Combating Ageism in Job Searches: A Guide for the Over-50s

Unpacking the “Ok Boomer” Mentality

The phrase “Ok Boomer” has become more than just a generational jab; it’s a symbol of the various prejudices including ageism, that many baby boomers face in today’s job market. While the meme might be catchy, it unfairly lumps an entire generation into stereotypes that don’t reflect individual contributions or talents as seen in this article.

Combatting Ageism When Working with Recruiters

The experience of job hunting can often become soul-destroying, especially when dealing with recruiters who act as gatekeepers between you and potential employment. These recruiters often focus solely on easily measurable factors like industry-specific experience, ignoring the vast array of skills that older professionals bring to the table. This creates a fundamental mismatch of expectations: while job seekers look for a holistic approach, recruiters seek the perfect fit for their own metrics and commissions.

The Importance of Networking

The most effective way to navigate the job-seeking labyrinth is through leveraging personal contacts. A recommendation from someone within the company not only ensures that your application receives the attention it deserves but also creates an avenue for bypassing gatekeeping recruiters. Moreover, don’t underestimate the power of direct communication. Instead of solely relying on online applications, use your network to find the appropriate contact person for the job, call them, and create a real connection before applying.

Be Proactive in Your Approach

Being proactive in your job search yields tangible results. Use the phone to your advantage. A call to discuss the job ad allows you to relate your skills directly to the role, effectively establishing your merit as a candidate. This conversation can also help you determine whether the role is right for you, saving time for both parties. If things go well, you’re likely to be invited for an interview, which is a clear win.

Leveraging Your Career Experience

By the time you’re in your 50s, recruiters and employers expect you to have a well-defined skill set based on your career history. If you’re currently unemployed, now might not be the best time to switch careers. First, secure a job in your existing field of expertise. Later on, you can consider changing lanes to your dream job or one that offers greater flexibility. Your years of experience should serve as a strong point, not a handicap.

Enhance Your Online Presence

Your LinkedIn profile is an invaluable resource in your job hunt. It can help you identify key players in your industry and connect with them. Active participation on LinkedIn not only bolsters your professional image but also reduces the chances of recruiters zeroing in on superficial factors like age or appearance.

In conclusion, while ageism is a hurdle, it isn’t insurmountable. By leveraging your network, being proactive, and focussing on your wealth of experience, you can navigate the complexities of the modern job market as an over-50 professional.

 

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About Gayle Howard

If you are interested in working with Gayle Howard—an executive resume writer, Certified Master Resume Writer, multi-award-winning resume writer, and Master LinkedIn profile writer, drop her a line now using the contact form at the link above. Gayle can help you get interviews for your dream job and bring the world of business to you by maximizing your exposure and connections on LinkedIn.

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