Older people can often feel discriminated when applying for new jobs or promotion, particularly when being interviewed by much young people. There are many mature people who will tell you about jobs they didn’t get, but sometimes it is down to them, and how they presented themselves in their application and interview. So let’s look at some things you can do to increase your chances:
1: Don’t shout about your age
I’ve worked with plenty of clients over 50 and my first thought when looking at their CVs and covering letter is: why do they focus so much on years of experience? They say things such as “with my 25 years experience in marketing …” or “I have worked as a sales assistant for 32 years.” The person looking at your application will be trying to count up how old you are and wondering how on earth you will fit in with.
You don’t need to put dates on your CV so yes include your degree but you don’t have to say it was thirty years ago! You may also find it better to choose a skill based rather than a chronological CV.
2: Have belief in yourself
With other people I have to work at motivating them – they seem resigned to not being able to get a decent job and feel they should be applying for low paying jobs in retail. If you think you can do the job, you know you have the experience and abilities then you need to come across as motivated and interested.
When I talk to clients, of all ages, some people apply for a job thinking that they won’t get the job, and guess what happens! You need to have more believe and to focus more on the reasons why you are likely to be successful.
3: Come across as young and vibrant at interview
If you are mature and are quite ‘slow’ in movements and speech it does make you seem old. Think of examples of how you have responded to change and worked with people of different ages.
Don’t forget to think about hairstyle and clothing. Make sure that your clothes, hair and make up are up to date. Both at interview and through your application, make it clear that you are comfortable with using new technology. If you are not that confident, get on a course to get familiar.
4: Shout about your experience and what more you can bring compared to younger candidates
Being realistic, you may have to apply for jobs at a lower level than you have previously done particularly of you have been out of work for a while. Interviewers may worry if you highly qualified that you will get bored so you need to have thought about this and how you will address this at interview. Talk about what you have achieved and how you can really add value to the job and the company.
5: Should you be a consultant instead?
Often when people struggle to find a job, and they have plenty of experience from professional roles they opt to set up as a consultant. I’ll cover this in a future article.
Brought to you by Denise Taylor, chartered psychologist and award winning career coach. Denise is the author of ‘How to get a job in a recession‘. If you want help in understanding your values, making a career choice or any aspects of job search you can contact Denise at https://www.amazingpeople.co.uk