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  • Too Old to Be Hired?

    shutterstock_252801586The law says employers are not permitted to discriminate because they deem someone too old, yet employers do so every single day. How can they get away with it? The answer is, by thinking it but never talking about it or documenting it. When questioned, their answer is, It was not a good fit.

    There are many reasons people who are no longer young are associated with certain preconceived ideas—for example, poor physical appearance. In some cases, it’s true, and a candidate should show concern and responsibility for improving such an image. Easily said and challenging to reverse but often can be improved through, say, physical fitness, a more contemporary eyeglass frame, better-looking and better-fitting clothing, and proper grooming can make a huge difference. Another example is the expectation that an older and more experienced person is expecting—and needs—more money. In many cases, this is not true. While everybody wants more money of course, there are many situations in which the person has already built a nest egg, and money is a secondary or tertiary concern. Going out and working, regaining identity, contributing, and just being with other people often outweigh everything else. One more example is the preconception that younger people are more tech savvy. Yes, that’s often the case, but I can easily argue that an electronics engineer with years of experience and who’s gone through the technology evolution has a profound understanding and a big-picture point of view, which could be major assets. And how about the notion that older folks have low energy, often have a so-called corporate mentality, and a lack of flexibility? Again, some of those might be true in some cases, but from the examples I’ve presented here, it’s easy to see that each case must be judged independently and weighed on demonstrated facts.

    How can a candidate mitigate often-false prejudices? First, a candidate must be careful about social media presence. Ninety plus percent of employers check out candidates prior to making a first contact. Why this practice? Because it’s simple, quick, and free. The way candidates do the same by checking out the company and, possibly, everything they can about those they’re going to interview with at the company. It’s called due diligence on both sides. As a job candidate, you should check out your own social media score starting with LinkedIn, followed by mywebcareer.com and then socialmention.com. The latter Web site takes a holistic approach, including videos.

    Second, if you’re not clear on how the potential interviewer might view you, a session with a career coach can surface and reveal all your doubts. In fact, if the career coach is in the habit of using a video camera, you could see it for yourself. In addition, do not be embarrassed to initiate a conversation on this subject with your spouse and your good friends and possibly do a mutual exchange of opinions with other job seekers.

    Third, get into the frame of mind that says that as an older person, you possess a special asset: experience. Practically speaking, that means that all of the past mistakes were made on some other employer’s account and would not be repeated. How about your problem-solving skills, which are by now well developed? And how about the fact that you’re already in the habit of practicing good judgment and have good work habits. After all, you come from the old school.

    I am a Career Coach and my specialty is Interview Preparation. I'm known as "The Landing Expert." My clients are 90% job seekers in transition and 10% those who contemplate a career change. CLIENTS BENEFIT FROM MY SERVICES AS FOLLOWS: • Most clients land, on average, within 5 months. • In-office clients are videotaped in an interview simulation followed by a lively discussion. • Clients get "straight-talk" coaching. This "tough-love" approach pinpoints their weaknesses quickly and lets them make real-time corrections (improvements) in performance. • Interview preparation techniques are customized for a wide range of professional backgrounds, age groups and learning styles. • Clients are trained to analyze an interviewer's question then provide a focused response. • Clients are exposed to a variety of interview questions from across many industries. • Audio/Video and screen collaboration sessions can be recorded for future viewing. • Clients have on-demand access to "in-transition" support. SPECIAL ADVANTAGES FOR CLIENTS INCLUDE: • Interview preparation includes both verbal and non-verbal communication (i.e., body language and voice). • Based on 12 years of experience with 750 clients worldwide, new clients are taught how to confront and survive the most challenging interview scenarios. • Clients have immediate access to my network of 29,950+ Level 1 LinkedIn connections. • Clients and non-clients alike have access via my website www.landingexpert.com to my directory of job search/networking groups throughout NY, NJ, PA, CT, DE and GA. • To provide the greatest possible reach, I have communication skills in five (5) different languages and offer unlimited e-mail & phone support. Get customized interview preparation and access to my 29,950+ Level 1 LinkedIn connections! Go to http://www.landingexpert.com/ then SERVICES and FEES for detailed information. Contact info: alex@landingexpert.com or ✆ 609.333.8866 EST

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