JEVS Career Solutions for 55+ provides mature Philadelphia job seekers with professional job readiness workshops, one-on-one job coaching, and advocacy. For more information on how we can help you, register for our next free Information Session, which are held via Zoom videoconference. See our events page to RSVP for an upcoming session.
Most job seekers who are 55 years old and older has expressed some concerns about their age; they wonder if age will play a negative factor in being selected for a position. Well, I have good news! The age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) forbids age discrimination against people who are 40 or older (U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that age discrimination doesn’t exist or happen. Consider these points as you pursue a job search, consider career change, or think about your second career.
What is considered age discrimination?
Age discrimination involves treating an applicant or employee less favorably because of his or her age.
Avoid Age Discrimination by Standing Out in the Job Market
- Emphasize your experience. Most older job seekers already have lots of work experience and qualifications to bring to an employer. With that said, who would be most qualified for the job than a person with years of experience? You Got it! You are the most qualified person for the job! Therefore, make sure to highlight your memorable work experience on your resume and cover letter.
How do I highlight my skills?
Compare your resume against the employer’s job posting. Make a list of all your skills that match the job’s requirements and revise your resume to reflect. Also, do not forget to add your transferable skills such as creative development, leadership, effective communication, time management and managerial skills. These skills are useful for almost any job.
- Consider developing new skills. Think about any skills that would be necessary for the job, but that you either lack or have not used in a while. If you find that your hard skills are a little rusty, take some time to enroll into developmental classes.
Where can I get skill advancement assistance?
The JEVS Career Solutions for 55+ Program can assist you with registering for free skill enhancement workshops and training programs. For more information contact Yolanda Burnett, Program Coordinator at 267-449-0192.
- Network. Over the years you may have developed some great personal as well as business relationships. Try going through your list of contacts to see if there is anyone that you can reach out to about employment opportunities. Let them know about your job search journey and you will be surprised with all the positive feedback.
How can I increase my network?
Consider joining (or rejoining) a professional associations in your field. Revamp your LinkedIn profile. Send a letter to your friends and family and let them know about your job search. Networking is an ideal way to make connections that could lead to a job.
- Follow your passion. If you are beginning a second career, try doing something that you have always dreamed of doing. Perhaps you have always wanted to work with animals – if so, then search for pet shelters seeking help. Maybe you have always wanted to work with children– consider a teacher’s position. Carefully think about what you want to do with this period of your life and follow your passion!
- Do not Give Up! According to the Federal Reserve “most of the increase in employment since 2000 (approximately 17 million jobs) has been among workers aged 55 and older. In 2017, 39% of people 55 and over were working, compared to 31% in 2000. The increase is due to the aging of the baby boomer generation and isn’t expected to last. Workers 55 and over are expected to be almost 24% of the workforce through 2027.” So, there you have it! Mature job seekers are in demand and the 55+ Program is here to assist you in reaching your job search goals.
If you feel like you have been discriminated against based on your age, please contact:
U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:
For Deaf/Hard of Hearing callers:
1-844-234-5122 (ASL Video Phone)
We hope that you’ve found these tips to be enlightening and informative. If you have any questions, need support with your résumé, job leads and professional career coaching, please feel free to contact us about our free services (generously funded by the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging–PCA):
> Read our other job search articles in the “Mature Workers” series here.
Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, JEVS Career Solutions for 55+ program understands that finding a job can be frustrating. However, we’re pleased to report that employers are hiring! Therefore, we encourage you to be patient, pace yourself and seek professional support. Also, continue to connect with positive people who are on the same journey as yourself.