Rise Above Age Discrimination During the Recruitment Process

age discrimination during the recruitment processIn this economy, many people are putting off retirement, and as a result there are more older people in the workforce today than there were years ago.  When many of these older workers are job hunting, they find the interviewing process can be a struggle, because there is an age bias that exists among many hiring managers at businesses today.

Age discrimination has become a big issue during the recruitment process and while there are laws against it, there is no way to completely prevent it.  Many companies look to hire younger people for multiple reasons, including that they feel they possess more enthusiasm, are easier to train and mold, and farther from retirement.  But the wisdom and experience of those who have been in the workforce much longer is so essential to every business.  Plus, there are many other advantages to hiring older workers, since many of them don’t have the demands of young children, and are likely to be at a point in their career where they are more interested in contributing to the company and less concerned about their trajectory to the top.

Unfortunately, hiring discrimination of all kinds exists everywhere, and while some people aren’t getting the job because of their age, others may not be getting hired because of their political preference or the way they dress.  And it is likely that many hiring managers aren’t even aware of the level of age discrimination they have during the recruitment process.  So instead of finding ways to fight it, instead try some methods of rising above it, since age is just a number and will only define you if you let it.

1)  Do some intense networking.

This means not only reaching out to business colleagues and references, but reading industry magazines and attending conferences to learn the latest trends and skills needed in your line of business.   You may also want to consider chatting with any younger people you have encountered through your career, to get a fresh perspective on things.

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2) Brush up on your technology and social media knowledge.

Since one of the advantages the younger generation has is that they were brought up in the age of tech, showing your familiarity with the latest software and mobile trends will give you an edge in interviews and help you work against hiring discrimination.  Also, get yourself on social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter (which will also help with your networking) and consider starting your own website to display some of your biggest accomplishments in your career.

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3)  Meet younger hiring managers at their level.

Like they say, if you can’t beat them, join them.  In your job search you may encounter some hiring managers younger than you, and any age discrimination they develop during the recruitment process is likely to be due to the fact that they are threatened by your experience and knowledge.  So make them feel more comfortable by showing that you hold them in high esteem, respect their way of doing things, and are open to learning whatever you can from them.

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4)  Customize your resume.

To avoid making your resume seem dated (and as a result fall to the bottom of the pile in hiring departments), list more recent, relevant jobs, and highlight skills that you developed over the years that will apply specifically to the position you are applying for.

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5)  Exude confidence.

Nothing will make you less likely to fall prey to hiring discrimination than going into the interview already convinced that your age is on the mind of the hiring managers you are about to talk to.  If you show enough enthusiasm and energy and confidence in your expertise, your age will be the last thing on their minds.

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Jessica Cody

Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.

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