Job Search Strategies for Older Workers

Question:

I’m an older job seeker and I feel like I'm past my expiration date. Employers seem to prefer younger candidates, so they can pay them less than those with more experience. What can I say in an interview to show the benefits of hiring someone like me?

Answer:

Job search expert Tom Powner offers these suggestions to use in interviews:

  • I’m a proud member of Gen X. I have professional and life skills younger professionals will take years to master.

  • I understand how to balance yesterday’s customer service standards with today’s technology.

  • My work ethic supports the flexibility and loyalty your teams and customers need.

  • Let me tell you about all the problems I’ve fixed during the years of my career.

  • My decades of experience give me the power to mentor your younger professionals.

Powner warns against thinking of yourself as too old. “If you feel this way about your age, it will start to become obvious. You’ll wear it on your sleeve, and your body language, attitude, the tone of voice and the words you choose to describe yourself will reflect what you believe. Prospective employers or contacts will hear you saying, ‘I’m too old. I’ve expired. I’m past my shelf life.’ This is the opposite of how you should support your job search and your professional brand.”

Of course, you should apply for jobs you are qualified for. Of course, you should customize your resume to each new job. Consider getting some advice about targeting your resume to the job you want, with FCWS resume seminars and Resume Review with a Certified Professional Resume Writer. Think positively, realizing that every application will not turn into a job offer. But you only need one job.

A final word from Liz Ryan at Humanworkplace.com: “If they don’t get you, they don’t deserve you.” Hold on to that thought, use all the resources available to you, and keep working on your job search.

 

 

 

 

Julie Anderson