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:
- Deep experience
- Diverse experience
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:
- Keeping Your Age from Being an Issue
- Job Search Strategies for Mature Workers
- Are You Coming Across as Old?
- Is it Age Discrimination or Something Else?
- Keeping Age Out of Your Job Search