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Baby Boomers: How to Reduce the Chances of Age Discrimination

age discrimination road sign illustration design over white

My senior level clients are often concerned about “age discrimination.” Although I am sure in some cases there might be some truth to this, I prefer to focus on the positive aspects of the benefits a company gains from hiring a professional with a lifetime of knowledge and experience to bring to the table.

It’s interesting to note that if you are a professional over 50 years old, the more you focus on the results you can bring to the table and essentially holding the right mindset will set the tone and pace of all your career-related conversations and interviews.

There have been multiple articles and studies written about a very possible shortage in executive talent by 2018 due to mass retiring of Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) out of the workforce. For example, a 2010 study conducted by Barry Bluestone and Mark Melnik from the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University estimated that by 2018 there could be more than five million unfilled jobs in the United States due to a lack of Baby Boomers in the workforce.

In my opinion, the actual increased need for expertise in a particular post or industry means that Baby Boomers should focus on their areas of expertise and specialization, really concentrate on the expertise they bring to the table, and highlight the mentoring they can provide to younger team members. This goes back to branding, as outlined in previous chapters.

Fortunately for most professionals with over 20 years of experience, identifying the areas where they shine and what they most love to do is usually very clear to them.

Here are some additional points you can apply to your resume that will help minimize any potential red flags and maximize your candidacy:

  • Don’t go back more than 20 years in your experience unless you absolutely have to.
  • Don’t list dates you were in the military.
  • Don’t list dates you graduated from college.
  • Don’t list dates of every training course you have been through in the last 30 years.
  • Make sure the content you list in your resume is fresh and relevant.
  • Demonstrate you are current on trends, certifications, emerging technologies, and new management structures or generally new ways of doing business.
  • Realize that many credible sources have warned of a looming shortage in senior executives as Baby Boomers retire out of the market and Gen Y employees pose new and difficult challenges for companies.
  • Consider management consulting.

The late Mark Hovind, founder of Jobbait.com, has written extensively on the benefits of management consulting and has helped many executives break into this market which Mr. Hovind estimates has grown over 44% in the last decade. You can learn more here: http://www.jobbait.com/a/solo.html

  • Be SURE to keyword match your ideal job search using indeed.com and insert these keywords into the first page of your resume.
  • Unless you are going after a high visibility C-level position, keep your resume to 2 pages.