several job seekers over 40 have written to us with the complaint
that they feel they have lost out on job opportunities because of
their age. In many cases, they may be correct.
tips on resume preparation, interviewing, and salary negotiations
for job seekers over 40, we interviewed Dr. Jan
Cannon, author and founder of Cannon Career Development, Job-Hunt's
Mid-Life Career Expert, and a career
advisor with over 15 years of experience.
does age discrimination happen? Younger hiring managers may feel
uncomfortable telling someone older what to do (like bossing around
their parents). They may also feel that someone older is not as
technically savvy or as physically and mentally "quick"
as someone younger. They may even suspect that you'll be out sick
more often than someone younger. Frequently, an older worker is
viewed as having higher salary expectations and, therefore, being
more expensive to hire and retain.
how do you handle the situation?
up to date with your profession and/or industry
do a lot of research before you launch your job search to get back
up to date (the Web is great for this!). This issue often torpedoes
women who have taken a few months to a few years out of the job
world to care for their children or other family members. Learn
the new software and the latest jargon before you send out your
resume or apply for a job. Know who the important "players"
are (companies, products or services, and people).
Since you need to get an interview to be considered, Job-Hunt Mid-Life Career Expert, Jan Cannon, recommends that you modify your resume:
your resume on your future and the job you are seeking. Don't
make it a laundry list of
everything you've ever done. Most jobs that you had more than
10 years ago shouldn't be included because they aren't relevant.
Change the "Education" section of your resume to "Education
and Training" and put your most recent training first. Include
the year and the source for each entry. This shows that your skills
are up-to-date. List your degrees following the more recent training.
selective if you have had a lot of jobs in the past 20 years.
Include only those that demonstrate the skills, experience, and/or
industry knowledge you have that are directly relevant to the
job you are seeking.
your resume to no more than 2 pages.
You only want to include the most relevant jobs, anyway. And,
a longer resume is much less likely to be reviewed.
you must give your salary requirements to be considered,
specify a range, and indicate that your salary expectations are
appropriate for someone with your experience and "fair in
Jan has several recommendations for that critical interview with
the younger manager:
situations where you worked with younger people on an equal basis
or where you followed a younger leader.
on your experience and excellent attendance record.
peppy and energetic. Walk into the room with a brisk step, and
sit straight and alert in your chair.
Dress for success. Looking competent and confident goes a long
way toward convincing others that you are.
you are asked what salary you expect, respond by asking for the
salary range. When you hear the range, say that you are sure that
you fit within the range, even if you aren't completely sure.
Jan offers advice for the job offer and salary negotiation:
to postpone salary discussions until you have been offered the
they've offered you the job, you are in a much stronger position
to explore options and to negotiate your starting salary.
turn down a job because of the salary range until you've explored
other ways to "sweeten the deal."
the salary isn't high enough, think of how you might negotiate
a better "total package" with things of value to you:
the amount and timing of your first raise, more vacation time,
lower health insurance co-pay, a company car, free parking, spousal
travel on business trips, free tuition for your kids, etc.
turn down a job or a salary that doesn't "feel right"
thing the over-50 job seeker can do is visit a Website that specializes
in jobs for "seniors," like Job-Hunt sponsor, Workforce50,
an organization that matches over-50 job seekers with
employers looking for experienced help.
do discriminate in their hiring practices, and it is difficult to
prove. The reality is that 21st century demographics, at least in
the United States, are on the side of the older job seeker.
© Copyright, 1998 - 2012, Susan P. Joyce. All rights reserved.
About the author...
Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. Susan is a two-time layoff "graduate" who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. In 1998, her company, NETability, Inc. purchased Job-Hunt.org, and Susan has been editor and publisher of Job-Hunt since then. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Google+
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is from the July 14, 2004, issue of the Online
Job Search Guide, Job-Hunt's free twice-a-month e-mailed newsletter.]