If you're a job-seeker on the far side of 50, you've undoubtedly been bombarded with messages telling you your age is a major deterrent to your chances of finding work. Job search gurus love repeating their mantra that it's critical for you to play down the fact you've passed the half-century mark -- otherwise you won't have even a prayer of landing a job. They caution candidates to omit any signs of age from their resume and, as much as possible, from their demeanor and appearance.
But what do these messages do to your sense of self-esteem? Constantly being told your age is a giant turn-off to most employers can't help you feel good about yourself. Moreover, having confidence in what you bring -- your skills, experience, and your added value as a unique individual of talent and energy -- is the cornerstone to mounting a successful job search campaign. If you can't believe in your own merit as a viable and attractive candidate, how can you possibly convince an employer you'd be a worthwhile addition to their team?
Therefore, why not choose to focus on the advice that supports you and your efforts, and ignore the rest of the discouraging chatter? Why not concentrate on all of the advantages age brings and present yourself as a winning candidate of maturity? There are plenty of ways you have it all over your younger counterparts -- so why not conduct your search from a position of strength and confidence in all you have to offer?
Here are just a few of the attributes of maturity that will help you start thinking of ways your age is to your advantage:
Your age has gifted you with several additional positive attributes -- too many to mention in this article. For now, consider the findings of a recent survey reported by CBS. More than a quarter of the women surveyed reported that they'd trade in IQ points for a larger chest. (It goes without saying these women were not on the far side of 50!)
So, if you were an employer, which segment of the population would you want on your team?
Mary Eileen Williams is a Nationally Board Certified Career Counselor with a Master's Degree in Career Development and twenty years' experience assisting midlife jobseekers to achieve satisfying careers. Her book, Land the Job You Love: 10 Surefire Strategies for Jobseekers Over 50, is a step-by-step guide that helps you turn your age into an advantage. It's packed with information providing mature applicants with the tools to successfully navigate the modern job market and gain the edge over the competition. Visit her website at Feisty Side of Fifty.com and celebrate your sassy side!
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