Are you concerned about ageism in your job search?
At Transition Solutions, we’ve been helping our clients navigate workforce changes for over 30 years. Many of our clients have extensive experience and since ageism can be a very real factor in a job search we suggest the following as it pertains to their resume, LinkedIn and interviewing strategies.
Unfortunately, age discrimination is alive and well in today’s workplace. Per AARP research, about three in five older workers (61%) have either seen or experienced age discrimination in the workplace. Older workers, with decades of experience, and often high levels of engagement with low turnover remain a valuable resource for employers.
We offer suggestions below on how to minimize the impacts of ageism when it comes to your resume, LinkedIn and interviewing.
Resume – A Sales Tool
- Keep it relevant. Your resume should not be a historical document of every job you’ve ever held. It should be a sales document that includes the roles you’ve held that are relevant to the job you are seeking. Typically 10 – 15 years of relevant experience is enough to include. Not sure how much experience to include? The answer is it depends on the requirements for the jobs you are applying for. If they typically state 8 to 10 years’ experience required and you include 20 years, then you could be dismissed due to being over qualified or due to ageism.
- Modern Format. Use a more modern format for your resume. Remove your street address and list just city and state. Include your LinkedIn URL at the top. Keep it to 2 pages, unless you have substantial content that would add a lot of value to extend to additional pages. Provide references on a separate document other than your resume.
- Make your resume Applicant Tracking System (ATS) – friendly. Per TopResume, 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies use an applicant tracking systems to review their incoming job applications and eliminate the least qualified candidates from the bunch. If your resume is not written with this software in mind, your job application may never make it to a human for review, regardless of your qualifications. To be ATS friendly, it’s important to leverage key words, keep your resume simple and submit in a Word Document format whenever possible.
- Include your Accomplishments. Your experience is a key advantage and your resume should outline your top accomplishments, quantified whenever possible. Avoid just listing job responsibilities. Display your responsibilities within the context of what we call a “BAR” story outlining “B” business problem, “A” action you took to solve it and “R” results.
LinkedIn – Important Job Search Tool.
- If you do not currently have a LinkedIn profile, first step is to create one! The majority of recruiters use LinkedIn in their candidate searching process. If you’re not on LinkedIn, you’re missing out on job opportunities and potentially sabotaging your success.
- Key elements to include on your profile are a current professional head and shoulder shot, job title relevant to the role(s) you are seeking, a summary of who you are as a professional, job experience, key skills and recommendations. You should reach out and connect with everyone you know who has a professional career. Adding new connections is great time to set up a brief 20 minute connect with those you may have lost touch with in your network and possibly help to identify your next role.
- The objective of interviewing is to either move to the next step in the process or get an offer. To combat ageism in the interviewing process, ensure that you have done your research on the company, their current challenges, hot topics for the industry, know their competitors, etc. Show enthusiasm and energy for the role. Demonstrate the value of your experience by sharing relevant stories on how you’ve solved similar problems in the past or draft a 30/60/90 day plan should you be hired for the role. Practice your answers to typical questions and be prepared to address positively any objections they might have.
In addition to the above, as an older worker, likely your most valuable asset is your network. We coach our clients that 80 – 90 % of individuals find their next role based on their network – so reach out to your connections to help you in your job search!
At Transition Solutions, we have been helping companies and individuals with workforce changes for thirty years. Our strong reputation for consistently delivering exceptional service at value sets us apart. If you would like more information on our services please check out our website at https://www.transitionsolutions.com/ or you can contact us directly at 888-424-0003 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.