Stop being a victim and start creating more victories! Take back control of your job search success with these quick tips designed to help alter your outlook on today’s employment community.
Anyone over 40 knows that age discrimination in hiring process is a very real and often unaddressed problem but a difficult one to prove since employers have a laundry list of reasons they can employ in order to justify why they are selecting another candidate. Nevertheless, age discrimination practice during the hiring process is still illegal and prohibited by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) so if you believe you are the victim of age discrimination, you can contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to file a claim and/for additional assistance.
Getting noticed on the highly popular but commonly flawed online application process and overcoming the dreaded implicit bias that occurs during the interview process are two of the most significant obstacles that keep highly motivated and skilled individuals from job opportunities they deserve!
In this article I’ll expose the intricacies surrounding these challenges and share alternative strategies to help you overcome these obstacles and experience more success along your job search journey.
Online job searching is practical, convenient and gives us instant access to all the new local job openings but it can also be painful and frustrating process if you don’t have the right tools and strategies to help you get noticed. Customizing and optimizing your resume and online application profile is the first step towards boosting your job search results and landing more interviews.
The goal is to improve your your application rating during the automated selection process that occurs when you submit your online applications. More than 95% of Fortune 500 companies use an ATS to streamline the recruiting process and keep up with the thousands of applications received weekly, but plenty of smaller employers have embraced the tool too, according to recent data collected by Jobscan.
ATS or Application Tracking Systems filter applications automatically based on given criteria such as keywords, skills, former employers, years of experience and schools attended. This is a fully automated process that instantly occurs when you submit your online application. ATS reviews your resume and application profile in search of the employers preferred criteria and assigns a rating or grade to determine your candidacy. Only high marks get considered to move onto the next level of the hiring process.
Our own Jobcase Community Specialist Laila Nashat recently published a brilliant article with quick resume optimization tips designed to help Boost your online application rating.
The functional resume format allows you to highlight your strengths, exceptional skills and accomplishments and is perfectly suited for the ATS optimization.
Implicit bias and unjust stereotypes are a detrimental reality for older job seekers. The good news is that it is possible to confront implicit bias, and diminish its power over decision-making. First, by understanding the negative social stories about age that might be operating in the job interview; then, by offering alternative narratives to overcome those negative stereotypes.
The following examples are designed to hopefully get you thinking about what these false perceptions may look like, and how to proactively confront them with your own narratives during the interview.
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, employers may be concerned that older workers require more training time and have trouble adapting to new processes and technology. I looked around at several reputable science, behavioral science and psychology publications and failed to find any scientific evidence to prove there’s a direct correlation between increased and lack of leaning ability. If anything, all the findings I found seemed to prove the opposite.
Be prepared to discuss instances when you volunteered to take on new product and service training within diverse teams in your past employment experience. Outline career related moments when you demonstrated abilities to respond quickly to changing ideas, responsibilities, expectations, trends, strategies and other processes at work then prepare yourself to communicate those experiences effectively during an interview.
Culture fit and adaptability, some employers also think older workers cannot adapt to new workplace cultures or rules. Make it clear that you are comfortable with change and can follow protocol. Again, highlight specific examples of how you successfully executed your adaptability skills within previous job experiences.
Too expensive, experienced workers are often presumed to be overqualified and as a result too expensive to hire and retain. YES! You should pursue employment options that will value your work experience and be prepared to compensate you accordingly for what you bring to the organization. The key is to clearly outline not only what you can offer but to emphasize your potential.
Remember, the hiring selection process for employers weighs highly on investment! Your years of experience doesn’t mean that you’ve reached your peak in new ideas and potential contributions to the industry and organization.
Outline your strengths and potential to fit in with the companies specific job needs and position requirements then embed those objectives into your resume and interview presentation to help boost your value and compensation preferences.
Technical dinosaur, employers may be a concern about a lack of technology skills. Highlight and refer back to technology skills and recent training accomplishments without overestimating them. If you identify this as a real area of concern for getting hired explore online and community access training options to expand your skills and get up to date.
Think outside the box!
Older workers have found also satisfaction and success by translating their experience into a business of their own. Consulting, freelance, contractor, and gig employment options are not only very popular right now but offer affordable, flexible and fulfilling employment alternatives as well. Don’t limit your industry experience and skills to direct hire job options. Identify your strengths and discover a way to market yourself, become your own boss and master your destiny. The US Small Business Administration has several resources and contacts for local support to help you start your business. Use the link above for more information.
Have you recently been exposed to an unfair and biased hiring experienced?
Use the comment link below to share your story and empower yourself by raising awareness around this issue and helping others.