The jobs market may be a challenging environment at present but it’s considerably more difficult if you’re over 50. Age discrimination is a hurdle than many otherwise talented and perfectly capable, mature candidates will have to face in the modern workplace. It is a sad fact that many 50-plus employees who find themselves made redundant, believe that their career is over. This is simply not true. While some hiring managers can certainly reject an older candidate on the basis that they believe their more mature mentality will not gel with the companies younger culture, there are means by which you can overcome such prejudice and allow your experience and positive attitude to shine through.
The following is a list of 5 tips to help over 50s find a job.
Don’t put your D.O.B on your CV: One method of eliminating the potential for any initial stigma associated with your age is to simply omit direct references to it from your CV. For example, your education is probably the oldest historical reference mentioned on your CV, you could try not including the dates in which you attended college. Your aim is not to deceive but to encourage the hiring manager to focus on your career achievements and experience over your age. In addition, be sure to remove any mention of your date of birth entirely.
Keep up to date: Making an effort to stay up with the latest industry trends in your field is an excellent way of allying any concerns a younger hiring manager may have when it comes to your technical ability. For example, you may consider creating your own blog and discussing topics and trends relevant to your industry. This highlights your desire to keep your knowledge and expertise as current as possible.
View your age as a selling point: Your age is in fact one of your major assets. With quality references on your CV, you can market yourself as a known quantity and someone who is reliable and boasts a proven track record. You also have numerous examples of dealing with difficult situations and overcoming challenges to draw on. Employers want employees who are reliable and they appreciate someone who has weathered a storm or two in their time.
Practice your interview technique: It’s probably been many years since you’ve done a job interview so it’s understandable if you’re a little rusty. You could enlist the help of a friend or family member to practice with a mock interview scenario and have them critique your style. In addition, the process has likely changed somewhat since then. Be sure to familiarise yourself with the latest interview styles such as competency-based interviews, for more information on this, check out our blog: How to Succeed at a Competency-based Job Interview.
Freelancing or Consultancy: While you are in the process of looking for a full-time job, you may consider alternative means of employment such as freelance work or consulting in your specific area. Leaving a permanent job may also be an opportunity to pursue a different career path or perhaps one that you have always wanted to explore.
Written by Dave Cullen