Older Worker? Help Yourself. | No BS Job Search Advice Radio

EP 2049 Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter provides several tips for older workers.

Today’s show is hosted by TopResumes, a site that does good work at reasonable prices AND gives you the ability to pay them over a year. We are also hosted by GreenGeeks, the web host I use to host my websites. They are running a special through the end of the January where you will get three years of great hosting and support for less than $90.

Older worker with female executive

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I want to talk with those of you who are older workers like me about things that you can do in order to enhance your opportunities. Now, one of the things I know is that most older workers are fearful of age discrimination. So, you know, some of it you bring on yourself, and I'm going to address some of those things, in order to ensure that we can eliminate some of those things, and you have an opportunity to, to really shine on your interviews. Excuse me. I'm going to check the screen every once in a while to make sure I cover all points.

So first thing is just recognize that if your appearance looks like it's from the 1950s, or 60s, if your hairstyle is not appropriate for modern times, if your wardrobe suggests, it's seen better days, because it's 20 years old, it's time to get her an update, to change your hair, to change your hairstyle, to change your wardrobe, to make it more current. I'm not suggesting going to the most modern fashions because, you know, there's there's always something ludicrous about extremely old people like me (I'm in my 60s at this point), dressing as though I'm in my 20s. So just be smart. And there are timeless things, but make sure that they're correct. Because even the things that are, shall we say timeless, can be dated . . . and you know what I mean?

Next thing, just show your more recent positions on your resume. No one cares what you did in 1968. And just focus in on the last 10-15 years. If you're hired based upon things that you did when Ronald Reagan was president, unlikely that you're going to be able to escape the bias that's come up.

Education, keep the dates off. Yeah, a lot of people try to be tricky and put the education at the end of the resume. Just stick it where you normally would. Just remove the dates. And by showing the last 10-15 years of your experience, you're able to appear more current.

Cover letter. A quality cover letter goes a long way. Don't send it as an attachment. Send it in the body of the email in order to ensure that people actually read what you want to communicate. If you're planning on only being around for two years, and then retiring, they probably want to know this. But I wouldn't necessarily volunteer to disclose it.

Attitude. You're someone who's done it before. Carry yourself as someone who's confident and knows what they're doing. If you're asked that classic question of age discrimination, "how would you feel about working for a younger person?"" I've done it all the time!" When we get to be my age, everyone's younger. So you just accept that fact. You provide as much input as the hiring manager wants to have, you keep the rest. So if they don't want to hear stuff from me, you don't share. It's that simple. I try to be supportive and ally. I don't try to be a new headache for that person." And that's a very simple way that you handle it.

Lastly, anything in your background that demonstrates stability is always an asset for you. And you play it up in the course of your interview. So, again, first thing, starts off with appearance. You know, don't lose sight of your wardrobe. Don't lose sight of your hair. Carry yourself properly. If you have a couple pounds you can afford to take off, do it. No one likes to . . . you may feel as though your wardrobe is appropriate. But if your shirt is screaming open, your belly button can show if you're seated, if the button over here on your blouse is pulling, just get r blouse, get another shirt. Dress properly.


JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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