What Baby Boomers Want Younger Interviews to Know

Ambro  interviewing an older personIn my post Checklist for Getting a Job When You are Over 50, someone commented they would like to see a “companion piece where you explain to 30-something hiring managers how to treat 50-plus year old talent with a bit of respect, instead of making them dance.”  I responded to the person that I would address the issue.

Dear Hiring Manager,  I am older than you.  I know that and so do you.  Let’s get that out-of-the-way up front.  I have the qualifications you are looking for.  I am willing to accept the salary your company is offering.  I want to be treated like anyone else you are interviewing for the position.  Age is only a number.  My health is great.  I take of myself physically, mentally and spiritually. 

But what I want you to know is that I understand you have some reservations about hiring me.  Here are some of the issues you are concerned about.

1—I want your job—No I don’t.  I have been there and done that.  I want work/life balance.  I traveled, worked overtime, and crazy hours.  I realize now that it isn’t conducive to a healthy life and relationships.  I want to work hard and be a contributing member to your group when I am at work, but I want to have a home life. 

2—Not willing to learn—I have forgotten more than you have learned.  I typed my first resume on a typewriter.  The résumé you have in your hand was done on a computer.  I am proficient at computer use.  I can play games on the computer, but usually don’t.  I can find anything you want on the Internet and use it for email.  I learned arithmetic without a calculator.  My generation is the bridge generation from no technology to what we have today.  We learned it as it was developing.   

3—Can’t work with younger people—Don’t worry I know I’m not your parent or grandparent.  I am here to do the job.  The job you tell me you want me to do.  I have worked with people with all sorts of personalities.  I liked some and others not so much.  But I respect authority.  It was something I learned as a child.  It didn’t matter who the person was if they were subject to my respect they got it.  Don’t make me not respect you as a manager.

4—Ready to retire—Retirement is closer for me than it is for you.  It’s about the numbers.  I am older than you are.  I plan on working a while longer.  I have just finished paying off my children’s tuition and my mortgage.  Now I have to build up my IRA.  I have a history of working for companies for long periods of time.  Where do you plan to be in five years?   

5—People hire people like them—Don’t worry I am like you.  I like doing my job to the best of my ability.  I believe in the product/service we are working on.  I value my job.  But you are correct; I have different life experiences and expectations.  I enjoy a variety of activities, hobbies and interests they may not be what you are interested in, but I respect your enjoyments.  I’m interviewing to work for you, not to be your best friend. 

Thank you young hiring manager for taking the time to read this far.   I’m interested in working for you and your company because there are still a few good years left in this old body and brain.  The position is one I am interested in and can do.  My résumé will show you how my qualifications and experience match the requirements of the job. 


Baby Boomer Job Searcher


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image:  freedigitalphotos.net   Ambro

6 Comments to "What Baby Boomers Want Younger Interviews to Know"

  1. Mickey LaSalle's Gravatar Mickey LaSalle
    May 25, 2014 - 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Bravo! This is exactly what I would like to say to most interviewers. I’m 60 years old, just got laid off a month or so ago, and have been on several interviews . I’m being told that I either don’t have enough “enterprise” experience or I don’t have enough “large scale” experience. I know it’s all about age, because I was there when the “large scale”/”enterprise” was developed.

  2. Delonna Kaiser's Gravatar Delonna Kaiser
    May 23, 2014 - 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Well done!

    This is written in a gentle/inclusive tone —no condescension, no snide remarks or underlying demeaning/or subtle anger. Isn’t it time that we develop semantics that facilitate a dialogue among all generations –a universal language of respect and kindness?

  3. May 20, 2014 - 12:52 pm | Permalink


    I agree with the concepts. Your points are truly accurate and valuable. I take issue with the parental tone.

    “I have forgotten more than you have learned.” Wow, that would put me off from hiring you.

    I sense anger in the letter, but maybe it is one of those letters you write in order to vent with no intention of ever sending. I don’t know. But I wouldn’t hire angry parents. I would hire competent professionals, ones who’s experience i could use without making the mistakes of youth.

    Keep up the good work.

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