Age 55 & Older
Tips on how to sell yourself as an older employee on the job hunt.
Many older job seekers tend to become discouraged claiming their age as the main reason that employers do not hire them. Instead of downplaying age, older job seekers should use age as the driving force for getting a job.
This section will give you tips on how to sell yourself as an older employee on the job hunt.
Age discrimination, however, is not the challenge that older workers have to overcome; it is the prejudices that lead to discrimination. Some employers prejudge the unemployed and older job seeker as being slow and less productive.
In order to understand how age can be the driving force, it is important to look at the competition i.e., younger job seekers.
The Generational Differences
What happened to company loyalty? Born between the years 1964 to 1981, the younger workforce is entering jobs with a different outlook from the previous baby boomer generation (1943 to 1963).
Younger workers seek employment that will enable them to balance job demands with their personal lives, and it is not uncommon for them to work for more than five different organizations before retiring.
Unlike these younger workers, workers from the baby boomer generation are likely to work for less than three different organizations before retiring. Older workers have more company loyalty, placing company needs before their personal needs.
Positives that Baby Boomers Offer
What’s special about older workers? According to several studies, older workers:
Learn new technology as quickly as younger workers (if they already understand the basics of the equipment)
Are easier to train because they can rely on similar past experiences to learn
Take fewer sick days than workers in their 20s
Have fewer workplace injuries than younger workers
Stay longer in each job than younger workers
Have stronger problem-solving abilities
Are more reliable and punctual
Have better overall work habits.
In addition, older workers are less likely to test positive for drug use, be involved in a car accident or commit crimes in the workplace.
First, explore your previous life and work experiences through self-assessment. Self-assessment helps you to get to know yourself, enables you to highlight your job skills and prepares you to answer difficult interview questions.
Then, dispel myths that employers may have about hiring older workers by considering the following interview pointers:
- Do not be defensive. Always remain positive and never dwell on your age.
- Express your desire to learn new job skills and the willingness to work within a team to reach company goals.
- Discuss your strong work ethic and availability to work a flexible schedule, including overtime.
- Highlight any technical skills that you have learned from previous work experiences.
- Give concrete examples of adapting to change in which you have demonstrated flexibility.
- Discuss creative situations in which you have taken the initiative to suggest that the company implement change and the results of those suggestions.
- Tailor your answers to interview questions to show job effectiveness and incorporate results whenever possible.
- Discuss your confidence in working and how you handle job stress.
- Be prepared to discuss your determination and dedication to that job.
- Be able to discuss the reasons for separation from your last job in a positive manner. Never talk negatively about previous employers.
- First impressions are important to employers so dress appropriately for the interview.
AARP’s website is a gateway to articles and resources on related to careers for middle-aged and older adults.
Experience Works is a national, nonprofit organization that provides training and employment services for low-income seniors
CoolWorks.com provides job vacancy listings for older workers that are willing to travel. Most jobs are seasonal at recreational resorts, ski resorts, amusement parks, national and state parks.
Senior JobBank matches jobseekers over 50 with employers and good jobs.
Retirement Jobs identifies companies most-suited to older workers and matches them with mature adults seeking a job or project that matches their lifestyle and economic security needs.