On July 2, 2010, CNNMoney.com ran an interesting article about older job candidates. Click here to read the article. It stated that â€œCompanies are starting to hire again, but many are turning their backs on older job seekers.â€ The piece went on to say, â€œThe nationwide unemployment rate for older workers – while lower than that of younger workers – has barely moved since hitting a record high of 7.2% in December of 2009. This rate is currently 7.1%.â€
Here at Career Potential, we work with many senior executives who would be considered â€œmature workers.â€ When it comes to age discrimination, these older job seekers have more control and recourse than they may think. You canâ€™t change your chronological age, so donâ€™t waste mental energy thinking about it. But here are four practical strategies that can dramatically increase your chances of landing a great job at any age:
1. Energy level. Even if youâ€™re a mature worker, itâ€™s important to maintain a high level of energy and project real vitality. This allows you to take-on challenging projects, keep-up with the fast pace of business, and get things done quickly. So show-up early, move fast throughout the day, and work hard. Itâ€™s essential to get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
2. Technology skills. As an older candidate, you didnâ€™t grow-up in the computer age. But itâ€™s critical that you learn and practice technical skills. Get over your technophobia! Employers are much more likely to hire mature workers who can demonstrate strong computer skills and a comfort level with technology in general. This is a great way to compete effectively with younger candidates.
3. Personal image. Itâ€™s always important to look your best, and this is especially true when looking for a job. Pay close attention to your appearance. You can make a more positive impression by updating your hairstyle, eyeglasses, shoes and many other personal items. Your wardrobe may also need a â€œmakeoverâ€ to look more stylish. Ask friends, family members and younger associates for candid feedback about your personal image, and welcome their comments non-defensively.
4. Company culture. Research the culture of your prospective employer. If everyone at the company is 20 to 30 years old, with rings through their noses and spiked blue hair, then the firm not likely to hire an older candidate like you. On the other hand, there are companies that have a reputation for attracting and hiring mature workers. These firms actually like to have â€œadult supervision,â€ and theyâ€™ll pay a premium for your greater levels of experience and wisdom. For example, The Week Magazine recently stated, â€œAim for a sector that caters to older clientele, such as banking or tourism.â€
The CNNMoney article concluded by saying, â€œSome businesses do see the advantages of hiring older workers. Besides the opportunity to get the experience and lifetime of skills that older workers bring, they are actually more likely to stay put for longer than younger workers, thus reducing job turnover and the costs associated with hiring and training. Some analytical managers have figured this out. Unfortunately for older workers, itâ€™s not common knowledge just yet.â€ As the old saying goes, â€œThe best defense is a strong offense.â€ So, follow the suggestion from The Week Magazineâ€™s July 2, 2010 edition, which said, â€œInstead of hiding your age, go on the offensive and sell yourself as a mature person!â€ Please visit my Blog at http://www.careerpotential.com/blog/ and share your comments!
Copyright (c) 2010, Career Potential, LLC. Reprinted by permission ofÂ Ford R. Myers, a nationally-known Career Expert and author of â€œGet The Job You Want, Even When No Oneâ€™s Hiring.â€ Download your free Special Report, â€œ10 Vital Strategies to Maximize Your Career Successâ€ at http://www.careerspecialreport.com
Ford R. Myers is President of Career Potential, LLC. Since 1992, he has been providing professional services in career consulting and executive coaching. After counseling thousands of individuals on their careers, Ford drew from his diverse experience to create Career Potential – a powerful new approach to career management.