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Why age is really just a number for older workers

The prospect of trying to find a new job can be intimidating for people from all walks of life, as they have to find positions for which they are qualified, go through the complex application process and, if they are lucky, navigate the stressful and often challenging interview process.

This sense of intimidation can be especially profound for workers over the age of 50, as there is a good chance that employers will use their age against them in the hiring process, a reality that is not only unfair, but also illegal. 

As discouraging as this can be, occupational experts indicate that older workers should be aware that more employers are finally starting to see how this is a self-defeating business strategy given the talent that older workers bring to the table.

Accordingly, these occupational experts are now urging older workers to capitalize upon their unique talents and attributes in their resumes, cover letters and job interviews, including:

  • Demonstrating that you understand the importance of cooperation and, even though its sound cliché, hard work, as these are qualities often believed to be missing to a certain degree among younger workers.
  • Making it evident that you value developing long-term, productive working relationships over constantly looking for "the next big thing" in terms of employment.
  • Highlighting how you are current with the latest computer skills and other relevant knowledge of the field, and, unlike your younger counterparts, are able to leverage a wealth of real world experience -- and successes.
  • Emphasizing how your knowledge, experience and sense of loyalty makes it that much easier for you to learn new job functions.

While these are truly helpful tips for older workers looking to secure employment, it's also important for older workers to remember -- as we mentioned earlier -- that age discrimination in the context of hiring, firing and other employment-related decisions is illegal under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

Accordingly, if you believe that you've been victimized by age discrimination in any capacity, it's important to consider speaking with an experienced legal professional who can examine your situation and outline your options.  

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