Jobs and over-aged applicants
Though some employers would prefer a younger workforce, the older applicants still have a wide variety of career choices to choose from.
Employers are starting to see the potential of older and much-experienced applicants as can be seen by the statistics below:
q In Australia, the Bureau of Statistics showed that between the period of August of 1989 to that of August of 2003, the workforce aged 15-24 lost more than 380,000 jobs to older workers.
Aside from the fact that most of Australia’s younger generation became full-time students, employers favored the older applicants.
q In the Netherlands on the other hand (by December of 2000), over 500,000 thousand of their employees are 55 years old and above. This figure had been increasing steadily since 1995.
To have a head start from the younger applicants, one has to take into consideration the following:
1. In writing one’s resume, put more weight in highlighting the accomplishments without necessarily bragging about it.
One could have these lists of accomplishments and previous posts held work for one’s advantage over younger applicants who may not even have any experience on the same field.
An individual’s employment history receives as much scrutiny as the applicant itself. While employers tend to look for gaps or lapses of time when the applicant has been unemployed, they also tend to focus on the length of service one had rendered for their previous employers.
Frequent changes of work (usually within very short time frames) can be alarming for prospective employers.
2. Read and enroll in programs that will refresh your knowledge in certain fields especially if engaged in professional sectors. This will keep you individual abreast of the latest trend in such fields.
3. Search the Internet for vacancies. A lot of agencies place ads on the net that advertises help for senior citizens in looking for jobs. Various search engines made easier and specific (can choose the following categories: career, location, and field of interest) are also available.
Jobs that do not usually look into the age of the applicant are the following:
1. Professional work that is into specialization. For applicants in the medical field (i.e. Doctors) experience is the basic determinant of being hired.
2. Lectures or speaking engagements. Speakers that are invited to discuss certain topics do not really have an age requirement. Rather, qualification focuses more on first-hand knowledge and experience.
3. Writers. Writing novels, plays, or children’s books is one of those professions whose only requirement is good writing skills. Also, one can do the job at the comfort of their own homes, a plus factor for those in their advanced years.
As employers, we are always looking for candidates who are talented, qualified, and motivated. But, we also understand that age can be a deciding factor in whether or not a candidate is hired. Since most employers prefer applicants who are younger, it can be more difficult for older applicants to find work. If you have just graduated from college or you’re currently unemployed, here are a few tips on how you can find a job while still maintaining your independence.
The older applicant has an advantage over a younger applicant. For one, the older applicant has usually been through one or two more recessions, so he or she can usually find a job without much difficulty. Also, older adults generally have more experience than younger ones, so they are able to set themselves apart from younger applicants who have only recently been through a recession.
There is a widespread misconception that the older workforce is less able than the younger generations to perform certain tasks. While it is true that older workers often have more physical limitations than their younger counterparts, this is often offset by their years of experience and understanding of specific job tasks. For example, an older worker who has spent 20 years in the aerospace industry may have vast experience with manufacturing and repair but may be less familiar with modern methods of project management and communication.
The job market and over-age employment have become increasingly polarized in recent years. The recession of 2008-09 devastated many older Americans, especially those with low incomes; however, many recovered well and went on to enjoy rewarding work lives. As the economy slowly recovers, many older workers have a better chance of finding meaningful employment in their preferred field. However, as older workers search for jobs, it is important to be aware of the different types of opportunities that exist for them.