Am I too old for the job market?
I have heard this so many times, in fact, I typically ask what do you consider too old for the job market?
The answers range from 60, 80, and 100 years old. One time someone told me 40 was too old which made me laugh. How that's too old when it’s the time in someone’s life where they have this amazing balance of energy, patience, and experience?
But, it's interesting what can get in your head and I completely understand this because there are things about your age that are getting in the way of your job search but there are also ways to use your age to your advantage.
Why is age holding you back? Assumption.
Do you know what they say about the word assume? It makes an ASS out of U and Me.
The assumptions in the marketplace are:
Now that we know what we’re up against, how do we combat these blanket, ageist statements?
Make sure to share on your resume your technical abilities. Not just in a list but also in your bullet points. How did you embrace a new system to become the subject matter expert? How did you use a technical tool to increase revenue or decrease manhours?
I know the work you did 25 years ago was fun. Heck, it was the beginning of the .com crash which was like the wild West, informing much of how we do work today. But so many things have happened since then! Instead of focusing on your great accomplishments from that time, how have you continued to have that success and give me 3 great value adds for the businesses you’ve worked for in the past 10 years. This shows me you’re still passionate and, more importantly relevant.
Don’t list your graduation dates
I don’t care if you are 24 or 104, no one cares when you graduated from college or with your master’s degree. All that matters is that you have the degrees. Take off the dates as they give the reader an opportunity to form unnecessary assumptions about you that only hurt your chances for a role. Only list graduation dates on background check paperwork.
Right now we are seeing a boom in several areas:
While you may not be a data scientist or nurse, how can your specific skills aid that industry? How well do you know what each of these functions is in need of? What are the biggest challenges facing these roles/industries? Arming yourself with knowledge helps you better understand your unique gifts and how they can best elevate the market today.