Job Hunting After 50: Don't Let Age-Bias Hold You Back!

Is there age discrimination in the job market today? Ask anyone job hunting after age 50 and they will likely say, "Yes." The problem in most situations is it's a very difficult thing to prove.

With the high level of competition for most jobs; after 50 job hunters seem to be facing an uphill battle for available positions.

Here are five ideas the after 50 job seeker can use to level the playing field:

1. Change your way of thinking. If you think old, act old and constantly talk about the past: guess what? You will be thought of as old and probably out of touch.

Change your way of thinking. You are not old, you're experienced. Get physically active. Learn new skills. Study and acquire new qualifications. Think and discuss the future. Stay positive and project the right attitude. Do these things and the age issue will fade away.

2. Get aggressive in selling the benefits you offer a prospective employer. Use your cunning and experience to market yourself against younger candidates. You have a record of accomplishments that match up well with the employer's needs. Take advantage of this fact.

In a job interview take the issue of age head on. Weave into your interview answers that you are physically active, have learned a variety of new skills in the past two years and have effectively worked for a variety of younger supervisors. Don't leave these unspoken questions unanswered as they may be negatively used against you at decision time.

3. Focus on one job at a time. Even though you may be skilled and could qualify for a number of varied jobs your job hunting focus should be to go after only one job at a time. This means to focus like a laser on the employer's needs. Write your resume and cover letter to emphasize accomplishments that fit the employer's template for the open position. Remove anything from your resume that may detract from your attention on this one job.

Your goal as a mid-career job hunter is to meet and exceed the job's requirements. If in your experience you performed a function only about 5% of the time and it's the number one need for the employer amplify your skills in this key area.

For the next job this function may not even be listed so your resume writing plan is to always match the employer's needs. It's a bit more work but it will pay off.

4. Clean up your resume. Take out experience over 15 years old. Remove dates of college graduation. Strongly emphasize your strengths and accomplishments. Make sure as mentioned previously that your skills and accomplishments match as closely as possible what the employer is looking for.

When finished ask yourself, "Would I hire this person for this position?" If your answer is a strong, "Yes," you've got a powerful resume. If the answer is, "No," you've got some more work to do.

5. Selling the benefits of a product is a successful marketing approach. So in marketing "You," the benefits and value you bring to the job will be your most telling argument.

No employer is looking for twenty-five years experience but is much more interested in what results you'll achieve if offered the job. Your accomplishments demonstrate a history of providing a financial benefit to your previous employers and it's up to you to show how you can be just as productive in your new position.

As a job hunter after age 50, you must highlight your strengths and the age issue will fade into the background.

John Groth has changed careers seven times during his working life. Learn more about changing careers, job hunting after 50 and career planning at Discover how others over age 50, built winning career plans and found the right careers by effective job hunting after 50.

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