“I’m worried that the boss will hire someone far younger than me,” is a statement often heard from older job hunters. In truth, chances are that younger candidates are in hot pursuit of that dream opportunity, and the issue of age in hiring practices is a real one.
In the face of this competition, here are a few tips to turn your years of experience to your advantage:
1. Demonstrate passion for what you do. Lean forward a little in your chair, speak in a clear but animated fashion, and explain how something specific in the role that you’re discussing gets your juices flowing. Share a previous relevant experience, and how personally satisfying that work made you feel. Demonstrate your perspective by relating your role to something larger than just the daily responsibilities. For example, you might acknowledge how the company’s products or services make people’s lives better.
Your enthusiasm and passion for excellence will go a long way toward easing any employer’s worry that you’re seeking a paycheck to ease your way toward social security, rather than to have an opportunity to remain productive. What manager doesn’t want to hire someone who brings a real sense of purpose and importance to what they do, day in and day out?
2. Know how you will respond to inappropriate questions. If the human resources department is doing its job, interviewers will be well coached in what questions or topics can’t be broached in a job interview. Nonetheless, some ill-informed and prejudiced individuals still possess management roles. Don’t go into the interview overly defensive, or with a chip on your shoulder.
There are any number of ways for an interviewer to misstep, and there is no “one right way” to respond. If something inappropriate such as age-related bias comes to the fore, try to turn the situation around. For example, if an interviewer begins to focus in on your age, you can speak calmly about how your knowledge, combined with your years of experience, prepares you to respond to situations with confidence, expertise, and without drama.
3. Don’t assume that anyone else knows what you take for granted. Often, highly skilled and experienced people assume that everyone knows what they do, or that they do it the same way. Or, you may feel that the respect you have earned in the past should somehow transfer into a new environment. Not so! With each new employer you’re starting from square one. You need to demonstrate your character, abilities, what specifically you did, and how you did it.
Get ready for the interview by stepping back and breaking your work history down to its most basic elements. Think about who you interacted with, the size and scope of your work, plus all the steps it took to get from point A to point B. Turn this analysis into stories, each of which can highlight some aspect of your knowledge, skill set, and the value you bring with you to your next employer.
You have a track record, and it demonstrates your capacity to create further accomplishments if given the opportunity. When you share stories of your successes over the years, you turn your history to your advantage.
Your role as a job hunter is to educate your interviewer about what you did, how you did it, and the difference you made in your work place. When you do this well and with enthusiasm, your age becomes an asset that makes you an extremely attractive candidate.
Arnie Fertig is the head coach of JOBHUNTERCOACH.COM, where he utilizes his extensive background in HR Staffing and as owner of a recruiting company to help mid-career job-hunters land their next job. Arnie provides one-to-one coaching services to individuals throughout the U.S. in all aspects of the job hunt, including: resume writing, personal branding, utilizing social media, enhancing networking skills, preparing for interviews, and negotiating compensation.
Avoiding the salary question landmines from employers is often a tricky part of every interview process. It is also an aspect that tends to give job seekers sleepless nights. But if you are aware of the mistakes that you are most likely to make, then you could always dodge the question effectively and turn the job in your favor. Here are top ten salary negotiations mistakes that job seekers generally tend to make.
Never settle for a salary which is not financially enough for you. This is where you fail to recognize your potential, thus accepting an offer which will add to your disadvantages.
It is never a good idea to divulge your salary expectations at the start of the interview. Review the job responsibilities, the working hours and other aspects. It is also wise if you can dodge the salary expectation question.
During salary negotiation, the spotlight should be on your values and not your needs. Ask yourself what value you hold to the company. You will get an answer soon.
Rejecting the offer soon – Never do the mistake of rejecting the job offer where you are offered a lower salary. This is where the entire act of negotiation comes into play. Ask for time and look at the pros and cons. If it is a prospective company loaded with incentives, then it would be foolish to reject the offer.
Handling the negotiations yourself – Never include anyone else in the negotiation process with your employer. Play it professionally and with politeness.
Inadequate research – There are a lot of websites today that offer advice on salary negotiation and the correct amount of pay for each position. Always do proper research prior to the interview.
Accepting the job quickly – Just like rejecting the offer soon, accepting the job without proper thinking could land you in serious troubles. Take your time and think it out.
Focus on the counteroffer – When you make the counteroffer in case of salary unhappiness, choose the battle areas wisely such as relocation expenses and incentive packages.
In writing – Always make sure that you ask for the complete job profile and the job offer in writing. This is to ensure that you are never cheated at any point of time.
Take the pleasure in waiting – Instead of pitching the salary right at the beginning, wait and then take the appropriate time to make the pitch. If you are the last candidate standing, then it couldn’t be a better time.
Bowing low to salary questions and negotiation warfare does not fit your profile. So stick to the above factors and ensure that you get what you deserve.
Once upon a time, networking meant going to conferences and getting out there and meeting people. LinkedIn, however, has made networking on a global basis much easier and effective, allowing users to network with people worldwide from the convenience of their own home or office.
LinkedIn has quickly established itself as one of the top social networking sites for individuals and business owners who want to network with others, to widen their customer base, and to keep on top of what’s going on in their respective industries.
Succeeding at marketing with LinkedIn requires time and effort and trying the various methods for marketing with the popular social networking platform is important to find what works for your business.
1. Sell Your Skills.
Whether you opt for an individual or a company profile, your profile is the best way to market your product or service and to sell your skills. A LinkedIn profile is essentially an extended resume that includes a photo and recommendations from others. Fill it out completely to get the most of it from a marketing perspective.
2. Have others Sell You.
One of the most effective ways to win new business is to get recommendations from colleagues and current and former clients. LinkedIn allows you to request recommendations for each position in which you’ve worked and for your college experience. To take full advantage of marketing on LinkedIn, gather as many recommendations as you possibly can.
3. Position Yourself as an Expert.
LinkedIn offers an ideal platform to position yourself as an expert in your field or industry. In addition to individual profiles, LinkedIn allows users to post company profiles. Ideally, if you run a business, you’ll have one of each.
People want to work with experts in their respective fields. To build your credibility and share your expertise, become active in answering questions in LinkedIn’s “Question and Answer” section. Every question you answer will become a permanent part of your profile, allowing connections and others to see your wealth of knowledge.
Be sure to also join related groups and start answering members’ questions.
4. Network Offline.
Networking online provides great convenience, but sometimes you just can’t compare it to face-to-face networking. Find networking events in your city by looking at the “Networking Events” on LinkedIn. Major cities, like Los Angeles and Cleveland, also have their own listings of networking events.
You may also want to host your own networking event, which you can then market on LinkedIn.
5. Link to other Social Networking Accounts.
Keeping on top of all of your social networking accounts can be challenging, but LinkedIn makes it easy to merge your Twitter account and your blog with your profile. You can sync your Twitter account and your blog with LinkedIn, so both are automatically updated when you publish something new. Signing up for syncing takes less than a minute. Interested connections and others can then easily click on your Twitter address, your website, or your blog to learn more.
LinkedIn can prove an extremely valuable marketing tool, if you’re willing to get involved and be proactive. Take some time to look through the website, to read what LinkedIn recommends for what works and what doesn’t work, and invest the necessary time to craft a strong professional profile and to establish your expertise to enjoy marketing success on LinkedIn.
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The other day, I was talking to a recruiting friend of mine who is especially known for his candor about talent acquisition issues, and we were comparing notes about our resume frustrations.
As a career industry professional, I advise clients to NEVER lie on a resume. Yet many people abandon the truth and move into uncharted areas of creative fiction when it comes to discussing their career background. And believe me, they come up with some incredible whoppers.
But as a resume writer, I am not there to act as a judge/jury to my client’s work history. My work does require asking in-depth questions to clarify what the client is telling me, but it’s not my place (since they hired me) to act as the police officer investigating the truth to their claims.
But you know what?
I can TOTALLY tell when a client is lying to me about their accomplishments in the consultation. They won’t make eye contact, and can’t get as specific as they need to, and will do anything to change the subject. It’s that clear.
If I can spot these stinkers a mile away, you can only imagine what it must be like for human resource folks.
Given the fact that it’s their job to separate fact from fiction, they absolutely specialize in reading through the clouds of smoke to find out where the real BS lies.
They won’t explain to you why they aren’t calling you in for an interview. They simply move on to the next candidate versus telling you what you are doing wrong.
So, you should NEVER (ever) lie on your resume simply because you WILL probably be found out sooner… rather than later. And this could have long-reaching repercussions on your reputation and career brand, as borne out by the recent media flurry over the inaccuracies included in a certain large web company executive.
But the flip side of this sword is that you can’t ever tell the truth in your resume, either.
As much as we have to not lie about ANYTHING in our resume, we also can’t tell the truth about what really happened at a previous job:
That you had the worst boss in the world that created such a toxic environment that you were sick in your stomach every morning going into work.
That you did your job right, but due to an idiot co-worker’s incompetence, they bungled a major project that had you as the project manager.
That you were mislead about what the job involved and didn’t know it wasn’t a fit until you got in there, and hated it so much that you had to leave.
That the company wasn’t exactly forthright about the state of their finances and went belly up.
There are a million stories out there that many workers wish they had the opportunity to explain themselves, but resumes, being the inflexible documents that they are, force all of us to walk down a narrow road that provides no space whatsoever to explain what REALLY happened, or at least have an opportunity to provide your version.
Wouldn’t it be great if the resume could evolve into a 100% ACCURATE document that reflects the truth without creating a need to lie?
What do you think? Should the resume be made into a completely honest document?