IT Employment

Four resume tips for older workers

People aged 55 and older are twice as likely to experience age barriers in employment than any other discrimination. Here are some resume tips on how older workers can get around this issue.

People aged 55 and older are twice as likely to experience age barriers in employment than any other discrimination. Here are some resume tips on how older workers can get around this issue.

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According to research from the University of Kent, from age 55, people worldwide are nearly twice as likely to have experienced age barriers than any other discrimination.

I've heard a lot from my older readers in regard to age discrimination. Some talk about discrimination they've faced while on the job, but even more of them point out discrimination they face when they're looking for a job. The latter is perhaps worse because it's harder to prove. After all, how can you prove that a hiring manager, in the privacy of his office, took one look at the college graduation date on your resume and tossed it?

Although it doesn't look like our youth-obsessed culture is going to change any time soon, there are a few things that you, as an older worker, can do to give yourself a fighting chance at landing a job. One is to craft your resume in such a way that your accomplishments and skills are highlighted instead of the number of years you spent developing and achieving them.

First, leave off the dates. Don't include your birth date, graduation date, or, if you can avoid it, dates of employment.

Consider using a chrono-functional resume. This resume is organized around functional skills clusters. You can list a bare-bones work history at the bottom of your resume, but only after you've emphasized the relevant skills; this de-emphasizes the dates. It may be a little difficult to discuss functional skills without, for example, mentioning particular software versions you've worked with (which would then indicate the time span within which you were working), but it can be finessed.

List only the last 10-15 years of work experience. There's no need to list anything further back than that.

Instead of citing 20 years of experience, identify your benefits to the employer and put them into monetary terms. Back up your accomplishments with facts that are benefit-based. Sell them from the perspective of the result of your work and how it served your present and previous employers.

Last -- and this advice holds not just for the sake of your resume but for your career in general -- keep your skills current. If you can show that you are constantly learning and moving forward, then you can do your part to dispel the old adage that old dogs can't learn new tricks.

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About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

151 comments
barjo997
barjo997

What if the person with the degree can't do the job?

DALSF
DALSF

I'm 66, laid off in December 2008, and -- while it took awhile in this market -- my income exceeds what it was last year. Toni's suggestions are excellent. I figured out most of them early on. What has helped most: 1) Updating all Web skills, including blogging; 2) Keeping up on all software, including Word/Excel; 3) Staying relevant with all ages -- which is easy for me as my daughter is 26 and I have an innate curiosity about absolutely everything; 4) No gray hair (for whatever reason my hair has never turned gray, but if it did, I would dye it); 5) NETWORKING: LinkedIn (very important), Professional groups, church, friends, former employers/co-workers; 6) Starting my own online affiliate marketing projects; 7) Absolute belief in myself that I can do most things as well as or better than the next person; 8) I type 100 wpm and do everything in an office at that rate. If you are older and unemployed, look for multiple streams of income. Actually if you are employed, start developing multiple streams of income. One source has always been insane, but never more so than now. Good luck to all. Thanks Toni. My blog on this stuff: http://diannelevy.com/wordpress/?p=617

dca_98367
dca_98367

I think the hardest task it getting a well seasoned professional Resume' past the 19-25 year old HR screener ?? I am 48 with 21 years health care expereince. When I call to follow up I feel as if I am talking to my teenager. How to overcome and integrate with the generation gap??????????

reisen55
reisen55

There are armies of younger, far younger, newly graduated and certified eager young puppies in Bangalore just waiting to replace YOU AS AN AMERICAN WORKER at 1/4 salary and no bennies.

Dave Keays
Dave Keays

Unfortunately, when I try to functional resume approach people would bulk and suddenly want every moment since my first job accounted for. Unfortunately that includes disability and unofficial rehab. Once I had someone who saw the gap and asked me which prison I went to. At first I got interviews because of my high score on personality tests, but no more. I tried changing careers, but that business went out. I am trying freelance work, but I can't seem to hit the ground running. Try to tell a twenty-something that it is because I stop and think about the solution and not because of a "senior decade" creeping in. After all, 49 is not that old, but to someone who is 25 it is ancient.

msfreeman65
msfreeman65

While I like the content leaving dates out signals a red flag to potential employers or so I have been told.

fvazquez
fvazquez

I'm from Mexico and right now it's been six months since my last job. I've had a few projects, most of then web page redesings and stuff like that. I'm a computer Engineer, I program in several languages, handle hardware too. I don't have problem with the English language and handle German too and I seem not to be able to find a job... This is the first time I'm struggling to get a working place. Regards Francisco

lonny
lonny

I have been working with people in job transition for the past 18 years. I also am an IT recruiter. A woman in her mid-50's in the job transition group I facilitate did a wonderful job of putting her experience in a positive light. At the top of her cover letter in bold she had written, "When USAir flight 1549 realized it had to ditch in the Hudson River, you didn't want a 28 year old in the left seat!" Unless you are over 40 you have never worked during an economic cycle like we are currently in (1991 - 1993). Would you trust your company to someone who had never had to deal with the current recession? Buy new trendy eye glasses (not the 70's aviator eye glasses), get a good haircut and a buy suit that FITS and you'll find age discrimination become much less of a factor. When I get a resume without dates it's like a neon sign flashing "old person." Who do you think you're fooling? As someone else in this forum said, sooner or later you have to show up for an interview. If you look and act old, you have wasted a lot of time and energy pursuing a dead end. Keep your skills current, know what's going on in the world around you, read a business best seller or two, build a network and keep it active, join LinkedIn and learn how to use it ... these are all things that can and will improve your hireability. Trust me, if you're looking for age discrimination around every corner you're going to find it everywhere. Suck it up, deal with it and move forward WITH A POSITIVE ATTIUDE!

smithtj.geo
smithtj.geo

There may be some value to these tips, but to be honest, once you get in the interview, they know your age. If you have some value from past experience which shows a continuity that may be of value - add it. If the older experience really doesn't add anything, it should be left off anyway, to keep the resume shorter and more focused. I do like the skills focused type of resume but I really am not convinced that ti will hide your age in many cases simply because people don't graduate and suddenly walk into an experienced level job. It becomes obvious. I would suggest, as the article indicated, keep the resume skills focused, with wit emphasis on the accomplished / results, and individualized for that specific employer to show how your skills will fit right into place with their needs. In my opinion, that is the best way to counteract the age issue. BTW, I am 54!

kebeaton
kebeaton

I've been writing resumes professionally since 1994 and age itself is not the issue, however being "aged" in thought, energy and/or behavior can be - a "stuck-in-the-mud" issue. The person who wondered if showing 25 years experience in a single company might be the problem on their resume, it may be - not because of the time spent there but because it may be presented in such a way that you appear unable to adapt to a new environment/employer. As for the resume tips given here, they've been presented as a solution for age on a resume for over a decade - any hiring decision-maker who has seen more than a hundred resumes is on to it. As one of my HR clients said "hey, we read those resume books too!" If you are concerned about your age showing on your resume, then be sure to highlight your innovation, your adaptability, your energy, your ability to shift with the times and even be ahead of changes. If you were with one company for over a decade, avoid using the internal acronymns and phraseology of that organization - the resume is about you, not the company. Hiding dates just alerts the person reading your resume that you are worried about them and then they expect the worst. Karen Baird-Eaton http://www.linkedin.com/in/karenbairdeaton

mikeandlin
mikeandlin

I am in my early 50s and had a job for 25 yrs before they closed the doors. Needless to say I have noted this on my Resume at the advice of a resume writer and I am certain now that this is causing reluctance when a manager reads it. Anyone care to comment on this?

tgstambaugh
tgstambaugh

It's a sad comment on our society and the business community when you're advised not to tell how much experience you have. (In my case 25+ years in the business.) It used to be that experience was valued and sought after. We're living in a sick society.

cd003284
cd003284

I should add this... I don't write resumes until I've investigated potential employers. The history of a company may move it to the top of my list, or the bottom, or exclude it. A company with a history of discrimination lawsuits is a waste of time, unless it's looking to improve its image before its next date in court; a company that prides itself on its social consciousness might be just what I'm looking for. Companies that do business with the public sector are usually held to a higher standard by clauses in their contracts, especially federal contracts, and there's far more oversight and enforcement. The investigative techniques and practices I use for social warfare are also effective in weeding out ageist bigots before the fact. Most ITs are good at research, and these same skills can save a LOT of time and effort. They can also guide you in writing the perfect resume for a given company.

waltz
waltz

You?re right on with the resume tips. After all, the purpose of the resume is to get the interview; not necessarily the job. But then the rub comes in, you get the interview appointment and when you walk into the room you get ?the look? (Holy cow, I?m interviewing my uncle!). The interviewer had assumed, from the well-crafted resume, that I was late 30?s early 40?s. They weren?t prepared for a candidate who was on the backside of 50! I finally got a job because of ?reverse discrimination?. That is, they wanted to hire an older guy because they were fed up with younger new hires who wanted a promotion within a year in a firm where there wasn?t a management fast track. Prior younger guys would last less than a year and then they?d move on to greener pastures. Unfortunately, there aren?t that many prospective employers who have developed the wisdom to look beyond a candidate?s age.

stephen.baulcomb
stephen.baulcomb

Yep the 4 points are valid, as 59 year old male I have found you can get jobs as long as you are not picky about what you do and I find contracting the eaiser option such that I have worked as PCB assembler / wireman then in HR admin doing reports in excel and COGNOS, then Data structuring databasing, and I am having fun - so never give up and it is right age is just a number!

teekae
teekae

As the spouse of an "older & wiser" network administrator and recipient of all the tech stuff he can WOOT, I wish all the techs who keep us USERS productive a wonderful System Administrator Appreciation Day! May your pizzas be hot and your Mt.Dew ice cold!

cd003284
cd003284

Don't forget that such discrimination is often black-letter-law illegal, and even when it falls into gray areas, it's often still actionable, in or out of the system. My usual technique is: Investigate the company: history, executives, connections, everything. Most companies and people have vulnerabilities. Get the case on the public record; once it is, publicize it as broadly and deeply as possible in all the right areas to create the most pressure and embarrassment possible. Don't let up. Ideally, you want to take this to where the company's execs can't go anywhere or do anything without being remminded of or confronted by what they've done. And don't forget politics. Catching the right pol or poll, trend or case, story or series, can make all the difference. I know this is a scorched earth approach, but ageism stinks as much as sexism or racism, so it should be treated as mercilessly. The current environment is "let's see if we can get away with this." If we fight back, hard enough and often enough, it'll change.

jdriggers
jdriggers

I am what I am! Old as dirt but there is a lot of experience you can get at birth. I was hired at my present job because the kids do not know the basics of real hardware. They believe everything is on one board and if you swap that board, then their involement is over. I did interview last year for an interesting job where the other candidate was 10 to 15 years younger, he also was the one they chose. I knew my chances were slim when I over heard one of the three interveiwers, all women, said he's a good looking older guy. Got the impression they liked what they saw but wanted younger meat. :-) Anyhow, I'm happy where I am. They understand it's not easy finding a VAX Engineer, and if you do, he's OLD. God save the Queen, she's and old biddy too.

DoubleTyme
DoubleTyme

The best thing I've done with my resume is throw it away! It saves all the headaches of 'applying for a job'. Instead, I spend my time in the job application loop networking in the business sector, with peers, chamber of commerce, not-for-profit organizations, etc. Haven't submitted a resume in years, haven't needed to-people employ you from your network!

deICERAY
deICERAY

It's been 4 years since my position was eliminated. I'm now 63 and forced to retire to have at least SOME income. My resume has dates because it is supposed to be HONEST. The truest fact in your article was that age is the most influential negative factor. I have no false hope of finding work; if you're over 55, your chances of finding meaningful, adequate work are ZERO. There is no societal imperative to honor age - just look around. America barely has a 'society' anymore; it's a pool of pubescent narcissism - not that I make that a subject of the rarely occurring interview - but that is the reality.

Osiyo53
Osiyo53

Hmmmm ... I'm not sure that making an attempt to hide one's age is a worthwhile tactic. Let's face it, sooner or later whoever is going to figure out some approximation of your age. Even if you dress in the latest fashions, color your hair to cover the gray, and get some plastic surgery and/or botox shots done. People who do this don't look like a youngster, they just look like an old fart trying to look younger. "After all, how can you prove that a hiring manager, in the privacy of his office, took one look at the college graduation date on your resume and tossed it?" Doesn't make any difference if the hiring manager does this in the privacy of his office, or not. If the person is inclined to not want to hire you because of your age, he or she can do so just as well after meeting you in person. After all, if he or she can't think up some legitimate excuse, that would stand up to scrutiny if you filed some sort of complaint about not being selected for hiring. Then the person is dumber than a box of rocks. I was over 40 when I retired out of the U.S. Navy and went job hunting for a new career. Chuckle ... I remember that by then, the guys who worked for me while I was still on active duty thought I was older than Moses. And often joked about my age, would offer to help me when I faced any physical task, etc. I took it in good humor, giving back as good as I got. The fact was that I'd maintained myself in good health and physical fitness. And could outperform, physically, more than half em. I was a little bothered by my age, since in my earlier years, I'd have left em ALL behind eating my dust. But I mentally adjusted so as to be satisfied with the current state of affairs. However, once I retired from the Navy and was looking for work, I found the civilians a bit harder to deal with. The Navy guys were more open and honest. They'd have simply asked me, if I was seeking to do a particular job, something like, "Geez, you're getting a bit long in the tooth. Are you SURE you can handle this job?" And if I'd answered affirmatively, they would have let me have a shot at it. With the understanding that if I failed to measure up, I'd have been bumped out of that job and wouldn't have a leg to stand on to complain about it. But civilians I ran into while job hunting were neither so straight forward nor so honest. Mostly. They'd drum up this or that "plausible" excuse. I won't bother to list em, anyone older who has had to seek a new job has heard em all before. But I wasn't fooled. You could tell looking into their eyes and watching the body language what the real reason was. Bothered me a lot, at first, but I'm a stubborn type. Just kept plugging away. I figured that sooner or later I'd run into someone who'd want the long and broad experience I brought with me. Not to mention the fact that I'd done one of those things you advised. I'd kept my skills current. While preparing to retire from the Navy, I'd taken some continuing education courses. And had checked out the civilian work world, and found that there were some certifications, etc they seemed to value which MIGHT be helpful in convincing someone that I was still progressing and advancing in my choice of profession. So I picked a couple of likely ones, studied up, and took the required testing and work history evaluations in order to get those certifications. In and of themselves, I felt they were pretty meaningless pieces of paper. I could do the tasks those pieces of paper "certified", just as well without those pieces of paper. EXCEPT ... that they showed I wasn't stagnant in my career, I was achieving NEW things. Anyway, eventually, after being turned down for more jobs than I can remember, for more excuses than I can remember, I found myself in front of a fellow who WAS looking for long, broad experience. He did express a bit of reservation about my age. Because the job in the offing would entail, at least for the first few years some very long hours and a LOT of travel. i.e. I never worked less than a 65 hour week for the next 5 years. The travel was by automobile and I averaged about 180,000 miles per year. And it was common place for me to have to go 24 to 36 hours at a time before being able to hit my bed. Due to the need to get whereever, then take care of whatever problem, then get on to someplace else ... repeat all the above as necessary. But this fellow was forthright about things. He mentioned his reservations, asked me if I was up to it. I told him to give me a try. Give me 6 months, if I couldn't perform to his satisfaction in that time ... let me go. I wouldn't object. So he gave me my shot at it. Worked for that company for 10 years. Then moved on for reasons not worth going into here. Next round of job hunting, went through much the same thing, except I was even older. But all the above applied. I'd regularly learned new skills, documented, and broadened my knowledge with new things. Same deal, got passed on by any number of folks, for whatever BS reasons. Until I found myself in front of yet another fellow. Who also expressed a little hesitation about my age. Mentioned, "This is a job where things are constantly changing. What you'll be working with today will be obsolete and old news in 3 years. You'll be expected to be constantly studying and learning new hardware, software, and programming methods/languages all the time. Mostly self study, on your own time. Its a job that's usually a young man's game. Are you sure you want to try it?" I did, and told him so. And we agreed to the same terms. A 6 month probationary period. If I couldn't keep up, let me go. That was 9 years ago, I'm still there. Just an observation. Much is a matter of attitude. At this current job I've seen 2 older workers who were comfortable with their current skills and knowledge, who did not want to deal with constant change and demands to learn new methods and ways. They both balked and resisted change. They no longer work here. Essentially, they obsoleted themselves. Stuck with the old until there was no longer adequate demand for that stuff. Had made no attempt to keep up with the newer stuff. Even tho the company and their direct boss had attempted everything they could to encourage em to do so. At one point, their jobs were simply eliminated and they were sent home. Doesn't matter if you look old and are old. But if you start acting like the old stereotype of, "too old to learn new tricks" ... it IS probably time for you to go home. Or to go find a new type of work.

mark.giblin
mark.giblin

Sorry but that article is a big load of horse. If you were to go to a job skills centre and get assistance with your CV, what your article has just stated flies in the fact of proven facts that employers want an easily read CV which show your work history and in most cases will need an unbroken work history. Your method is only going to find its way in to the waste baskets of those interviewing you. I don't know where you are getting your information from Toni, you certainly need to start looking elsewhere for it as it is not proving (from my point of view) as a reliable source. Maybe in the USA this may be true but here in the UK, your methods will be met with a filing cabinet called the waste bin.

mattohare
mattohare

It seems that a CV is expected to include all the dates, and a full work and educational history from the start of secondary school. They even expect the birthdate, and if you don't put it the manager will spend most of their time trying to calculate it from other things. I'm only 47, but I still have yet to figure out how to get around this.

AV .
AV .

"If you can show that you are constantly learning and moving forward, then you can do your part to dispel the old adage that old dogs can?t learn new tricks". Truer words were never spoken. I think this is how older workers can remain relevant in a youth obsessed society. It shows that your willing and capable of learning new things. I don't think you should leave off dates of employment though. Its likely that you would be asked when you worked there in the interview anyway. De-emphasizing the dates at the end of a functional resume seems like a good way to provide the information so they don't have to ask. Even though I had my first brush with ageism in the workplace at age 40, I turned 55 last year and can already see that my age is playing a big part in the projects I'm given. Instead of getting the plum projects I did in my younger days, I'm getting less critical projects. I'm bothered by that because I've always been into IT for the challenging projects. Instead, those projects are going to younger workers regardless of the outcome. AV

ps.techrep
ps.techrep

Advice sounds like "How to blatantly make it clear that you are hiding something"

nita.3.27
nita.3.27

It doesn't work most of the time. Yo may get through 4-5 rounds of technical, functional, management etc. but the moment your age gets reveled, there is a high probability that the interview doesn't go further. Ageism is very much alive..

ionplesa
ionplesa

"Don?t include your birth date, graduation date, or, if you can avoid it, dates of employment", what's the point? One HR consultant asked me at the end of my interview: "and by the way what is your age?". Should I add that this was the last time when I met him.

MikeG3b
MikeG3b

That's good news! We all love success stories. I especially liked hearing your recommendations and confirmation of Toni's suggestions. It gives a lot of credibility to hear from someone on the high side of 60 chiming in. I have certain issues with guys who are, literally, 20 years younger than you telling us that gray hair doesn't count, they've never encountered age discrimination, etc. What BS, eh? I went gray in my 40s -- my dad's hair was pure white by the time he reached 50, so it appears to be hereditary. If the need arises, I'll remember your suggestions. Thanks very much.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Tony is right. Contact the multi-nationals in your area and highlight your language skills. Then let them know you can also do computers...

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

If you are tri-lingual why in Cthulu's name messing about doing a job any dweeb with frontpage can do? Don't know whether you can do the move, but some of the big european firms would love you. Seriously look for multi-lingual jobs, stick the naff IT crap in as a bonus ball.

wil2008
wil2008

"move forward WITH A POSITIVE ATTIUDE" sounds very good, thanks. After leaving a prestigious company some seven years ago, I focused on my school work, studied hard, got two masters successively, and acquainted myself with the most current enterprise application development technologies. Still not a single decent offer appeared until four years ago. But that contract ended after one year. The reality is that there must be many extra things.... I wish I can hear more practical things besides "positive something". Thank you.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

However I had four roles and the company went thru two name changes. So I wrote them in as four employments, which they are really. See if you can do the same (honestly !), that way you don't look like ypu've eebn doing one thing for 25 years, but if some arse says you move around a lot, you can look puzzled and point out the continuity.

MikeG3b
MikeG3b

I guess it depends on the new positions you're seeking and what they're looking for. Right off you know there's no way to hide a long time with a previous employer. You have to be straight-up about that. I'm sure a lot of companies may be reluctant because you might seem -- at least initially -- unable to adapt to a new environment with different processes and ways of getting things done. Some companies may prefer someone they assume will be easier to train. However, there's no getting around that you are a solid employee. If your former employer kept you all that time, and you stayed with them all that time, your credentials as a solid, reliable person are impeccable. That'd be the angle I'd work in my resume and presentation. I'd definately cite situations where you adapted to changes within your former employer, progress you made while there, etc., etc. I bet you could put together a compelling story that'd come across as a real find for a new employer.

Englebert
Englebert

Dont assume this, cause if you do, you wont get anywhere. I've seen some IT folks with 20+ years experience in one company get jobs. e.g. an Insurance company looking for an IT person with Insurance experience would jump at that person.

g01d4
g01d4

I also wonder about the study. Was physical age really the issue for those looking for a job or was it resume age? My guess is that survey respondents would be biased to opt for the former.

Cely
Cely

That's always supposing we get time to eat them in between cleaning up the mess the users make... LOL

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

because of my VAX/VMS experience (admin and developer). I could probably get another one reasonably easily as well. There's still a good bit of it about. Might be old, but it does what it says on the tin, just like us.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

to attitude. :D Some like it, some don't. Making your self obsolete is not just something old farts can be guilty of. There are still people out there who are still and have done nothing but VB6. A constant acquisition of tools (even if they are old ones) is much more than pandering to some clueless twit who thinks version 9 is completely different to version 8.

Old Disti
Old Disti

What may be the case in the UK is as a generalization, the opposite of what takes place in the US. As a well known senior manager at 38 in one of the top 5 companies in my industry, I was excessed at 42. After several interviews, the euphemism used most was "You seem too set in your ways" and "you are so oerqualified, you won't stay here very long...". The totally ego driven management "teams" in corporate America believe that they need to indoctrinate new and young employees to think "their way". They depend on their existing management to perpetuate the corporate culture and "develope the future...". Not a "new" old employee who doesn't understand our way of doing business. After all, we are already successful! Unless you record the interview(s), not necessarily a bad idea, you will never be able to prove discrimination. Me? I still crave the "security" of a regular paycheck, but after moving 3 times, I have for the last 15 years run my own business. Good years, bad years, very bad years,... I wish anyone with the opportunity to do so, to record all of their interviews. If enough people did this maybe the US govenment might see age discrimination as an issue worth addressing. Good Luck.

steve
steve

When a company is looking to fill a well paid position in IT they are going to get a shed-load of applicants. Probably in excess of 100, which in most major companies will got to the Human Resources department. Now you've got to thin that pile somehow, so on the first sift through by the HR Drones they're looking for reasons to get rid. The HR drone wouldn't recognise a server at ten paces, or know *anything* about various programming languages, but they don't need to. They just skim briefly through the pile and get rid of as many as possible, and one of the filters is definitely age related. If you're looking for a new job at 55+ then you're unlikely to get past the first sift. When the pile is down to about twenty then someone will actually read the cv, and dare I say it, look at the 'Personal Statement'. Then they'll pick the top 5 or 6 they like the look of and invite them for interview. All the other applicants won't even get the courtesy of a brush-off letter....as postage costs money. This is why most job applications from the over 55's drop into the famous Black Hole, never to be seen or heard of again. As Tony has repeatedly said, there are exceptions to that rule, and not everyone over 55 is unemployable. But don't get your hopes up. Cynic? Moi?

Rog7
Rog7

Redundancy hit me at 51 but I easily found a string of contracts as an IT Consultant until 9/11. A week earlier, aged 55, my contract with a large British consultancy for a major US firm had just been extended a further 6 months, but 3 days after 9/11 I was given a weeks notice. OK, you say, that happens to contractors. However, I've been unable to find any other work since then at any level within IT. The only reason I can believe is that, having received no technical training since 2000, I was rapidly becoming out-of-date. 9/11 may have ended my career, but all is not lost... early retirement is great!

bigjude
bigjude

Well I'm old enough to have lived in the days where you used your initials to disguise that you were a woman. Generally you got the job. But there was one remarkable incident when, having applied for a marketing manager's position at a company now long defunct, I arrived for the interview and heard the boss tell the receptionist:"What do you mean he's a woman" She must have nodded because the next words were "Well tell her to f..k off!!!!" These days I'm supposed to be retired but seem to spend most of my time working and, believe me, they pay me for it even though I don't really want it. I think the answer to ageism is to bite the bullet and work for yourself. It immediately makes you into an expert and experts can have grey hair. Mine (check my picture) was light brown until recently when I stopped dying it because I didn't look old enough. Judy Sainsbury

ccollins
ccollins

Toni has probably not tried to apply for a job lately because most companies now have a web site that asks the questions and will not let you advance to the next page if you do not put in the dates of employment, college graduation, etc. The days of sending a resume or even giving one to someone are about over. With the adoption of software that scans the resume before it ever gets to a human are in full force at most companies who solicit applications using the web. It is almost impossible to just submit a resume. They want it all coded up front, and you just know that older workers will be eliminated. Last year I even worked for a company who did not use their own HR department to screen applicants. The "candidate screening" company gave the hiring manager the "top five" applicants to call for interviews. If none of those panned out, he could request the next batch. He had no say at the first level of screening.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

and came back with a bit of slang and 1 - 10. If I'd spent a bit of time in class instead of the bars, I could have survived the .dot com bust and possibly stayed over there on the silly money I was frittering away on 'erm recreational pursuits. Multilingual with IT opens up lots of doors.

wil2008
wil2008

Not quite a well known senior manager, but I was at least a member of "senior" staff, before 38, in the biggest local ICT company. Excessed before 40. Then spent some years for two masters' degrees (earned with hard work, not just a commodity), one business one more technical while thoroughly updating application development knowledge. Still short of a job through traditional job hunting. Was 15 years of experience too frightening? I never saw a job ad requiring more than 10 years. Starting a business is a different thing from doing a case in the business school. Far different from Silicon Valley, here venture capital is too far away. (If possible, can Old Disti disclose what his/her business is about?) It was through words of mouth that I could be back again on application development work. I had the opportunities to interview candidates of system architects and system analysts. Some of them were very experienced and had handled large-scale projects but none of them showed updated knowledge of application development which impressed me. My boss picked the youngest one of the lowest cost out of my recommendation list. I wish them all good luck!

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

[i]...one of the filters is definitely age related. If you're looking for a new job at 55+ then you're unlikely to get past the first sift.[/i] What happens when the job is for an experienced Cobol developer? They throw away everything from over-55s and they're likely to be left with a single candidate who remembers hearing about Cobol in a "History of Data Processing" class...

AV .
AV .

My hubby has just been laid off from his IT job. I know if I leave my current job as a Net Admin, it will likely be my last IT job in that capacity. Even though I look like I'm in my 40's and healthy, I've mellowed with age. You just can't hide that. Age 55 is a curse if you're looking for work in the IT field. Even if you keep up your skills. Ageism is alive and well in the workplace. AV

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

resume. I asked them why (as it's against the law) and they said they used it with my name to uniquely identify me in their database. Why they expected me to believe this wank, I have no idea. Aside from having an IQ above -10, I'm a client server database developer. Mind you they probably don't know what that is....

lq
lq

"The day I was born was the day I walked into this office". Then flutter 50 year old eyelashes, and assure the target that Ph.D. means Post Hole Digger, so that this keyboarding job would be a real upward career move.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

It's illegal now. I had to go on a course to make sure I didn't ask it. They didn't even want questions, like when did you first use or how long have you used X. Not big on those two anyway, more interested in what people know now and their capacity to increase that.

ascott
ascott

I was asked in a job interview why I did not put my age on my CV. I said it was a deliberate policy as many firms were agist. He had nothing to say to that. I didn't get the job of course - kinda proved my point.

santeewelding
santeewelding

Would guide you to see that their estimation is their complete, autonomous prerogative, and, their problem, not yours.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

proxy. Only a total idiot would fall for crap like that. What really annoyed me was their estimation of my intelligence.

williaa6
williaa6

If they need your DOB to uniquely identify you, next time try telling them it is 01/01/2001. Nothing will uniquely identify your better than that date of birth. If their face turns a shade purple, then they weren't being entirely honest with you, were they. Alex of Oz

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