The experience that workers over 50 bring to the table can be very valuable for a company—but unfortunately, oftentimes recruiters or hiring managers are quick to dismiss older applicants without real reason to do so.
That doesn’t mean you’re out of luck, though. If you’re over 50 and looking to start applying to new jobs, there are a few key ways to put yourself ahead and get noticed. Emphasizing your value is a good first step to getting a recruiter’s attention, but it can also help to proactively assuage some of the concerns they may have about recruiting older workers.
Below, we spoke to a handful of hiring managers and directors to get their top tips on exactly how applicants over 50 should approach the job search, initial interviews, and skeptical interviewers who may unintentionally be dismissive before hearing you out.
2) Address the “overqualified” concern
“An experienced applicant applying for an entry-level role is almost always going to be overqualified for the position,” explains Hill. “This raises concerns that the person will get bored in their role or be unsatisfied with the lower salary it earns and demand more or move on.”
The best way to overcome this is to explain why you want this position, whether you’re looking to expand your skill-set, pivot careers, or simply want a more relaxed role for a better work/life balance.
3) Focus on the recent past, not your whole career
You don’t want to lie about your age, of course, but you don’t need to draw attention to it, either. According to Hill, generally speaking, things should “age off” of your resume after about 10-15 years.
“This is good advice for anyone who’s established in their field, but is especially important for workers over 50. Similarly, you don’t need to list your graduation date in your education section, especially if it was several decades ago.”
5) Focus on your relevant transferable skills
Bring attention to highly sought after skills such as organizational skills, communication skills, and sales skills.
“These skills are crucial for any entry-level position,” says Paul French, Managing Director at Intrinsic Search. “Show how you used these skills to meet the needs of the employer in your past positions and how you will use them in the current position.”
See all 6 tips and the complete The Ladders article