Jul
04

Baby Boomers: How to Make Interviewers See a More Youthful You

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By Anna D. Banks, GCDF

Getting old should not harm your chances of getting a job and just playing it right can help your employment prospects in a number of ways. An example of this is Edward R. Mills who was 61 at the time of the interview. When asked what he did in his spare time all he said he competed in tennis tournaments and did “a little bit of hiking”, taking out a recent photo of him hiking at 14000 foot, Mount Whitney. He was offered the job immediately by WNET-TV and today still works at the same job that is as demanding as ever. His success story gives motivation to other old job seeker even the baby boomers, who face bias at their work because of their age. ExecuNet, a career-networking organization in Norwalk, Connecticut conducted a survey, which reported that after the age of 50 or at it, age plays a major role in organizations that hire.

In order to get over this hurdle, a few tips are listed that can boost your chances to get a job and help an interviewer see a more youthful you.

• The first way is when preparing your resume; it is best to not include the work done once you graduated from college and the date of graduation as well. A better plan would be to list the work done in the past ten to fifteen years. An instance of such method working was when Mr. Sanders was looking for a job in 1999 at the age of 63. He used this technique of resume writing in order to just sell himself to his potential employers and got the job as well. Even the CEO, David Levitt of OpenOrders said, “He probably would not have gotten in the door” with a full disclosure of his job history. ” A disadvantage of this would also be that people wouldn’t have an idea of your age but would see you as a very good candidate and offer entry level positions. Like when Rodney Struhs went for an interview and was given this line by the interviewers. “We’re not really looking for someone with as much experience as you have.” And they were quite surprised to see a balding and stock person.

• Another change would be in the sense of dressing, try and dress young. It is best to look fresh and not old. So you could buy new shoes, update the wardrobe, dye the gray hair, and get medical attention for the baggy eyes, etc and a lot more other changes in order to look young.

• Though there maybe a bias since the interviewee is old, this bias can be changed and Dave Opton, CEO of ExecuNet has also been witness to this. Mark Rigor, a 49 year old rises at five in the morning and rides his bike around ten to thirty miles a day and his tactic was that he radiated youthful zeal by always asking interviewers: “Is there an opportunity in your area to bike? I’m a serious biker.” He was hired as a sales representative for Sure Alloy Steel.

• The best thing to do during the interview is to show and sound eager in mentoring young employees. Even updating your skills will be witness to your skill of adapting to changing technology. It will show that you are capable of working under a younger boss, a team player, and take multiple roles in the work place.

© 2008 Anna D. Banks, GCDF
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Author’s Note:
Do you have any questions about career development or lifestyle changes for Baby Boomers, which you think others, like you, would want to know the answers? Email your questions to me at Anna@AnnaBanks.com.

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