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How Do I Get Hired After Age 50?

1 Nov, 2016

How Do I Get Hired After Age 50?

The key is recognizing and remembering that your work experience can play a *supportive* role as well as a leadership role with organizations. The two need not be mutually exclusive.

If you’re over 50, you’ve probably had the experience of being labeled as overqualified. And in response to this unwanted job-search slur, you’ve probably done what any intelligent, ambitious individual would do: Dumb yourself down (on your resume, at the very least). A good move but what’s this do to your career confidence?

If today’s market is telling you repeatedly via carefully worded form-letter rejection emails, “We don’t care about your lifetime achievements or your obsolete business management model,” it’s no wonder a breech in your armor develops.

As an “over 50” job candidate, you have a unique challenge to grapple with–and unfortunately this wrestling match often occurs in a very public arena: The Interview.

The Main Event: A paradoxical tug of war which stems out of your being told you’re overqualified but feeling dramatically under qualified.

  • You’re overqualified because of the simple length of your resume, the style of your suit, color of your hair, and lingo in your business repertoire-or so they tell you.
  • You’re under qualified because you may lack some understanding of today’s rapidly evolving technologies, flattened infrastructure, and business culture.

As you sit there in the interview staring back at your Gen X boss-to-be in his hybrid sneaker-sandals and ironic T-shirt, you’re torn between standing up and screaming “I could do your job in my sleep” and humbly whispering “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Coming to terms with this paradox (before you enter the interview) is an essential component to building back your career confidence.

The next step–and no small feat–is to figure out how your strengths (i.e. what you can teach) *as well as* your weaknesses (i.e. what you can learn) match up with your targeted companies.

It’s important to know both of these aspects of your professional self prior to your job search, and it’s important to know how to present them to your next employer-on paper and in person.

Stay on the BrightSide.

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  1. Thank you for your comment, Nestor! Figuring out how your strengths and weaknesses and how to best match them with companies you’re targeting is a step in the right direction. I recommend contacting Cliff Flamer directly to discuss further. Click Cliff’s name at the top of this page for his contact info. Also, join our private group https://www.facebook.com/groups/570819439786347/ where you can get answers to your questions by TCE member coaches and writers too.


    What would you suggest to do “to figure out how [my] strengths … as well as [my] weaknesses … match up with [my] targeted companies”?

    • Cliff Flamer

      Nestor, glad the article spurred some questions. (And thanks for the plug, Maria.)

      When I’m coaching clients on interviewing, I often get asked this question re: strengths and weaknesses. Strengths is pretty straightforward: just pick a handful of strengths that line up with what’s required on the job description. As for weaknesses, you have to work backward. Choose a weakness where the opposite of that weakness is a strength that lines up with the target job. For example, if the job calls for being around people all the time – state your weakness as “low thresshold for being isolated for long periods of time” – if, of course, that is true.

      Hope that helps. Feel free to sign up for interview coaching here:

      Good luck to you.


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