You may still feel young inside, but older workers can face additional challenges on the job hunt. You could be perceived as a short-timer with an eye on the door before you’ve even got your foot in it. People might not believe you’ve got the go-getter attitude of a younger worker, while demanding a higher salary than a 20-something. And you know what they say about old dogs: they haven’t heard of Sarbanes-Oxley, they think Twitter is something birds do, and they think a Prius is a subatomic particle.
(You might like to know some interesting facts about the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. For example, did you know that it only protects people over 40?)
Sue Shellenbarger’s recent Work & Family Mailbox column in the Wall Street Journal gave the following suggestions to allay those concerns for an applicant over 50:
- Let them know you plan to stay with the company at least 5 years.
- Present yourself as active and fit. (This is easier if you are actually active and fit. Go to the gym!)
- Be prepared to negotiate your salary. (Let them know your experience really is worth more.)
- Provide examples of new things you’ve learned or worked on. (Starting an industry blog, as mentioned in our last post, might help with this.)
She also points to a couple helpful web sites for older workers:
(The latter site is a mess to look at. Do they really understand their audience? I think that workers over 50 might appreciate a cleaner site that’s easier to navigate.)