How job seekers over 50 should confront the age factor head-on

If you are a job seeker over the age of 50, you may have experienced the frustration of waiting by a phone that just won’t ring.   Unemployment and job search actually is more difficult for older workers. On average, workers age 55 and older can expect to be out of work 35 weeks, 20 percent longer than those age 25 to 54 years old, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

An article in referred to the dilemma unemployed people of this age face as an acute problem.  So, what should an older job seeker do?

Quite simply, focus the interview on what your experience can bring to the position. Think of ways to express the benefits of your experience to the hiring manager.

As a seasoned candidate, you can offer an ability to mentor and groom younger talent in the company. Also, since you already have years of experience, you can “hit the ground” running. This is an asset to any company seeking to fill a position where immediate productivity with little training or support is available.

Address any perceived fear the hiring manager might have that you can’t learn new things (“can I teach this old dog new tricks?”) by expressing a willingness and ability to learn new processes quickly.  Be prepared to come to the interview with specific examples of how you took on new challenges and quickly learned and adapted in prior jobs

By being able to show you are continually honing your technology skills, you will be showing an advantage over younger applicants that might mitigate the “age” factor all together.

Employers are going to naturally wonder if the older applicant is going to be around very long if hired. So, have a plan that explains your intentions to be there at least several years.

Plan to confront the age issue in a positive and professional way.  Be aggressive and think out of the box.  Emphasize how your experience/skills will meet the qualifications of the job and solve problems.  While you can’t role back the biological clock, you can remain positive.

At Key Corporate Services, we work with candidates of all ages. Give us a call if your phone isn’t ringing.  We will partner with you in the search for that next job.

From The Key Corporate Services Blog Team