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Breaking the Age Barrier

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Are you an older or younger worker? Do you feel like you're being discriminated against? Use these helpful tips on how to get around ageism in the job search.

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Breaking the Age Barrier

  1. 1. Sponsored in part by the Workforce Development Agency, State of Michigan, Michigan Works!, through your local Workforce Development Board and Muskegon County Board of Commissioners. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities EEO/ADA/Employer/Programs -TTY# -711. Breaking the age barrier FINDING A JOB AS AN OLDER ORYOUNGER WORKER
  2. 2. The First Step… Get tough and believe in yourself!
  3. 3. If you are agonizing over a possible age bias in the job market, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
  4. 4. With effective research, preparation and self-analysis….
  5. 5. What challenges do older jobseekers face?
  6. 6. Employer Concerns Cost more than a younger worker in terms of salary, benefits, insurance More set in their ways Have less energy and focus Take off more days for sick leave Uncomfortable or unfamiliar with latest technology May be resentful if they have to work under a younger supervisor
  7. 7. Myths about Older Workers Myth: Older workers can’t or won’t learn new skills. Reality: Older workers have better study attitudes than younger workers. The fastest growing group of Internet users is people over 50; many are taking courses to enhance their skills.
  8. 8. Myths about Older Workers Myth: Older workers take more sick days than younger workers. Reality: Attendance records are actually better for older workers than younger workers.
  9. 9. Myths about Older Workers Myth: Older workers are a bad investment because they are near retirement. Reality: People are living longer, healthier lives and are choosing to work longer. Additionally, older workers tend to be very loyal.
  10. 10. Myths about Older Workers Myth: Older workers are not as productive as younger workers. Reality: Productivity can rise due to greater worker accuracy, dependability, and capacity to make better on-the-spot judgments; production rates are steadier than those of other age groups.
  11. 11. Myths about Older Workers Myth: Older workers are more costly to the bottom line. Reality: Older workers are typically more punctual, have better work attendance and habits, and lower turnover.
  12. 12. What challenges do younger workers face?
  13. 13. Employer Concerns Need constant praise They have no experience or maturity They’ll leave instantly for a higher paying job No respect for authority or loyalty Not interested in climbing the ladder They think they know everything
  14. 14. Myths about Younger Workers Myth: Younger workers are self-centered. Reality: Younger workers are looking for quick feedback, meaningful involvement, and tips on how to improve.
  15. 15. Myths about Younger Workers Myth: Younger workers have no respect for authority. Reality: Younger workers believe that respect must be earned, but then loyalty is given fiercely.
  16. 16. Myths about Younger Workers Myth: Younger workers don’t want to put in any work or start at the bottom. Reality: Younger workers are willing to put in the work, but want to know that they’ll be justly compensated. They want to know the work they’re doing has meaning.
  17. 17. Myths about Younger Workers Myth: Younger workers have no face-to- face social skills. Reality: Younger workers are in tune with the latest technology. Their generation also greatly values cooperation and collaboration.
  18. 18. Myths about Younger Workers Myth: Younger workers think they know more than their more experienced coworkers. Reality: Younger workers are still in the mindset of learning, and are just waiting to be taught and molded. They also want to share all their knowledge of new techniques and technology.
  19. 19. Advice for jobseekers facing age stereotypes 1. Your best weapon: Positive Attitude! Do you have a good attitude about life, work, and your job prospects?
  20. 20. Nick Corcodilos, Headhunter “If you’ve had some bad experiences with people who have misjudged you because of your age, you’re walking around with some baggage that is hard to hide. Watch it! You could be battering an otherwise open-minded employer with your attitude that he just doesn’t want you around.”
  21. 21. Focus on the things you can control and sell your good points! Make age an asset, not a crutch.
  22. 22. 2.Don’t stereotype yourself Advice for jobseekers facing age stereotypes Dress appropriately, professionally, and up-to-date Don’t use outdated words or phrases Don’t use “text speak” Show the employer that you’re open to new challenges and whatever may come your way
  23. 23. 3. Upgrade your skills and get tech savvy! Advice for jobseekers facing age stereotypes
  24. 24. There’s often a perception that older workers aren’t comfortable with the latest technology. Use www.gcflearnfree.orgfor free tutorials on many computer programs.
  25. 25. 4. Do your homework! Do a thorough assessment Examine your values, interests, skills, experience, education and training Review your accomplishments and write them down Do your research: companies, contacts, trends, industries, etc. Advice for jobseekers facing age stereotypes
  26. 26. 5. Make finding a job your current job. How much time do you actually spend job seeking? If you’d like to work 40 hours per week, you should be job searching 40 hours per week. Advice for jobseekers facing age stereotypes
  27. 27. 6. Network, Network, Network! Advice for jobseekers facing age stereotypes Talk to anyone you think might be able to help you get your foot in the door
  28. 28. Networking Family Friends Former Co-Workers Customers Business Associates Neighbors Trade Shows College Alumni Clubs Civic Organizations
  29. 29. Combine Face-to-Faceand SocialNetworking “Network in new ways. Old- school, off-line networking is still essential, but incorporating social networking into the mix is crucial.” -Amy Levin-Epstein
  30. 30. 7. Uncover the Hidden Job Market Only about 20% of jobs are advertised Advice for jobseekers facing age stereotypes
  31. 31. 4 Steps to Uncover the Hidden Job Market: 1.Determine exactly what type of job you are seeking 2.Identify employers who need your skills 3.Research those employers to better understand their culture 4.Craft a compelling cover letter and focused resume
  32. 32. Resume Writing 101: Tips for the Mature Worker 1. Have a resume that looks forward, not backward Change the perspective from “look at everything I have done” to “look at everything I can do for you.”
  33. 33. Resume Writing 101: Tips for the Mature Worker 2.Make sure your resume reflects today’s trends in format, style, and content
  34. 34. Resume Writing 101: Tips for the Mature Worker 3.All about the timing Most resume experts recommend trimming your resume back to the most recent 10 years, unless the experience is relevant.
  35. 35. 4.Always be relevant, honest, creative, and strategic Resume Writing 101: Tips for the Mature Worker No company is in business to employ anyone; they’re in business to be successful and turn a profit. Your resume should demonstrate that you can jump right in and contribute to the bottom line!
  36. 36. 1.Dig deep Resume Writing 101: Tips for the Inexperienced Worker List internships, volunteer work, and special skills or leadership positions. This counts as experience, too.
  37. 37. 2.Tailor your resume for each position Resume Writing 101: Tips for the Inexperienced Worker Use key words from the job posting.
  38. 38. 3.It’s not all about you Resume Writing 101: Tips for the Inexperienced Worker Rather than focusing on what youwant, illustrate how you can give the employer what theywant.
  39. 39. 4.Show quality through quantity Resume Writing 101: Tips for the Inexperienced Worker Use specific numbers, percentages, and dollar amounts as much as possible.
  40. 40. 5.Proofread Resume Writing 101: Tips for the Inexperienced Worker Even one grammar or spelling error can ruin your chances at the job!
  41. 41. 1. “Tell me about yourself.” Interviewing Tips Have your 30 second elevator pitch ready Focus on professional accomplishments Relate your experience to the specific company and position
  42. 42. 2. “How would you describe yourself?” Demonstrate an excitement for the job, but remain level-headed. Highlight examples of your willingness to learn and take on new projects, your readiness to be a team player, and your ability to remain flexible and/or handle stress. Interviewing Tips
  43. 43. 3. “Will you be comfortable working for someone younger?” Some employers may be concerned that older workers will be reluctant to accept younger managers or bosses. “I’ve learned something from every manager that I’ve had. Age is not a determining factor in leadership. Both younger and older people are capable of leading and managing.” Interviewing Tips
  44. 44. 4. “What is your greatest weakness?” Use a real, work-related example Answer in a positive manner Show how you’ve overcome or are working to overcome a weakness Interviewing Tips
  45. 45. Being overqualified The employer may be concerned that you’ll grow dissatisfied and leave or that you will accept the position as an interim solution. They might be worried about how well you would work with a line manager and peer groups who are potentially younger and less qualified than you. The Key: Pre-empt the recruiter’s questions, concerns, or objections with solid answers.
  46. 46. “There’s also the value of all the training that other companies have invested in me (thousands of dollars). You’d be getting all that value without having to pay an extra dime for it.” “ Because of my strong experience in _______, I could start to contribute right away!” Being overqualified “I’ve thought about that long and hard before applying for this specific position. And here’s why I know I would do well in this job…” “Because of the experience I’ve had, I believe I would bring a really interesting perspective to this opportunity.” “I have extensive experience in this industry. I’d love to apply that insight to solving problems and creating successes for your company.”
  47. 47. Show PASSION, CONFIDENCE, and ENERGY! Demonstrate your value and how you’re going to make their company a success, and…
  48. 48. We hope you found this information helpful. Check us out at •Give us any questions/comments/concerns •See our workshop schedule •Learn more about Michigan Works! Muskegon-Oceana Like what you saw?