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How to Combat Ageism When You’re Job Hunting and Over 40
The requirement of a job is not only for the youngsters, there is a good majority of the aged lot who are in need of jobs, but they are in most cases under confident owing to the rampant age discrimination practice. Though it is illegal and should not happen, yet sadly it happens and if you have crossed the age of forty and in need of a job, be prepared to combat ageism when you’re job hunting. However, don’t let it kill your confidence.
The most obvious reason recruiters prefer younger candidates in comparison to the older is that of the latter having lesser years in hand to perform. They are closer to retirement as opposed to the youthful lot who will be able to serve the company for a longer tenure. This is when you should know certain tactics that will convince a recruiter that hiring you over a 20-year-old will be more beneficial.
Keep yourself up-to-date with the technology: the present world is ruled by computers, even though humans may be operating them. This is why it is important, that if you are still in the corporate arena, you have to know the latest software and technologies being employed to carry out stipulated tasks. Being trendy, by keeping up with the latest trends will work in your favour all the way. The last thing any recruiter will want on his team is a person of the ‘dinosaur age’; hence though your biological age may reflect that you belong to an older generation, yet your knowledge can always keep you young.
Re-design your resume: gone are the days when handwritten and printed resumes would be your introductory document to any recruiter, it is the age of online resumes. Keep the format of the resume as a current one and take away the dates in your resume which are more than 15-20 years old. All information about you and your career should be available to companies seeking new employees; emphasising the most recent ones and most importantly highlight your skills if though they may not be directly associated with the position being offered. Your resume should not just be full of all the vital data but also be easily accessible; so, you will need to master the art of exhibiting your online presence. Upgrade your job hunting process online and learn how to make your resume visible through SEO. Make the best use of social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc. to showcase yourself for the understanding of hiring companies. This is a great tool to combat ageism when you’re job hunting. Get E-Resume from Resume Master and do aggressive blogging to establish you’re informative.
Learn to blend in: Your age may have crossed four decades but your mind is the mirror of your age. Being adaptive is an instinctive ability of humans and hence not difficult, however, when someone refuses to accept changes, is when they are unable to fit in and make their presence felt. The ways of working in the present day will surely not be anywhere close to what was in your times, but all you have to do is be open to accepting the more global approach of today’s industries. Flexibility will be the skill you will require for this; focus on learning the core values of the company and make efforts to align your values with theirs.
Don’t make your age a point of disqualification: never undermine your abilities just because you will have to work with a younger batch of people. Always remember your experience will be a big stimulus for you when trying to fit into the new work culture. Never comment on your age directly, instead highlight your skills. Getting ahead of the probable objections you will be faced would be a wise tactic for you to adopt, and this you can effectively do when you are asked: “Tell me something about you”. Express your desire to work longer than the recruiter might be presuming and how you are well equipped to perform the job function attached to the position in the job description. Eliminating the hirer’s concern at the onset of the interview is an efficient way of keeping the raise brows at bay.
Play your experience card: while your age may be a hindrance to the future of the company yet your experience will definitely be a positive addition to the working of any company, and that is what you should be confident about. Irrespective of what the person sitting on the other side of the table might think, you have to show him your bent of mind and clearly state what you are bringing to the table that would be profitable for them. Speak about your experiences in the past and how they had brought significant contributions to the organisations you worked at; enumerate your success stories where ever there is a chance.
Find the right company: It is an unfortunate truth that some companies are rigid about hiring only the younger generation, but the silver lining to this grey cloud is that there do exist many other companies that value experience and expertise overage. It is for you to decipher that and make this your final assault to combat ageism when you’re job hunting. Mostly the small to medium-sized companies engage in hiring older professionals and if you happen to be on the older side filter your job search with this criterion. Reading online reviews of companies and networking are some of the ways you can equip yourself with information about the most appropriate places of work for you. Try and gauge the prevalent age group of employees when finding out about a particular organisation, and focus on those place which already harbours a soft spot for the elderly staff members. After all, there is no point lurking around a place that will straightaway negate you based on your age.
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