Tag Archives: age

How Old is Too Old for a Career Change?

Is it too late to enter a new industry?

Every day we wake up, get out of bed, brush our teeth (hopefully), take a shower, and go to work. That’s our routine, day in and day out.

Each day has a little bit of the same, and that’s great, if you enjoy whatever that “same” is. But what if you wake up and realize you want to do something different? Maybe you’re an administrative assistant and wish to move into sales, or you’ve worked in warehouses all your life and would like to try something in an office building.


Age Discrimination in the Job Search

The job search involves plenty of rejection—most of us have experienced it to some degree. Unless a particular interview question stumped you, it’s usually difficult, if not impossible, to know why you didn’t get the job. However, when you’re over a certain age, there’s a chance another factor is at play.

Maybe they said you were overqualified even though you knew the position was a stretch for you. Or perhaps they asked extensively about your computer skills, and didn’t seem to believe your answers. It’s even possible one of your friends worked for the company, and you knew for a fact it came down to you and one other applicant with the same skillset as you. But they were younger.

Age discrimination in the job search is a problem. As reported by Workforce, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, age discrimination complaints have risen dramatically in recent years. In fact, “between 1997 and 2007, 16,000 to 19,000 annual complaints were filed, compared to 20,000 to 25,000 filings per year since 2008.”

In the face of such odds, finding a job can seem hopeless. After all, you can’t change your age—it’s a part of who you are. So what can you do?

Revise Your Resume

If you aren’t getting interviews and think it may be due to your age, remove any graduation dates from your resume. Although this can be a minor red flag to potential employers, it’s better than being completely discounted because of your age.

Next, only put the last 10 – 15 years of work history on your resume. Everything else has to go. This work experience is what is relevant, and best reflects your current skills. Your older work experience is by no means worthless, but the lessons you learned in those positions are hopefully reflected in more current job responsibilities. Most importantly, listing such a long job history can make your age more obvious.

But what if you haven’t been in the workforce for a number of years? This is a common problem faced by stay-at-home parents, individuals that suffered long-term illnesses, and those who spent years taking care of sick friends or relatives. One thing you can do is retool your resume to focus on accomplishments. Make a functional resume that centers on skills and abilities first and the companies you worked for second. This can help the reader focus on what you are capable of as a worker rather than when you last held employment.

Train Up

Various certifications or degrees make sense for certain jobs. If you want to apply for a job requiring special training, make sure to get the required education. If you’re already competing with other applicants based on age, you don’t want to compete with them on education as well.

Online Profiles

If you are applying for a professional position, you might want to create a Linkedin.com account. LinkedIn is the go-to networking tool for professionals. Research what a LinkedIn profile account should look like (you will need a professional headshot, as well as a well-formatted online resume).

You also may want to consider creating (or, if you already have one, updating) your Facebook account. Employers like to see that you have a life outside of work, one that supports their mission and values. You can also set certain restrictions on what people view on your Facebook page.

Interview Honestly

Hopefully your updated resume got you in the door. Now is your chance to shine. When you meet face-to-face, it’s obvious that you’re older. But still avoid actually mentioning your your age. Steer clear of dates as well.

Let them know why you’re right for the job. Talk about moments when you successfully delivered measurable results, not stories about how many years of experience you have. Your experience should come through in your accomplishments. Some employers stereotype mature applicants as being “tech-challenged,” so, if you have experience with technology, find an opportunity to mention that as well.

Use a Recruiter

If none of the above works? Consider a recruiting service. Because of their connections to local businesses, recruiters know about jobs you might never hear about. They’re experienced with helping others in your same situation. Their services are often free, so using a recruiting service can basically be two times the job search power for zero extra cost.

Express Employment Professionals is a leading staffing provider in the U.S., Canada, and South Africa, and can help out with these kinds of problems. If you have any questions about your job search, feel free to contact your local Express office or fill out our online contact form.


Have you been discriminated against because of your age? If so, were you able to work around it to find employment? Let us know in the comments below!

The Results Are In: What Is Your Biggest Roadblock to Finishing Strong in 2014?

roadblock_poll_webWith the new year just around the corner, we’re entering the home stretch of 2014 and many job seekers are feeling the pressure to finish 2014 on a strong note. In a recent poll, we asked Movin’ On Up readers what they anticipate being the biggest obstacle in their path to landing a job and getting a strong start in 2015.

According to the results, competition is the number one obstacle standing in the way of landing a job. The survey revealed that 37% of readers feel there is too much competition in the job search, while 12% believe there just aren’t any jobs available.

Adding to the education versus experience debate, 19% of readers revealed that a “lack of experience” is holding them back in their job search, while only 4% chose “educational roadblocks.” According to 6% of readers, “currently being in school” is the biggest obstacle for their career outlook this year.

The second highest majority of readers, 21%, selected “Other,” adding responses that included:

  • Career change
  • Funds to pay for more training
  • Overqualified
  • Lack of self-discipline to complete a strong resume
  • Not enough technical training

Of those who chose “Other,” 40% added that “age” was a current roadblock in their job search.

Whether you’re struggling with a lack of education, training, or too much competition in the job market, don’t give up on your search. Continue to enhance your resume, interview skills, and job search techniques. Though this year may be nearing its end, 2015 will offer a fresh start to your search. Treat it as a blank slate to overcome any obstacles you may feel are holding you back.

Have you overcome any of the roadblocks on this list? What advice do you have for overcoming them? Share with us in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

3 Sales Tips to Overcome Age Discrimination in Your Job Search

Overcome Age DiscriminationAgeism is a rarely spoken, but often occurring form of discrimination that is affecting more and more job seekers every year. Off the record, many job seekers know about and see age discrimination during their search.

According to Next Chapter New Life Coaching, the average length of a job search for seekers 55 and older is 52.4 weeks while younger job seekers only average 37.4 weeks. In 2006, there were only 16,000 age discrimination lawsuits filed in the U.S., but by 2010, there were more than 23,000. With an increasing number of baby boomers holding off retirement to keep working, these numbers will continue to climb.

What’s an Older Job Seeker to do?
The most important thing for older job seekers to do to get passed age discrimination is to change employers’ perceptions. You’re going to have to sell yourself. When finding a job, you’re a salesman, whether you like it or not. Here are three things to sell during your job search to avoid age discrimination.

1.    Sell the Present, Not the Past
You may have a long history of experiences, but it’s not an excuse to make your resume a laundry list of employment. Cut it down by only listing jobs that are relevant to the position you’re applying for. If there’s still much that is relevant, try not to list jobs more than 10 years old.

There are other little tweaks you can make if you’re worried about your age. Try leaving off the year you graduated from college or training. Don’t focus so much on where you’ve been in the past 20 years; focus on selling your accomplishments. Hiring managers love numbers that can quantify your success instead of just being there for eight years.

2.    Sell Your Passion
One of the biggest setbacks older job seekers face is the belief that they are only applying because they can’t retire and will quit at the drop of a hat. A report by the Metlife Mature Market Institute found that most older workers felt financial pressure to work into their 60s, not because they desired to. In turn, employers are less likely to hire older candidates over the youthful, passionate job seeker.

That’s why it’s important to have passion in what you want to do. If you ‘ve lost your motivation, take some time to figure out what it is you enjoy doing. You don’t have to switch careers. Refining and updating your career goal or mission statement can help you find a job  that matches with your passions. Then you’ll have no problem selling your enthusiasm to a potential hiring manager.

3.    Sell the Answers
A key skill any salesperson must have is the ability to answer the customer’s questions and doubts before they even ask. You don’t have to specifically address them, when they ask the typical “tell me about yourself” or “how was your weekend?” questions,  you can tell them about your fun camping trip, charity involvement, or any other activity you do to show that you take an active part in your life and will be an active part of your employer’s business.

Another way to sell the answers is to use numbers. Numbers involving money speak louder than words. And if you can talk about how much you helped previous employer save or make, it can help drown out your age. The same goes for attendance, production, or whatever field you’re in. The conversation goes from your age to something real that your potential employer is facing.

You can’t eliminate age bias in the job market, but you can overcome a big hurdle, which is perception. How have you come up with ways to overcome your age when searching for a job?