Recently, conversations around ageism have surfaced as we continue to learn how the pandemic affects generations differently. The last year-and-a-half has been challenging for most workers as we all navigate this unforeseen job market. Some people are thriving while working remotely, while others are anxious to get back to the office. And others are taking a different approach. According to The New School’s Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, more than 2 million people retired than what was expected (from March 2020-2021). Although some of these early retirements were voluntary, many were due to older workers struggling to find new opportunities.
In fact, 63% of unemployed people aged 45 or older have been out of work for longer than a year. That’s compared with 52% of job seekers ages 35 to 44 and 36% of those ages 18 to 34. So, what can you do to combat ageism during the pandemic? Here are a few tips to help you secure a new job during these challenging times and overcome age-related stereotypes.
Overcoming ageism stereotypes and perceptions
Every generation has certain stereotypes; however, Baby Boomers, roughly aged 57-75 years old, have two bitter (and often inaccurate) stereotypes.
- Older workers are technologically inept
- They are unwilling to learn and won’t get along well with younger workers
Of course, these are just stereotypes and don’t apply to most older workers. However, you can leverage your application materials to help combat these ageism stereotypes.
Beef up your resume
If you are an older job seeker, you can overcome these stereotypes by beefing up your resume. First of all, you can add a skills section to your resume to showcase all the technologies you know how to use. In the pandemic-era job market, employers are placing a significant emphasis on technologies that we embraced while working from home. Also, if you have any certifications that prove your knowledge of particular technologies or tools, make sure you add those to your resume, too. If you don’t have any certifications, there are plenty of inexpensive or free courses you can take online to beef up your resume.
Make yourself more discoverable
Secondly, it’s essential to make yourself more discoverable online so hiring professionals can easily find you. The best platform to accomplish this is LinkedIn! Job seekers in younger generations have the advantage of learning about new roles because they are more likely to be active on LinkedIn. Sure, most of you have a LinkedIn profile, but that’s not good enough. If you just make one and let it sit there, you cannot expect recruiters to find you and reach out to you about potential opportunities. Just like your resume, you have to regularly update your profile to reflect your latest skills, experiences, and certifications.
Additionally, LinkedIn has some great features to help you let recruiters know you are open to new opportunities. Turning on LinkedIn’s “open to work” feature will trigger that you are open to learning about new jobs and encourage hiring professionals to reach out to you.
If you want to take your LinkedIn to the next level, here’s how to craft a perfect LinkedIn summary to snag a new job.
Partner with a recruiter
If you feel that you are struggling to combat ageism during the pandemic, try reaching out to a recruiter. Recruiters can be your job search’s best weapon. We take the time to understand your background and skills to match you with opportunities that fit your career goals. If you are interested in learning more about how a professional recruiting firm can take your job search to the next level, reach out to us today! At JSG, we work hard, we work together, and we work for you.