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Hiring managers want young, energetic talent, so someone over 50 years old might face challenges getting their foot in the door.Older workers may be viewed as overqualified, less tech-savvy, and more expensive.
So how do you get a job if you’re over 50?
First, you should age-proof your resume to prevent being disqualified before the interview round.
The tips below were compiled from Tracy Burns-Martin’s book “Before and After Resumes: How to Turn a Good Resume Into a Great One”:
1. Delete earlier jobs that aren’t necessary and may hint to hiring managers that you’ve been in the workforce for a while.
2. Include hobbies that say you’re physically fit and vigorous. For example, if you like running and hiking, include this on your resume.
3. Place dates of employment in less obvious places on your resume. These dates will reveal how long you’ve been in the workforce, but deleting them altogether will seem suspicious to hiring managers. You should have them in less obvious places, such as at the end of a job description. This is also applicable to education dates.
4. Include any training classes or certifications you’ve recently received. This will show hiring managers that you’re continuously learning and up-to-date on your skills.
5. Highlight your accomplishments. With more experience, you’ve also have an opportunity to achieve greater success, so highlight these accomplishments.
Once you make it into the interview, you need to be prepared in case the interviewer asks you any age-related questions. Although these questions should be off-limits, you need to remain calm and smooth if it does happen.
Explain that you believe your age would be an asset, you are eager to learn, and it doesn’t matter who helps you. Describe recent experiences, whether at work or in other situations, where age diversity has been an asset.
Federal law bars employers from considering age in employment decisions. Though it’s not illegal to be asked your age [only illegal to be discriminated against because of your answer], the question could be a red flag about the employer’s commitment to age diversity. Know your rights under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
If you’ve been with past employers for long periods of time, you should discuss how much you’ve learned during this tenure to show that you’re a loyal employee.
Finally, pay attention to your work attire. You should make sure that your interview clothes fit with the culture and that you don’t stand out too much — especially if you’re interviewing at a company made up of younger workers.
The bottom line is to turn your age into an asset by showing that you have vast work experience and knowledge that a younger worker can’t gain without the experience. This is your biggest asset.