Many eMBA graduates are highly successful executives looking to boost their careers with their new degrees, but they find themselves wondering if age is a factor in their job searches. It doesn’t have to be. So, how do you get hiring influencers to look past your age? I have two solid tips for making your age less of a factor in any job search.
First: Check your resume. An outdated or overly specific resume can broadcast your age. Make sure the resume is in a modern format that is easily scanned and read by the HR software used today. If it’s in a current format, look at the content and remove any red arrows pointing to your age; birth dates, referring to 30+ years of experience (20+ is just as honest, but doesn’t ring the same alarm bells), or listing every job you’ve had from the beginning of your career. Emphasize your new eMBA and your most current/relevant skills. Now is the time to choose carefully what’s the most relevant information. Don’t lie, but there’s no rule that everything needs to be on the resume.
Second: Check your interview skills. While you want to emphasize your experience and expertise, you don’t have to focus on the distant past during an interview. Practice injecting information and stories about how you stay current in your industry, how much you just learned about the most innovative management styles as an eMBA student, and how your efforts to stay up-to-date mean that you’re as comfortable with managing and mentoring Millennials as you are with older associates. Get comfortable emphasizing your commitment to continually updating your skills and education, and be ready to talk about what a great fit you are for the organization you want to join. Focus on what makes you a desirable asset, and less on how many years you’ve been working in the industry. This reassures any hiring influencer prone to ageism that your age really is just a number, and that you offer a wealth of skills and talent that have little to do with that number, no matter how large!