For older alumni who may experience resistance during the hiring process, here are a few helpful tips:

  1. HAVE AN ATTITUDE THAT AGE IS A BENEFIT NOT A LIABILITY.
  2. Make sure there are no dates that are more than 15 – 20 years old. If you have older work experience that you want to list use this format and heading. (Notice, No dates)
    ADDITIONAL RELEVENT EXPERIENCE
    Quality Manager, XYZ Corporation, Grand Rapids MI
  3. Say you have 15+ years of experience not 25.
  4. Employers are afraid of older workers for the following reasons so make sure you address them as quickly in the hiring process as is possible.
    • There will be health issues
    • You are set in your ways
    • You do not possess the computer skill necessary for today’s work force
    • You do not work well with or resist management by younger employees
    • You want too much money
  5. Eliminate any terms that would date you. Things like MS Dos, Fax Machines, Cobol, and WordPerfect.
  6. Never say the “R” word Retirement.
  7. Appearance is very important, dress stylishly for your age. Nothing says old like black wing tips.
  8. Exude energy, confidence, happiness.
  9. Have a LinkedIn account (http://www.linkedin.com) and facebook page.
  10. Emphasize reliability, professionalism, level-headedness and other strengths that come with years of experience.
  11. Do not talk about grand children, being empty nesters, and pensions. You should emphasize that there are no family issues that will interfere with being a reliable worker.

Remember that if a company is going to actively discriminate, you do not want to work there so do some research and find older worker friendly companies. AARP offers a list of companies that are friendly to the 50-plus set, and SimplyHired.com offers a job search feature that lets you search by 50-plus friendly employers.