I recently had a conversation with a job seeker that is 63 years old. He has no trouble getting interviews, but he has gone 6 months without a solid job offer! He thinks the problem may be his age. He is concerned that he is being eliminated from consideration because he is an older candidate.
He asked me, "How do I address my age?"
Here is my recommended strategy: Be pro-active, and don't let the hiring manager make assumptions about things they can't ask you about.
Here are four things that the hiring manager's is thinking while he interviews an older candidate:
-How old are you?
-How is your health?
-How much longer do you want to be in the workforce?
-Do you understand and use technology effectively?
So, the hiring manager is thinking these thoughts, but he can't ask. So, I recommend you address these concerns up-front and honestly, before you let him or her form their own opinions.If you address each one of these, your odds improve significantly.
For example, you could say something like this; "You may be wondering how old I am and just how long I plan to stay in the work force, that's a legitimate concern. Well, I'm 63 years old, I have over 40 years of experience, and plan to stay in the workforce as long as I can. I enjoy the challenges of working and have no intent of retiring soon. I am in good health and stay active. Also, I embrace and use recent technologies."
Stress your experience. There is NO substitute for experience.
Plus, here are four qualities that most older job candidates posses that you should be aware of and weave into your job interview:
1. You have true people skills. You can communicate effectively face-to-face, most youngsters really struggle with this.
2. You have decades of experience. This can't be taught in college.
3. You have wisdom. In all of your time in the workforce, you have forgotten more than most know.
4. You have a track record (hopefully a successful one), not just a degree and potential.
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