are four tips on how to use age as an advantage in your job hunt:

Go on the Offensive

Too often, older workers feel they have to apologize for their years of actually working. Remind yourself that you’re experienced, not old. You’re seasoned, not over-the-hill. You’re here-and-now, not history. It’s all about spin and reframing, so drop the apologies.

You may be an older worker, but you’re not stupid, and you’re not dead. Use your savvy to sell against youth and inexperience. The benefits to being older, like having wisdom and common sense, and a long work record of accomplishments, can translate into benefits to the employer. In other words, sell your track record. During the interview, take advantage of your successful work history and draw from those successes to meet the employer’s needs.

Sell Results, Not Years

Realize that hiring managers today are looking for results, not years. Talk the language that an employer understands and appreciates, which is Return-on-Investment. Instead of citing 20-years of experience, identify your benefits to the employer and put them into monetary terms as much as possible. Back up your accomplishments with benefit-based facts. Sell them from the perspective of the result of your work and how it positively impacted your present and previous employers.

Money talks, and it talks loudly. Here’s some good news: Money can trump age. As an employee, you either make money or save money for your employer. If the hiring manager doesn’t see your value in one of these two categories, then you don’t want to work for this company. In a recession, if the company isn’t concerned about its bottom line, then it may not be around for long, and isn’t a viable option for you anyway. Get as close to money as you possibly can through the language of your accomplishments, and list them on your resume.

Related Tools:
1)How to Answer Any Question An Interviewer Could Possibly Throw At You! (TP)

Click here to read part 2 of this article

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