More and more 40+ years old job seekers – both women and men – show concern related to their age as a potential disqualifier for their application.
Companies’ Equal Opportunity recruitment statements (and legal environment in many countries) are preventing these from inserting desired age ranges in advertised job openings or rejecting applicants based on age criteria. In the attempt to remain close to the real reason of rejection, recruiters are using somewhat correlated affirmations: “too senior”, “overqualified”, etc.
Is ‘old age’ (40s, 50s) really a ‘handicap’ for a job seeker?
Personally, I have no age preconception, especially when it comes to jobs that suppose not only relevant past work practice, but also maturity and life experience to handle the human-related finesse of a specific assignment.
According to an analysis of the Capital IQ database of global companies, the peak age of a business person is fifty-something. The global average age of CEOs is 55.
When recruiting at Director / Top Manager level, I tend to prefer the 40-50 age bracket, once again, not solely linked to work background, but most often related to personal life lessons & happenings.
“Ah, but I was so much older then / I’m younger than that now” Bob Dylan, My Back Pages
Under circumstances, I also ‘favor’ (no discriminatory offence 🙂 meant whatsoever) the same age interval for a variety of other positions:
Specialized / manufacturing Jobs
Recruitment Managers / Recruiters
Executive Search Consultants
Different positions in pharmaceutical companies & healthcare
Various Project Managers
‘Old’ employees are often described as:
- experienced & motivated
- loyal & punctual
- detail-oriented & focused
- dedicated & reliable
- employees with a strong work ethic
You are really too old if:
You are not able or willing to mentor younger or less-experienced employees
You are change-resistant or lack flexibility / adaptability
You oppose technology
You are always skeptical of optimistic outcomes
You often complain about the young generation
You are not willing or able to update your skills
You find it difficult to integrate in a diverse team
You consider yourself burned-out
You think that ‘an old dog can’t be taught new tricks’
You have flat-lined intellectually
Advice for job seekers over 50:
Leverage your age as an asset
Emphasize results, accomplishments and achievements
Update your CV by focusing on relevant recent information
Demonstrate interest and willingness to continuously learn
Network and use social media tools
Be prepared to work with (or report to) people younger than you
Be prepared to be interviewed by people younger than you
Be energetic and enthusiastic
Don’t tell yourself that nobody hires older workers
Featured cover images: “The Intern”, Movie 2015
Resume, Cover Letter, and Interview Strategies for Older and Mature Workers