Tactics for Overcoming Ageism in a Job Search

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Although I think people blame ageism more than it occurs, I thought I would share some tactics for overcoming it in a job search.

00:00 Introduction
01:00 Focus on skills and experience
01:43 How should you present yourself?
03:08 Stay current
03:52 Expand your network
04:36 Build an online presence
05:25 Consider different options
06:27 Being self-aware
07:01 Take ageism on
07:17 Summary
08:56 Outro

Workers In Their Late 30s And Older Face Ageism In A Recession

We’re going to be talking about tactics for overcoming ageism in a job search. I’m Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. People hire me for no BS career advice and coaching globally. It’s the lifecycle of you in a job search, I help you be more effective, I help you in your career, deliver more results, easier, faster.

Over 50And for those of you who are older, I understand ageism can be a significant barrier for you. I’m one of you, and I experience it with regularity. I think people cop to it more quickly than they should. And thus, I want to give you some ideas, particularly for those of you who are over 50, who may be puzzled why you’re not getting results on your interviews. If you’re older than that, you’ve already got it. But here, I just want you to know, it is possible to overcome this and land the job that you want, I have a few tips for you.

First, focus on your skills and experience. Ageism is often based on stereotypes and assumptions about older workers and it’s important to remember that your skills and experience are what truly matters to an employer, and then overcoming their fears that you’re going to act like one of those people. So, don’t. Emphasize your strengths and the value you can bring to them, rather than your age. Make yourself desirable as you walk in for any interview. Highlight your relevant experience and skills in your resume and cover letter, and be prepared to discuss them in an interview.

In addition, it’s also important to present yourself professionally and confidently. Presenting yourself as nervous in front of the 34-year-old manager isn’t going to help you. If anything, they’re going to be projecting Dad or Mom stuff on you. That’s not really helpful for you. Your goal is to defeat that and very simply, present yourself as an all-star. So, professional demeanor, confident, make sure your resume and cover letter are well written and polished. Practice interviewing. Dress professionally. And even if it’s on camera, you want them to see what they’re going to see and have it look well on you. In much the same way as dating, you look a certain way and you dress a particular way. You’ve got to do the same thing for an interview to maintain good eye contact with your on camera or in person.

Speak with confidence, authority, and express your enthusiasm. Just be great. Show them that you can be valuable and that your age isn’t going to get in the way. If anything, what you want to be doing is presenting yourself with confidence so that they get that you’ve got experience and knowledge. It’s a lot of it, but you’re not going to force it on them.

Stay current. Keep up with trends, new technologies. It’s important for every job hunter, but particularly for older ones who start to get a little bit lazy and complacent. Employers prefer people who are adaptable and can bring fresh perspectives. Thus taking classes, attending workshops or earning additional certifications can help you stay current and demonstrate to potential employers you’re committed to staying relevant. LinkedIn has free certifications. There are other places where you can get free certifications. Find out whether or not an unemployment office will pay for it.

Try to expand your network. The statistics show time and again, that networking is critical for finding job opportunities and it’s particularly true for older job hunters. Even while your network may be aging out, think in terms of the younger people that you’ve worked with previously, and whether they can support you in your job search. Connect with people in your industry and field, attend networking events and join professional organizations. The more people get to know you, the more likely you are to hear about positions and someone who can champion you.

Also, take a proactive approach by building a strong online presence and showcasing your skills and experience on different platforms and with an online portfolio. Having a website where you have articles, where you have your portfolio if you’re in a creative field available for people to be shown, not just simply told, serves you remember. It’s always about show, don’t tell wherever you can. And this can have you be found by employers, and thus advantage you in the search because they’re curious. They’ve liked what they’ve already seen. And LinkedIn offers you ways to do that. Your own website does that as well.

Also, cconsider different types of job options. Some employers may be more open to older workers and in certain industries or jobs like nonprofit. Some may be more open to older workers in consulting or freelance roles. Whatever it is, consider starting your own business or working as a consultant, where ageism may be less prevalent.

Over 50 Job Search and Ageism

You can always if you’re more experienced person, buy a franchise. And I’m not going to recommend any franchises or franchise brokers. It’s starting a business. It may or may not be in your current field. It is an option for you. I mentioned nonprofit earlier. But the public sector is also a good place. Government agencies and municipalities may be more open to older workers, because they need people who are experienced and stable.

I also want to point out that you need to be self-aware to recognize the benefits that come with your age and experience and demonstrate them to clients or the people that you interview with– a strong work ethic, lots of different experiences, a willingness to take coaching and mentoring roles. These are real valuablestupid resume mistakes if you are over assets in any industry. And as you go deeper into interviews, you want to be able to express that to people, too.

Finally, finally, there are circumstances where it’s appropriate to take it head-on. And if you feel like you’ve been discriminated against because of your age, ask the interviewer what specific concerns they have about you and your expertise. So that makes them talk about it. You can’t ask them about what they have concerns about your age, but just concerns about your experience and expertise. And then from there, point out examples of times where you were effective in those areas, and where you were valuable as an employee to a previous firm. And if you still feel like there’s a problem, you may want to speak to a lawyer or contact the employment or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission about what happened to you.

Yes, there is ageism. And you should be focusing on your strengths and the benefits that come with your experience and the situations that you’ve been in. Being proactive in your search and having resources available for people to examine online. A good network of relationships will help you will learn a lot. And yes, it can be a barrier for older job hunters, but it’s not insurmountable. Focus on your skills and experience. Stay current. Expand your network. Consider different types of job options and if necessary, consider addressing it head on and even going so far as to contact the EEOC. All of these things I’ve recommended will increase your odds. Does it guarantee anything? Of course not, but increases your odds of landing sooner rather than later.

I hope you found this helpful. I’m Jeff Altman. There’s a lot more on my website, TheBigGameHunter.us. Go to the blog. There’s 1000s of posts on different elements of job search, hiring more effectively, managing and leading better, career transitions and much more. I also want to mention at the site you can find out about my courses, books, and guides, schedule time for a coaching session with me. It’s paid coaching, of course, or if you just have questions, you can schedule what I call a trusted advisor call where you can have your questions answered. And lastly, connect with me on linkedin at linkedin.com/in/TheBigGameHunter. Have a terrific day and most importantly, be great. Take care.

The Big Career Lesson from Top Gun: Maverick


Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. He is hired to provide No BS Career Advice globally. That can involve job search, hiring staff, management, leadership, career transition and advice about resolving workplace issues. Schedule a discovery call at my website, www.TheBigGameHunter.us

He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2500 episodes.

Website: www.TheBigGameHunter.us (schedule a paid coaching session, a free discovery call or ask questions using my Trusted Adviser Services)

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/TheBigGameHunter

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Main YouTube: www.JobSearchTV.com

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#jobsearchtv #ageism #discrimination #over50

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2 Responses
    1. JobSearchTV

      You are welcome. I have more in a playlist for over 50 at jobsearchtv.com. That takes you right to the channel

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