Handling Age [Discrimination] With Grace

December 27, 2011 by Careerminds

Jennifer Fry
Careerminds Consultant

The new year is nearly upon us, and that makes all of us another year older. With age comes wisdom, right? If only that was all others thought of older generations. To some hiring managers, a more mature candidate may seem like a less technically savvy candidate, or a candidate with too high of expectations.
Age discrimination is an unfortunate reality, but for any reason an employer may have for avoiding mature job candidates, you should have a counter. Take some of these for example.

  • One primary reason hiring manager may be hesitant to hire an older candidate is not exactly because of his/her age, but because it may be presumed that he/she lacks relevance in the industry. There is, of course, a fairly simple way to combat this challenge– stay relevant! Keep up to date on all changes and progress in the industry and relevant technology. If you’ve let yourself fall behind, do some research in preparation for your job search.
  • Another way to display relevance and familiarity with current technological trends is to get involved online. Create a LinkedIn profile, fill it out completely, and keep it up to date. Include your LinkedIn URL on your resume and/or business cards.
  • Use social media to stay up to date on industry trends and networking opportunities. Get on Twitter and start conversations with industry leaders. Use LinkedIn to make connections in your field and find offline events. These platforms can also help with the actual “search” component of your job search, as well.
  • Update your resume. Do not include every single position you’ve held, assuming the earlier jobs go back several years; keep experience and skills relevant. Additionally, the education portion may be eliminated or modified– no one says you have to include the year you graduated, for example– and be sure to include any new training you’ve acquired outside of your formal schooling.
  • Keep in mind that experience and education do not automatically make a viable candidate in today’s market. Employers want to see what you’ve accomplished, so quantify your successes the best you can.
  • Lastly, know your dollar value in the current job market. This depends on both your experience and expertise, and the current state of your industry. You don’t want to expect too much, but you also don’t want to get gypped.

As another year passes us by, we should look back at what we’ve experienced and accomplished, and look ahead to where these experiences can lead us, next. With these tip, the turn of the calendar can be the mark of your future professional success.

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Careerminds provides scalable, strategic solutions to organizations seeking affordable, web-based outplacement services. Using a Web 2.0 e-learning platform that delivers affordable, online career transition services, Careerminds provides a high-tech and high-touch blend of on-demand career transition education supported by senior-level career consultants to help displaced workers reenter the workforce quickly.

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