Last week the folks at outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas issued a press release to promote the benefits of companies hiring workers over the age of 55. Having recently conducted a national survey where 81% of respondents cited difficulty in filling roles, the outplacement firm is wisely touting the advantages of hiring experience.
That said, employers continue to deal with the misguided bias in perceiving that the over 55 age group can’t use technology well or work remotely. As a consulting firm built squarely on the foundation of highly experienced professionals, the Croixstone team appreciates the following tips that Challenger, Gray & Christmas shared to combat this issue.
- Update your resume. Be sure your resume is up to date and emphasizes the accomplishments you achieved in your most recent positions. Do not go into great detail about things you did more than 10 or 15 years ago. Let your expertise shine, but trim the resume to keep it to two or three pages. Consider leaving off your earliest positions if they are no longer relevant.
- Don’t apologize for your age. Never be untruthful about how old you are and don’t apologize for it. Be confident and have a positive attitude about all you have to offer. Your age reflects years of valuable experience that can translate into impactful contributions to a company.
- Stay current. Make sure technology has not passed you by. Do you know what software is being used in your field? Are you comfortable using video platforms for interviews or meetings? If not, learn. Take courses. Seek out tutoring. Practice. Gain new credentials and list them on your resume. Read job descriptions to find out what employers are seeking. Get a new personal, professional email address (e.g.,email@example.com versus ChessAce1@aol.com).
- Embrace LinkedIn. Once you update your resume, be sure to put the same information on your LinkedIn profile. Learn how to use LinkedIn to network and to learn about job opportunities. Add a professional headshot.
- Check your attitude. Even if you have to stifle it, do not come across as annoyed by being interviewed by someone half your age. Do not be condescending.
- Be active on social media. Your social media presence will be checked by recruiters and potential employers. Being active on social media shows you are current. This is a way to market your brand. You may be “older,” but if your online presence shows you as active, vibrant, and healthy (cycling on Facebook, running a 5K on Instagram), it helps counteract any preconceived negative notions of how “older” is defined.
- Network. Reach out to your relationships you have spent a career building. Let them help spread the word that you are ready, willing, and able to find a new role.
- Be open and be positive. Explore positions that may offer less money and a lower title than in your past. Think about safer roles during the pandemic, such as jobs you can do online from your home. It may take time to find the position for you, but with over 10 million open positions in June, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, there are plenty available.
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