How to Combat Age Discrimination in the Job Search
Even with all the fair and equal employment laws in place, job seekers above the age of 40 frequently face age discrimination. Unfortunately, this type of discrimination is often so subtle that it is almost impossible to prove.
If you happen to be above a certain age and are looking for work, don’t let this discrimination get in the way of your career path. In fact, as a mature worker, your skills and experiences are of far more value than the services of a younger, less experienced employee.
To avoid this sort of discrimination, you need to figure out how to leverage your advantages during the job application process. Here are a few tips to help you:
Start Working Out
Many employers believe that older workers lack the stamina required to handle certain physical demands of the job. Eliminate this notion by getting yourself into shape before the interview.
Now, this doesn’t mean you need to go on a diet or spend hours pumping iron at the gym. To start off, maybe you could swim some laps or go for a run once a week. Slowly push yourself until you’re exercising at least thrice a week. Even this moderate amount of exercise can work wonders for your body.
With this regular activity, you will look and feel more energetic, which is bound to leave a positive impression.
Get Social-Media Savvy
In today’s job market, paper resumes are of little importance in comparison with online profiles.
So, get yourself a Facebook profile, sign up on Twitter, and start connecting on LinkedIn. You never know who you can meet, or the kind of jobs you will find on these social media sites.
By creating an online presence, you are letting your employer know that you have a basic understanding of social media. In today’s corporate world, this is crucial to getting ahead.
Take a Few Classes
After taking a look at the job description, sign up for some classes to learn new skills you will need at work.
For example, if you think that knowing how to use Java will increase your chances of getting hired for a tech position, sign up for classes. But don’t let the learning stop there; reach out to your kids and your grandkids and ask them to show you a few shortcuts to using modern technology.
By bringing yourself up to speed on the latest technology, you are limiting the chances of facing age discrimination.
Ask Why They’re Hiring
This point may not seem intuitive, but every company has their reasons for employing new people. When you are at the interview, ask the panel in front of you why the company has decided to hire new employees, and what kinds of problems they are currently facing.
By doing this, you are shifting the entire atmosphere of the conversation. Instead of you being the focus of the interview, the focus shifts to the problems that need solving. Here, you can draw from your experiences and offer solutions.
If you simply flaunt your experiences and talk about your potential at an interview, you will be on the same level as all the other candidates. And that is when the age factor comes into play.
But by taking the conversation to a higher level, you are showing the interviewers how hiring a more mature worker is advantageous to their organization.
Become an Entrepreneur
If you have spent too much time working in the corporate world, and want to do things differently, you can always try entrepreneurship.
By now, you have enough job experience to start a consultancy in your field, so work towards this and you will be sure to get results.
By conveying how you can fit into a company and bringing your unique perspectives to the table, you are eliminating all possibilities of discrimination. Set yourself apart from the competition by letting employers know about the advantages you will offer to the company. This way, you are sure to find success in the job market, as they will see past your age and value you for your experience.