Older workers tend to undersell the value of their experiences, both on the resume and during interviews. Not all employers are looking for younger less experienced workers, especially now that we are continuing to come out of a major economic slowdown.
Inexperience is not going to help hiring organizations improve productivity, generate new revenue, or reduce cost. Younger, less experienced workers will cost employers time, effort and a gap in productivity until they are trained. The untested employee doesn’t have a history of results like you do. You need ways to show it off.
Here’s a list of why older workers now have an advantage in the marketplace. Use these advantages while crafting your resume and especially during the interview. Older employees:
- Usually require lower maintenance. They need less training, handholding and supervision.
- Are experienced in setting objectives, strategy, benchmarking, then measuring results
- Tend to have more patience to obtain quality results and persistence toward a difficult goal
- Have the experience to train new employees or mentor up-and-coming workers
- Tend to be more loyal and are more stable
- Handle stress more easily as they have “been there, done that”
- Understand the implications of decisions, so they tend to plan better
- May lack hard skills that need sharpening, like new technology, but their soft skills are more advanced to become a supervisor
- Have a support systems already in place
- Have a performance track record that can predict future performance
- Tend not to get discouraged at the first roadblock, then work through problems to a conclusion
- Have an experience base from which to draw solutions: Not their first rodeo.
Of course, younger candidate have an advantage too. If you understand these advantages, older employees can mitigate their importance through action (A):
- More proficient in computer skills. (A) Take courses or a tutor to equalize your skill level
- A higher level of enthusiasm and energy. (A) Demonstrate vitality in your voice and actions
- Lower pay. (A) Rationalize your value in productivity and results against a few dollars more
- Bring new ideas and potential. (A) Emphasize your stability rather than job-hopping
If you believe that you’ll be told you’re “overqualified”, you may want to pre-empt the situation by bringing it up during the interview rather than waiting until it’s too late, by stating: “I may be slightly over qualified for this position, but I’m not interested in promotions. Rather, I want to contribute to your objectives of growing the business, mentoring talent and developing a high performance team”. Or, “My objective is to be a major contributor to your results and not compete for advancement. Being slightly overqualified gives me the opportunity to achieve that goal”.
I’m sure you can add features to this list. If, on the other hand, you are discouraged and need an assist, send me your resume and let me give you some pointers to make your resume more compelling to the hiring manager.
For a FREE resume review, send to: firstname.lastname@example.org