|Careers & Employment Information|
Gray Hair, Black Prospects
If you're reading this article, I'm sure I don't have to tell you that discrimination has become much more sneaky than in the past. No one comes out and say, "We're not hiring you because you're too old." Instead, discrimination is subtle and equally damaging.
"She seems set in her ways."
"I'm not sure he can work for a 37 year old."
"What would she have in common with a group of 20 somethings."
"Why would we want someone who would be taking a step backward in their career? When the market picks up won't they be looking for greener pastures?"
And, I know the speech about how federal law requires that firm's use bona fide occupational qualifications (BFOQ) as their criteria for evaluating people, yet, in the trenches of the interview, how can you actually ever prove that you were discriminated against? After all, who is your competition and who's to say that their skills and experience don't better fit an employer's needs?
The four examples I've offered are actually pretty easy to defuse if you remember that no one is ever going to ask you, "So I'm 37 and you're 58 is it? How do you feel about working for a younger manager?" You just have to pace yourself in their seat for a moment and think like they do.
Did you submit a resume that shows you as a Director or manager of a function when they were looking for a staff person? Why would you accept a lesser job is left unanswered unless you do so in the email you send with the resume (or cover letter if you use another submittal medium)? For example, a director has not been asked to execute the functionality of one of his managers for many years. How do you actually meet the needs of the employer? Why are you qualified? Answer that with the resume; don't expect to get that opportunity at the interview-you may not get that far.
Can you work for someone (much) younger than you? The question implied in the question is whether you would have authority issues with a younger manager. Answer: After you've had an opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the role being interviewed for, proactively, comment something along the lines of, "This may not be a question in your mind, but I would like to dispel it if it is. You may look at me and wonder whether I can take direction from someone who is younger than me. Let me say that I've worked in organizations where younger workers had trouble taking direction from their manager who was older so I understand how destructive a bad attitude can be. I want to assure you that if I ever have a question about a decision you make that I'll ask you about it personally.
Are you flexible or rigid in your thinking? Some workers, young or old, are inflexible. Yet older workers carry that label because we associate older people with inflexibility in the culture at large. Again, being proactive is the key to diffusing the bias. "Joining a new company is like moving to a new country. Everyone is different; the ways things are done or responded to are often different. There's a new language to learn. I've stepped into new jobs and new roles on several previous occasions and been able to learn the lay of the land and meet or surpass objectives."
What would you have in common with a bunch of 20-somethings? They are suggesting to you that they are afraid that there might be a cultural mismatch between you, the mother or father figure and the rebellious children. "What is the group like? (your eyes light up as they tell you about the team). "Wow, sounds terrific! Who are the natural leaders of the group? Are you concerned that I'm going to act like a no-it-all, act like they're father (or mother) and try to put out their creativity or just not be willing to go for drinks with them?" By putting everything on the table for discussion in a non-confrontational way you have an opportunity to get the interviewer to share concerns and respond to them with a smile and an answer.
Success on any interview involves placing yourself in the employer's chair and addressing the tangible and intangible concerns they might have about you and your experience better than anyone else. If you take the time to prepare for questions related to your age and your ability to fit as well as you do questions about your experience I am confident that you will get better results on your interviews.
Jeff Altman has successfully assisted many corporations identify management leaders and staff in technology, accounting, finance, sales, marketing and other disciplines since 1971. He is also co-founder of Your Next Job, a networking group focused on assisting technology professionals with their job search, a certified leader of the ManKind Project, a not for profit organization that assists men with life issues, and a practicing psychotherapist. For additional job hunting or hiring tips, go to http://www.newyorkmetrotechnologyjobs.com If you would like Jeff and his firm to assist you with hiring staff, or if you would like help with a strategic job change, send an email to him at email@example.com (If you're looking for a new position, include your resume).
Jobseekers! Look For Smoke, Not Fire
"If you always do what you've always done, you will always get what you've always received," said some wise person. This is certainly true when it comes to job-hunting, especially during a "sucky" economy. How many times have you applied to a job on Monster.com? Now ask yourself, "How many other people have applied for the same position?" The numbers are discouraging I assure you. Should this keep you from applying to jobs online? By no means, job boards are a necessary part of the process. However, if you limit your jobsearch to seeking only those jobs that you are qualified for then you are making a mistake. Am I suggesting that you do a "shotgun" effect with your resume and apply to as many jobs as you can hoping that by some miraculous twist of fate you catch a recruiter's eye? No... and yes, in a way.
Job or Career
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Getting A Leg Up
Legging Up Your Competition
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As many law enforcement candidates can vouch for, taking the police entrance exam can be a stressful and highly competitive experience. I decided to research some preparation web sites and purchased several E-books on the topic to get a better understanding of what it takes to become a police officer. One thing that I quickly realized was that there were plenty of sources of material available for anyone seriously interested in a future in law enforcement.
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Considering a Career Change?
Are you thinking about a career change? Many people do this because of specific problems or difficulties. Others want to make such a change because of some growing, generalized dissatisfaction. A career change is becoming more common. A few decades ago this kind of change was considered inappropriate. People were thought to be "job-hoppers" when they moved from job to job. People with this behavior were thought to be unstable and without loyalty. But now, changing your job or changing your career is generally considered to be a normal way to advance in work.
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The Interviewable Resume
It is rumored that the only word William Shakespeare wrote on his resume was "Available." We'll probably never know if that is true. But it raises an interesting question. How much information is too much and how much is too little when dealing with resume copy?
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CV Writing ? How to Write a CV
A winning CV has 2 objectives: To illustrate your strengths and maximise your chances of getting through to interview and to put factual information, such as dates, places, names together in a presentable and readable form. Focal Point It is claimed that the human eyes are naturally drawn to a focal point one third down from the top of the page. Therefore, put your most useful information in this area. It might be your Profile, Key Skills, Professional Qualifications or details of your most recent employment. You can choose whichever you think is most important and relevant to your application. Always get a second opinion when you have put your CV together. It is difficult to be objective about oneself. Presentation It is often thought that a CV should be fitted on to one side of A4. This can be difficult if you are a mature applicant with a long employment history. If you need to go on to a second page make sure that the CV is spread out over 2 whole pages, not one and a half pages as this looks messy. As a 'rule of thumb' there should be more white than black on a page to make it easier to read. Always write a rough draft first. It can be as long as you like as you will edit it later. Always start with your Career History as this will highlight your Key Skills and help you write your Profile. Once you have compiled your draft copy you must edit it. 1. Take out anything that will not help you get where you want to be. 2. Write in the 'third' person as much as possible keeping 'I' to a minimum 3. Never use the past tense e.g. use "supporting senior management" rather than "supported senior management". 4. Use short sharp sentences cutting out any waffle and jargon. Headings Name Print your name in bold type at the centre top of your CV. If there is any doubt as to which is your surname, e.g. James Martin, indicate by using capitals or underlining. Address Top left of CV. Full address including post code. Telephone Top Right of CV. Full dialing code and daytime and evening numbers if possible. Date of birth Put in full such as 13th December 1962. Do not put your age. Bearing in mind that you will be close to the Focal Point now, this might need to go at the end of the CV under 'Personal' along with other details such as marital status and children. Marital status You do not have to include this at all. If you choose to, make sure you use only "married" or "single". Do not use divorced or co-habiting. Put at the end of the CV under 'Personal'. Children Its up to you whether you include this information or not but if you include it put it at the end of the CV under 'Personal' Profile This is an introductory statement about who you are and what you have to offer. You should complete this last although it is positioned prominently in the CV, possibly in the Focal Point. It should be no more than two sentences and include the most important facts about yourself. You can include skills, achievements, responsibility or personal qualities. e.g. Highly motivated Account Manager with successful direct and telesales experience in hardware and software industries. Key Skills Several Key skills should be highlighted after you have analysed and edited your employment history. Pick out no more than six. Make sure they are relevant. Do not include dates. A key skill can come from an earlier job or an outside interest. If you are short on direct experience and qualifications you may have skills arising from your personality, i.e. Interpersonal skills, e.g. "the ability to relate and communicate with others". Some examples of descriptive words to use in key skills are: Administering Implementing Budgeting Leading Reorganising Forecasting Advising Employment History Always start with your most recent employment. Break down your job functions as much as possible. The job description on your contract might provide a starting point or, consider how your employer might advertise your job. You should have more to say about your most recent, and therefore most relevant, employment. Include successes and achievements especially if it saved the company money. Don't have any employment gaps. If these occur explain them briefly. Qualifications If you are a mature applicant you can leave these out as career history is more important. Put the highest qualification first with year achieved. If you have a degree you can leave out the lower qualifications altogether or include the basic information. Do not include poor grades or failures. Professional qualifications Only include those that are still current. Training Only include training that is relevant to the position for which you are applying. Interests Only include interests that are unusual or which indicate transferable skills, achievements or responsibilities. Reasons For Applying This finishes the CV off with a concluding statement and puts the application into context. Don't imply you are out to gain advantage to yourself such as "I would like to join the company to gain additional experience". Instead, concentrate on what you have to offer, "my experience at??would be useful to the company because????." Finally Your CV should be available soft copy or on good quality plain white A4 paper. Do not use double sides. Only fold once and enclose an SAE Copyright 2005 CVwriting.net
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