10 Great Tips For An Older Job Seeker

Older and out of work? Here are tips just for you. We’ve all heard of the glass ceiling, but there’s another insidious workplace phenomenon that can be particularly galling for older job seekers: the “gray ceiling.” According to the AARP, it often takes considerably longer for people to find jobs if they’re over age 55. To combat this trend, consider these tips.

1 Turn your resume into a date-free zone. So you graduated from college in the ’60s? Really got going in your field in the ’70s? As impressive as your history is, those dates don’t need to show up in your resume. Neither does a detailed listing of every single position you’ve ever held. Focus on your most impressive career successes and highlights from the past 10 to 20 years, and don’t spell out the year you graduated.

2 Network, network, network. It’s always easier to find a job if you know someone on the inside. Think about all the friends, colleagues and contacts you’ve ever made in your industry and start reaching out to them. Let them know you’re looking for work and ask whether they know of any openings.

3 Tap every possible resource. Another way to network is to get career and job-search assistance through One-Stop Career Centers (www.careeronestop.org) and through programs offered at many public libraries. If you’re a college graduate, contact your school’s career services department; many colleges and universities provide their alumni with lifelong assistance. Local offices of any professional associations for your field also could be helpful.

4 Use your experience to your advantage. True, potential employers may send you packing with lines like, “You’re overqualified for this position,” but you may be able to counter such quick dismissals with a few one-liners of your own. Tory Johnson, founder of Women for Hire, suggests these responses: “I thought about that very issue before I applied. I realized that because I’m committed to this line of work, my experience would be a tremendous asset.” Or: “I have 20 years of experience in this industry. I’d love to apply that insight to solving problems and creating successes for this company and mentoring other people.”

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    source:AARP: Job Hunting- for more over 50 job hunting articles and videos.


    1. Janelle Monney

      I must admit that I really disagree with your first point. The minute you get "date free" it says that you are old and ashamed of it and think you have to hide it. It also says that you don't know much about the web and how quickly one can find information. In this day of linkedin and the web in general, anyone can find out about how old you are in a few seconds. I think you are

    2. You make many excellent points.<br /><br />And . . . <br /><br />While it is true, resumes do not generally include education dates any longer, leaving dates off of employment history is a huge red flag for perspective employers–so much so, that the resumes may not even be read.<br /><br />The first question is: What is this person hiding? Followed by: Are they job hoppers? Do they have huge

    3. I have been advised by many career counselors to remove dates, especially higher education dates and to remove job history references past 25 years. I must admit, it feels a little odd because I don’t feel old or outdated. But in this environment, and feeling a little targeted because of my age … I have done just that. I have my web presence and LinkedIn, etc, so yes, anyone can suss out my age

    4. Paul Stein

      As I stated once before, hiding dates may potentially get one an interview one might not have gotten with the rampant age discrimination. However, it doesn&#39;t help once one walks in the door and everyone thinks, &quot;Hey, who is this old guy?&quot;

    5. Anonymous

      If our government (quit laughing) would stand up and tell these companies they are violating the very language the place in a job posting (EEO), maybe something would change. Otherwise, for all of us with the &quot;gray ceiling&quot; syndrome, it is only going to get worse. People forget we helped pave the way for many of these people to even be where they are and I have found a company would

    6. More of the same old top 10 advice, resortd and reworded.<br />Your resume is just one of tools you must have in your job search tool kit.<br />Please get out of the house and network. Attend local events, meet people and get aggressive.<br />Do not listen to the internet advice demi-gods who are using you to advance their own careers.<br />Market yourself.<br />Join the Gray Panthers.

    7. I agree that the dates left out are red flags that I believe will KEEP you out of potential interviews. <br /><br />I proudly highlight the year I graduated from college and I&#39;ve been told that it suggests a maturity level and an “I should know what I&#39;m doing by now attitude”. Now if I were applying for an entry level position, could be a problem but I hope at age 52 I&#39;m smart

    8. I was also informed by a young employer to remove my individual information such as individual passions and the like. Really? CEO&#39;s/Presidents again want to know who I am and I keep those products in the resume/CV and am having good results with insights for each and discussions. I just haven&#39;t discovered the right organization for ME quite yet.

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