Let’s face it, anyone who’s 50+ fears that they’ve become “too old” to be hired anywhere. We’ve been brainwashed that while age means knowledge; in the working sector age means less time for them to get their use out of you. You fear going up against those fresh out of college kids who don’t have even a smidgen of the experience you have; yet will somehow get a second look because they can grow with the company. Yet the facts are, 50+ is far from the time your life is “over” and definitely still gives you well over a decade of working time.
Generally speaking age usually means having pride in your work. Those in the older categories of life tend to go in to work regularly, like clockwork, with fewer sick days. You’re no longer in that age group where it’s okay to call in sick because you were out partying the night before.
Being 50+ means that you are mature and often willing to put in the extra mile for your company because of the work ethics you’ve been taught. Fifty is not a life sentence to being stuck in a nowhere job or worse yet, milking unemployment until it’s no longer available and then taking a minimum wage job and hating your work for the next 15 years.
So how do you make your age work for you? It’s quite simple actually. You show them what 50 really is and be proud of your knowledge, experience, and abilities. Believe it or not, employers often do realize that your age means experience and experience cannot be replaced by book smarts or a piece of paper that says you learned everything.
Sure, some places want to train a younger person and mold them into their own creation; but chances are that younger person isn’t going to stay in that position for an extremely long period of time. An older candidate is looking for a place to finally hang their hat and coat and call it their last job. They’re almost a guarantee of 10-20 years of good hard-working and experienced employment.
Believe it or not a recent study published in Forbes Magazine, August 6, 2012, states that out of 4.3 million jobs created in the last three years, nearly 3 million have gone to people over the age of 55. That’s an astounding number if you consider what most of us are lead to believe; that once you hit 50 nobody wants you. So how do you become one of those positive statistics?
One of the best things you can do is not list every job you’ve ever had but instead focus on all of the abilities you have from your work experience. On your resume, focus in particular on your experience and expertise that will impress them for this particular job. It’s okay to change your resume up so it reflects the one particular job you are going for.
Utilize one main resume and make small changes to beef up the areas that are going to help you look like the best, most experienced candidate for that particular position you are applying for. Focus on your talents and experience rather than the number of years you’ve had to obtain your experience.
Target companies that a presence of older workers puts their customers more at ease; for example financial industries like an older presence because people want to feel like their money is being handled by someone with experienced and not some young guns that will be reckless with their money.
A company filled with all new, young faces can be frightening to a client who is coming in to see the way the company operates. They will wonder why nobody has been there for long and how much do all these younger people really know. Sprinkle in the right amount of older, more knowledgeable workers throughout the company and the company looks like most other companies out there who have been in business for many years. Every company needs the “old timers” to give a little insight and guidance.
Most of all don’t let your age allow you to put yourself out of the race. You will be surprised what experience can do over college degrees or youth. Knowing that you have confidence in yourself is one of the biggest battles; just like it is for everyone. If you can keep that confidence and wow them with your experience you could wrap up that interview better than any new college grad may ever be able to do.