Insights + interviews

An Ageing Workforce Part 3: Using Age To Your Advantage

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Experience is worth its weight in gold and that can be a selling point for any older worker, so don’t be defensive  and use age to your advantage.

If you’re looking at a job switch or planning to come out of retirement, don’t despair and lose hope. Here are some tips that older workers can use to market yourself to obtain the same opportunities as your younger counterparts.

You Are Confident
Unlike your younger counterparts, you’ll know how to adapt quickly to a new environment, don’t need constant validation and won’t be too intimidated to reach out to new colleagues. You understand that when a job needs to be done, it will be completed, and you’ll not let fear get into the way. You’re probably a battle-scarred veteran with an illustrious career record and this is definitely a great asset to market to any prospective employer. Remind yourself that you’re experienced, not old, so use your savvy to sell against youth and inexperience.

You Have A Big Network
All those years of networking groups and project meetings shouldn’t come to naught. You’ve got a huge pool of friends, colleagues, and contacts in the industry/community and that’s an asset to any employer, especially for a start-up or one that’s trying to get out of a sales rut.

You Can Manage Your Emotions
Studies have found out that when it comes to managing emotions, older workers reign supreme. Other studies show older workers have low levels of work-related stress as the majority of them possess a cool head and calm demeanor. This can truly make a big difference in workplace dynamics, especially during hard times.

You Are Not A One Trick Pony
Through the years, you might have spent time in numerous industries, and this can be very useful to employers as you are able to bring a different industry’s perspective to the table.

You have Results To Sell
Realise that it is results and not years that hiring managers are looking at. Return-On-Investment or ROI is what an employer would look at, so instead of citing 20-years of experience, identify what you can offer and put them into benefit-based facts and figures as much as possible. Sell them the idea of what your work has resulted in and its positive impacts. End of the day money talks, and it talks loudly. If the hiring manager doesn’t see the value that money trumps age, you don’t want to work for this company.

You Should Stay Current
The key is to stay updated and current in your technology, training, and skills. Be sure your resume and other career documents are formatted according to today’s standards. Utilise social media such as LinkedIn to network professionally. Also, it would help if you spin your story favourably reworking your resume to emphasise your strengths. Make sure everything on it relates to the specific job that you’re applying for.

You Should Modify Your Resume
While you may have accumulated loads of experience, don’t confuse the hiring manager with the varied roles and jobs you’ve performed through years. Focus only on the job title that you’re applying by telling the hiring manager what he or she wants to know, and nothing more. If you had experiences that don’t fit the job title’s requirements, don’t emphasise them, in fact you should remove them as they will only give employers reason to sift you out. Only magnify the aspects of your background that are relevant.

Read Part 1 here.

Read Part 2 here.

Read Part 4 here.

Read Part 5 here.




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