Don't let worries about age discrimination get in the way of moving forward with your job search. If you're a job seeker over 40, the fastest path to success is keeping your determination strong and working hard to put your best self out there. Take a look at these tips for older job seekers to help you find a great position.
Don't Hide Your Age
You may be tempted to try to hide your age by leaving out portions of your job history, taking dates off your resume or simply acting the way you think younger applicants do. Unfortunately, any attempt of subterfuge on your part may backfire, leading to distrust. Maintain your integrity by portraying your experience and background honestly. Show your maturity to be an asset and remember that age discrimination laws exist to help protect your rights as an older job applicant.
Focus on Your Experience
Your biggest selling point as an older job seeker is your more extensive experience when compared to younger applicants. Take some time to reflect on how your work experience has better prepared you for future roles. Are you a quick problem solver? Have you developed great people skills? Do younger workers frequently come to you for advice or help? When writing your resume, focus on how the breadth and depth of your experience prepares you for facing complex work situations with skill and wisdom.
Stay Up to Date
Although you don't want to lie about your age, you also don't want to appear too old fashioned. Update your look with a new haircut and a few new pieces for your professional wardrobe. Make sure your tech skills are up to date and start using your social media accounts to show you are part of the digital age. Take a good look at your resume and other job-hunt materials, making sure they meet modern standards for professional fonts and design.
Challenge Possible Age Discrimination
Although it is hard to prove age discrimination, it is easy to recognize phrases that might signal it. If your interviewer says that the company prefers workers who are enthusiastic and energetic, share examples of your own enthusiasm for the position and how your career energizes you to do your best for the company. Other questions that could signify covert age discrimination include asking if you think the position is challenging enough for you or asking how you feel about working with coworkers who are fresh out of school. Regardless of the questions, respond by sharing your strengths, especially those strengths that come with more years in the workforce. Focus on your flexibility, competency and strong grasp of the issues faced by your industry.
A job search when you're over 40 brings its own unique hurdles, but the right attitude, a modern resume and a little reflection on your worth in your field get you ready to take those hurdles in stride. Spend some time updating you look, get active on the internet, and be prepared to handle any questions that come from the perspective of age discrimination. Most importantly, let your confidence shine to help you succeed.
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