Tag Archives: boomers

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?

Generations and the Job Search: Who’s Having a Harder Time?

When it comes to the job market, there’s been a lot of talk about how grim things are for two different spectrums of the labor pool. Recent reports show that both new grads and mature workers are likely to have a hard time finding work right now.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that over 1 million people 55 and older are unemployed and looking for work. Many mature workers are delaying retirement due to the recession. The AARP Public Policy Institute reports that the ones who are looking for jobs will typically search about a third longer than those younger than 55.

But this year, things also look tough for the college crowd. In fact, the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ reported that employers expect to hire 22% fewer new graduates than in 2008, and internship hiring is also down by about 21%. Experts say that in an expanding labor pool, new graduates typically have less experience than others in their industry who are now also looking for work, lengthening the job search process.

When it comes to generations in the workplace, the Baby Boomer generation and the Millennial generation have different values and views, but in the job search, experts say both generations must adapt to a quick learning curve and apply every job search tactic available to bolster their chances of landing a gig. So, we want to know what you think.

Have more thoughts or insights into these two generations on the job hunt? Do you fall into one of these two groups and have a story to share with us or a question to ask? Share your feedback in the comments section.