Myths About Older Job Seekers
Many people think or just believe that companies and businesses only want to hire young people, it makes more sense doesn’t it? Not necessarily. Mature job seekers are just as attractive to employers as younger workers are. Many find mature workers are more reliable, more experienced and more mature than their younger counterparts, so in many ways a mature job seeker is the total package when it comes to being hired, but why do some employers still see age as a drawback.
Here are 3 common myths when it comes to older workers and why they don’t get hired.
*You are perceived as being someone who will expect to be hired into a higher position. While you might have all the experience, you are dependable and have the right judgement skills some employers may view you as being too high maintenance and that you *expect* to be in a more leadership role or position – you’re not willing to *start at the bottom*.
You can easily combat this way of thinking through your cover letter – explain that you are interested in the advertised position and that you are willing to work with the current team. While you might find yourself moved into a more leadership role or promotion later, don’t mention looking for a promotion straight away. Focus your attention on explaining what leadership qualities you posses only if they apply to the job you are applying for, explain too how you will fit into the culture of the company.
* You may be seen as being out of touch and are struggling to keep up with the latest technology and trends – remember it is down to the job seeker – of ANY age to keep current and up to date with their skills. The job seeker needs to have the skills or qualifications needed for the job he or she is applying for.
While the younger job seeker might have had the more recent education a mature job seeker can still take advantage of this by attending a TAFE course, community college, or workshop to brush up on the skills you need. Redo your resume so it matches better with the job requirements – research the company and mention anything in particular in your cover letter that shows the interviewer that no matter your age you have the skills or qualifications required. Make note of your experience and capabilities and market yourself as the full package – you have experience, judgement, skills and dependability on your side.
*Then there is the old myth that you’ll be retiring soon anyway. While the standard question *where do you want to be in five years* still pops up in interviews, for a mature job seeker the question could sound more like *do you want to be working in five years*. While younger job seekers have a positive answer about hopefully still being with the same company – a mature job seeker might need a more carefully thought out and crafted answer.
Some interviewers might see the mature job seeker as someone just looking for a fill in job till they retire, so make it clear that the age limit for retirement is lifting and that you are looking to make this position a very important part of your career – which is NOT over yet.
No matter how old you are you can rise above these 3 myths and present yourself to an employer as the total package, prove that you are keeping up with the times, show you are willing to be part of the team, and show any career goals you have will be both an asset and a commitment to them.
Are you a mature job seeker? Do you find it a struggle? Have you any tips for our other mature job seekers?