5 Tips to Beat the Gray Ceiling: Get Hired at 50+ Part 2

stockimages man at desk on phone

Yesterday I told you how groaning and grimacing when you sit down can ruin your job search.  There are companies that are supportive of 50+ workersand networking is an effective way to get a job. Today, I will continue with the last 4 tips and finish with the list of Best Employers for Workers Over 50.

Stay informed and current.  Keep your skills and expertise up-to-date. Take relevant courses, watch how to videos, search out and join professional groups in LinkedIn and participate in the discussions.  Know about current technology in your industry and in what is used today-iPhone, iPod’s, tablets, eBooks, Wi-Fi, etc.  Talk to teens about what’s in.  Nothing says old like a type written resume on soft pastel resume paper.  There have been numerous changes in the job search process in recent years.   Use state-of-the-art job search strategies.  Learn the age bias red flags and what you can do about them.

Age proof your résumé and cover letter.  Limit your relevant experience to 10 to 15 years.  Don’t include anything past 15 years.  Don’t lie.  Remove dates from your résumé, including graduation dates.  Focus skills and experience relevant to the position. Highlight your achievements based on percentages and dollar figures rather provide a simple list duties.  Use the keywords throughout.  Consider using a functional or combination resume instead of a chronological.  Avoid terms, like mature, experienced, seasoned, etc.

Prove yourself at the interview.  Prepare for the inevitable age questions. One good way is to point out your up-to-date skills. Be able to back up your skills and achievements with PAR (problem, action, results) stories.  Emphasize how well you work in teams and alone.  Express you interest in the position.  Show enthusiasm and a positive attitude. Keep the salary issue out of the conversation as much as possible.  If it does come up, concentrate on the opportunity not the dollar amount. Use examples of how you made money, saved money or saved time in your previous positions.  Avoid the following: over selling, you run the risk of overwhelming or intimidating the interviewer; saying things like “back in my day” and using outdated jargon and terms; appearing desperate or depressed.

Update your appearance and stay healthy.  This doesn’t mean you need to dye your hair to its original color.  It means you need a flattering style that suits your face and a modern hair style.  Gray isn’t all bad.  Think Jamie Lee Curtis with her short, gray hair. When it comes to make up, less is more.  Your wardrobe should be age appropriate but current as well as your glasses.  Shoes need to be comfortable but stylish.  Today there are many such styles to choose from in different price points.  Eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and exercising are the best ways to maintaining a natural healthy glow.  If you have health issues, monitor and take care of them.

You can break the gray ceiling.  It’s been done, and you can do it.  I know you can!

As I promised you yesterday the Best Employers for Workers Over 50 for 2011 are:

Scripps Health

Cornell University

National Institutes of Health

First Horizon National Corporation

West Virginia University

The YMCA of Greater Rochester

Atlantic Health System

Mercy Health System

Bon Secours Richmond Health System

The Aerospace Corporation

WellStar Health System

MidMichigan Health

City of Glendale, Arizona

Massachusetts General Hospital

Pinnacol Assurance
Stanley Consultants

Central Florida Health Alliance

National Rural Electric Cooperative Assoc.

The Univ. of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Ctr.

Brevard Public Schools

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Pinnacle Health

TriHealth, Inc.

Cianbro Corporation

Securian Financial Group, Inc.

Lee County Electric Cooperative

Monongalia General Hospital

George Mason University

Nevada Federal Credit Union

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina

Michelin North America

Saint Vincent Health System

University of Massachusetts Medical School

University of Southern California

Cabell Huntington Hospital
Virginia Commonwealth University

Ochsner Health System

FCCI Insurance Group

Saint Barnabas Health Care System

ACUITY, a Mutual Insurance Company

S&T Bank

University of Pittsburgh

West Virginia University Hospitals

Eastern National

Avera McKennan Hospital & Univ. Health Ctr.


Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind

Kaiser Permanente



4 Comments to "5 Tips to Beat the Gray Ceiling: Get Hired at 50+ Part 2"

  1. Donovan Dreyer's Gravatar Donovan Dreyer
    January 13, 2013 - 4:02 pm | Permalink

    “Talke to teens about what is in.”
    I love it!

  2. Anita Levesque's Gravatar Anita Levesque
    January 13, 2013 - 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Great tips. It is sad where the economy is and how people are losing their jobs. Thanks for sharing.

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