Jobfully Blog

Showing How Age is an Advantage

Older workers tend to believe their age will be viewed as a disadvantage by potential employers. But are there ways to portray it as an advantage? Absolutely!  There are many positives to hiring an older worker and lots of ways to demonstrate them throughout the job search process.

Understanding the Positives

It’s tempting to stereotype mature workers and say they all possess certain traits. The truth is, older workers are all different. But here are some common positive traits many older workers may have:

  • Resiliency
  • Stability
  • Reliability
  • Commitment
  • Connections
  • Focus
  • Resourcefulness
  • Deep experience
  • Diverse experience
  • Perspective

Make a list of your strengths from the above list and any others that you are eager to bring out.

Showing what you’ve got

One of the best ways to bring out traits and abilities is with stories about when you used your strengths to create success on the job.  For example, a marketing executive and mature worker demonstrated resiliency by telling of a time when his locally based company was nearly wiped out by national competition.  It was a discouraging time. Many of his colleagues left and the company nearly folded, but he persisted in looking for a niche for that would be distinct from the competition and while less experienced counterparts gave up, he found the perfect niche. This story was shared without ever using the word “resiliency”, yet it demonstrated it as a trait the job seeker possessed, and one that would bring great value to an employer.

For best results:

  • Craft several stories for each of your strongest traits
  • In interviews, share the stories that best apply to the job
  • Customize your choice based on what you know about the job going in and also what you hear from your interviewer about the company’s problems and challenges
  • Be proactive about bringing out your strengths in each answer
  • For more on preparing and sharing stories, read “The art of storytelling”

Celebrate the many wonderful traits that can come with age and experience. Be clear in your own mind about your strengths and have a plan for conveying them to others. Tell us: How do you bring out the positive traits that come from being a mature worker? Please add your comments below.

More strategies for mature workers:

 

2 Comments

  1. Bill Lovejoy
    Posted January 10, 2011 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Good Day Carrie,
    I sent you a follow-up comment outlining my POOR job hunting experience & I never received a response ! I am Honest ,have Intergity, and experience that has received
    rewards in the past . But I cannot get bye First Base now Carrie so the only issue I see is my AGE that is changed in the last 40 yrs.
    Still Jobbing after a year & going Broke in DEXTER USA ! Thanks Bill

  2. Posted January 10, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Hi Bill,
    I can understand your frustration. Even though you are the same honest and experienced guy you’ve always been, plenty has changed out there and job search is not the same as it once was. I’m glad you are accessing this blog in order to learn new ways to approach your presentation and job search strategy.

    When you are wondering if age is the issue, here is a blog that addresses some underlying issues: http://blog.jobfully.com/2010/12/is-it-age-discrimination-or-something-else/

    Good luck. Keep checking in.

    Carrie

One Trackback

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Amy Hoster and Jobfully. Jobfully said: Worried about age discrimination in your job search? Find out how to make your age an advantage, in today’s blog: http://bit.ly/em9q4I [...]

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