What is your strategy for overcoming ageism when searching for jobs?
• Do not draw attention to your age.
You might not realize this, but many people don’t even see how they emphasize their age before an interview. It would be wise to remove any graduation dates or years you underwent specialized training over ten years ago from your resume. This could allow a recruiter to reject you before an interview. Ideally, you desire to give yourself the best chance to achieve an interview with the manager. Some professionals are eliminated from the competition in the scanning process early by recruiters who are not the final decision-maker.
• Be aware of trends and technology.
Some people stereotype professionals over 40 because they think older workers aren’t aware of or skilled in the latest industry trends and technology. If you’re middle-aged, you need to continue learning and developing your skillset. This makes you more powerful in the job market and extra valuable in the workplace. Consider what additional training, courses, or certifications you can achieve to assist you to stand out from other candidates.
• Don’t directly answer illegal questions.
It isn’t unusual for an amateur recruiter or interviewer to ask illegal questions. Some of them are unaware that their question is against the law, for instance, age-related questions. Some might even know the law but ask to gather as much information as possible. “How old are you?” or “Are you planning to retire soon?” is an example of illegal questions. Rather than directly answering them, you can redirect with a comment such as, “I’m committed to working and reaching my absolute potential at this point in my career.”
• Focus on your experience.
One of the best things about being a mid- or late-career professional is having more practical experience and technical knowledge than younger applicants. While you don’t want to overemphasize your years of experience, it’s best to highlight your key areas of expertise, achievements, and honours. Naming a few of your valuable contributions, loyalty, and accomplishments can help make you look more exciting and a safer bet than some younger candidates.
• Remain positive.
Age discrimination remains a sad fact in our society, and like it or not, you might come across people in the position of power who will treat you differently. Often, you don’t know why a company chooses to move in another direction. It could be your age or many other factors beyond your control. You need to remain positive and make a point to eliminate any negative self-talk or beliefs. Recruiters and hiring managers feel the negativity and avoid hiring such employees.