Happiness? A good cigar, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman - or a bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle.

~ George Burns ~

Overcoming Ageism In Job Search Efforts

August 27th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 1 min, 51 secs

Does ageism in job search efforts miss the point?

What does ageism in job search terms mean? Only that: “You’re too old”, “You’re a bit young”, or “Actually we were looking for somebody experienced, not geriatric!”

Striking ageism in job search efforts can be incredibly frustrating. I mean, what can you do about it? Dress up 20 years younger and try skipping into interviews? Or dye your hair grey on the sides and speak with a deeper voice? It just doesn’t work.

In some countries, ageism in job search criteria is illegal. A prospective employer cannot say, “Sorry, but we were looking for someone old enough to tie up their own shoelaces”. Yet, whether there is legislation or not, nothing prevents employers from forming their own private judgments that might miss what we have to offer.

So what can be done? Given you can’t do much about your age, how do you get around the obvious obstacle that employers are looking for someone younger or older? Well, I’ve got good news. In terms of ageism in job search situations, you only have to stall them long enough to see how irresistible you are for their firm. As a rough guide, if you can make more money for a prospective employer than hiring you will cost, then you’ve got definite potential.

If ageism in a job search interview is a likely target, tackle it head on. Talk it up as a feature rather than a hindrance. If you’re older, you have the experience, maturity, stability, and good old-fashioned values that make you the best deal in town. If you’re younger, then tell them about your energy, enthusiasm, and willingness to learn from the experts. Either way, it’s about pitching the right message for your audience.

Now I’m not suggesting it’s okay to say anything that isn’t true. So, you wouldn’t want to be going for any position that doesn’t fit you. Besides, having genuine benefits gives you the X factor of added credibility, and that can be crucial.

All of which boils down to one thing. Are you the right person for the job? How many wrinkles you have or how many candles there are on your birthday cake don’t come within a bull’s roar of how well you can work and bring an employer key benefits. Ageism in job search terms is merely a distraction to the big question: can you deliver? If you can, persist. If you have the courage of your convictions, then the right employer will get the message loud and clear and give you a fair go… whatever our age.









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