Friday, October 18, 2013

Why Being An Older Job Seeker Isn't A Liability

Hiring managers will never admit it but when they receive a job application from an older job seeker, they probably look at it with at least some hesitation.

While there is no denying they bring a lot of experience to the table, there is a school of thought that says older employees are not as desirable as younger ones. It's thought that a younger worker will bring more energy to the table and will bring valuable knowledge about new technology to the organization. It's probably true that someone in their 20s will know more about Twitter than someone in their 60s, but that doesn't mean job seekers who are more experienced should be ignored.

If you are an older job seeker who is having trouble finding work in today's market, here are three of the most common myth out there about you, along with strategies to combat them:

  • Myth: You are out of touch. You might not know as much about technology as a Millennial, but that doesn't mean you are unable to learn. Consider attending technology workshops so that you can prove to the employer that not only do you have knowledge about new technology, but that you took the initiative to adapt to the changing times. 
  • Myth: You'll be unsatisfied with anything but a leadership position. A wealth of experience on your resume naturally will come with the implication that you won't be happy in a non-leadership role. You can fight this assumption by explaining in your cover letter that you are extremely interested in the position and that you look forward to bringing your knowledge to the organization. 
  • Myth: You are close to retirement. One of the red flags about older job seekers is that, because of their age, they are probably thinking about retiring soon. This isn't ideal for nonprofits that would like their employees to stay on for a long period of time. Make it clear in your application that since the age of retirement is rising, you're looking at this position as an important part of your career.