Unfortunately, this is a question we’re asked about continuously. With your YEARS of experience, dedication, and hard work, should you just discount it all because a hiring manager is going to worry about how you’ll fit in or when you’ll retire?
I’d love to tell you it isn’t, but if you’re worried about ageism, you probably already know the world isn’t sunshine and bunnies. It’s a real issue.
Hiring managers do worry they’ll invest thousands into your training or adjustment, and you’ll retire sooner than they’d like. They’re worried you’re set in your ways, and you won’t be able to think out of the box. They’re worried you won’t be able to grasp technology as fast, and they’re worried you may slow them down.
I can’t tell you how many hiring managers and recruiters think that way, but I’d like to think most recognize you have real experience to offer. I’d like to think they realize you can bring a holistic perspective rooted in your years of service through various industry trends, economic climates, and political situations. I’d like to think they realize you likely have true leadership and management potential, that you won’t jump the moment a project looks bleak, and you’ll stay in for the long haul, in contrast to a younger employee who is likely to switch jobs every 4 – 5 years. I would love to think ageism isn't a real issue for all.
How to nick ageism in the bud and avoid the impression that you may not be able to adapt to new technologies, think outside the box?
Ensure that your resume displays a narrative of innovation, technological adeptness, and leadership. Remember, they’ll see your resume first. Impress them with the content of your resume by highlighting key accomplishments, selling a narrative about you. Don't know how to do this? Engage a professional resume service, and let them help you with your job search strategy.
Still worried? Leave off the dates of your college graduation, and generally one-line anything over 10 – 12 years old. Yes, that’s superficial, and in the long run it may not help, but it could help you get your foot in the door.
Worried still? Ensure that your LinkedIn profile lets your personality shine! Remember, it’s a social professional profile. It SHOULD highlight your lifestyle, volunteerism, and other extracurricular activities in addition to your professional experience.
You should know, any company you feel discriminates based on age, race, faith or gender, isn’t a company worth working for. More than likely, these ‘understood’ directives on ageism come from the top, and working in such a prejudicial environment is pretty worthless.
I’d say, you’re dodging a bullet, and they’re doing YOU a favor.