When New York City employment attorney Lori B. Rassas wrote The Perpetual Paycheck: 5 Secrets to Getting a Job in 2015, I interviewed her for Next Avenue. Now, she’s back with an excellent new book specifically for older job seekers, with the provocative title: Over the Hill But Not the Cliff. So I rang her up again.
Here are highlights from our interview, with blunt advice for job seekers over 50:
Next Avenue: I have to start by asking you about the title. Why did you call the book ‘Over the Hill But Not the Cliff?’
Lori B. Rassas: The perception about older job applicants by some employers is that they get to a point in their career where they don’t want additional stress and they’re happy to coast until they retire. To undermine this, you need to show the employer: ‘I’m not done yet. I want to continue to learn and grow and move up.’ In the job interview, you should talk about things showing that you’re not at the top of the hill yet, you’re still climbing.
How serious a problem do you think ageism is for job seekers over 50?
I think it exists and is prevalent. You should assume you’re going to face it. But a lot of times, I find the cover letters of these people are not so great or they’re applying for the wrong jobs. I look at ageism as one obstacle to getting a job, but it can be overcome.
In some sense, I think the pendulum is shifting a bit, with Millennials moving jobs so quickly. I get a sense that employers want stability and long-term commitments and they’re more likely to get that from older job candidates. So things are almost getting better for older candidates.
You write that the most common reservation about hiring older candidates has nothing to do with their actual age, but what their age represents. What do you mean? — Find out what she means, tips on getting the jobs, and the complete Forbes article