3 Tips for Job-Seeking Boomers Hoping to Combat Age Discrimination

3 Tips To Combat Age Discrimination
Mature businessman at the hiring interview in the office
Mature businessman at the hiring interview in the office

By Ritika Trikha for U.S. News and World Report

Recently, the research and consulting firm Millennial Branding firm teamed up with the career networking site Beyond.com to survey more than 5,000 job seekers about their job search. And they found that Baby Boomers -- folks in their late forties to sixties -- are having the toughest time finding jobs compared to other generations.

According to the study's findings, Boomers are searching the longest compared to Generation X or Gen Y. In fact, 25 percent of Boomers have been hunting for jobs for more than a year, while only 17 percent of Gen X and 10 percent of Gen Y have waited more than one year to land a job.

Even more importantly, 65 percent of Boomers feel employers have discriminated against them because of their age.

These results aren't a huge shocker -- there are plenty of reasons why employers might be wary of bringing older folks on board.

"They cost too much, might not seem relevant with the times, or don't fit with the corporate culture (if it's a young startup for instance)," suggests Dan Schawbel, a Gen Y expert and founder of Millennial Branding.

So what can you do about it? Schawbel offers some tactful tips for older folks looking to combat age discrimination:

1. Don't give away your age in the resume. Schawbel suggests you pull up your resume and get rid of any work history that didn't take place in the last 10 years.

Next, it's time to do away with any college graduation dates and "potentially eliminate all dates," Schawbel says. He also suggests you downplay your job titles. "Especially if they're a sign that you are older, such as an EVP title," he says.

Bonus tip: "On your LinkedIn profile, don't include your picture if it portrays you as looking old," Schawbel adds.

2. Keep your skills current. This is a given -- no matter how many years of experience you've had in your field, there's always more to learn. Technology is changing rapidly and this impacts every industry.

Show employers that you're eager to adapt and keep learning by seeking out certification and classes on the latest software, database, or whichever application bolsters efficiency in your field. The educational media site Open Culture offers a great comprehensive list of 500 free online educational resources to help you stay relevant.

3. Networking is your best bet. As Boomers, you've developed a larger network over the years than any other generation. Use this to your advantage by "tapping your network," Schawbel says. It's "the best path to finding work." In fact, in their study, Schawbel and his team found that Boomers are job searching online more than younger generations, and that "they are especially using LinkedIn."

If you're not leveraging both online and offline networks, you're missing out on huge opportunities. "It's important that [Boomers] use all of their resources in order to get referrals," Schawbel says. "It's their biggest advantage over younger workers."

Ritika Trikha is a writer for CareerBliss, an online career community dedicated to helping people find happiness in the workplace. Check out CareerBliss for millions of job listings, company reviews, salary information, and a free career happiness assessment.

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