Nothing worries older job seekers more than age discrimination. I hear it in my clients’ voices everyday as they worry about being displaced by younger workers. If you fall into this category, then it’s time to tap into your Fountain of Youth.
Here are 5 proven ways to combat age bias in your job search:
#1 – Focus your resume on the last 10-15 years
Employers have a “what have you done for me lately” mentality. Regardless of how long you’ve been working, they want to know what you’ve done recently to bring value to an organization. Make yourself relevant by focusing on the past 10-15 years, highlighting the skills and keywords most important in today’s job market.
#2 – Summarize older experience in your resume
Your resume is a self-marketing document, not a job history. Don’t let your experience work against you. Older, less relevant experience should be summarized and given less emphasis on your resume. After all, you’re trying to keep employers and recruiters focused on your value right now.
#3 – Fight the urge to talk about the outdated
This applies to your resume and interview. Many older job seekers want to talk about their oldest experience because it helped mold them into who they are today or because it garnered interest in the past. Don’t play victim to the past. If it isn’t directly relevant to you getting the job today, then leave it out of the conversation.
#4 – Learn a new and in-demand skill
Age is a double-sided issue: one the one hand you bring invaluable experience to the team. On the other hand there is the perception of being outdated. Show that you are energetic and up-to-date by adding marketable skills to your repertoire.
#5 – Supplement your resume with an online presence
Nothing shouts outdated more than your absence from social media. Establish your LinkedIn Profile and make sure it’s 100% complete and kept up to date. Join and participate in your industry’s LinkedIn groups. And don’t be afraid to embrace other social networking outlets like Twitter, FaceBook, SlideShare, Instagram, or Tumblr.