Article Excerpt: Overcoming the Age Bias

At any age, looking for a new job can be a harrowing experience. No matter how skilled and experienced you are, the hiring process seems designed to destroy your self-esteem. Therefore, how you deal with the issue of prejudice in the job market, especially age bias can unnecessarily prolong your job search. This discussion on age bias is in two parts: concepts and practical strategies.

Position Yourself To Minimize Age Bias

Most executives and job seekers approach the issue of age bias during their job search from the wrong perspective. Usually they try to hide the issue so they can at least get in the door, feeling that their presentation will overcome the issue. However, once in the door their age becomes an issue along with the issue of full disclosure. That is, all of a sudden there is a surprise - your age. And most hiring executives including executive recruiters hate surprises.

After all, wasn't that your motto when you ran your organization: no surprises? Hiding or running away from the age issue is the wrong way to approach the problem.

A Better Strategy

There is a better strategy, one that will allow you to overcome the issue.

To begin, you must learn to continuously attack the age bias issue. Start first with the way YOU look at the issue. Remember one basic truth: the age issue is larger in your head than it is in the mind of the hiring executives. The orientation of the people who will interview you and eventually hire you is simple. Solve their problems.

PROBLEMS are the only real issue in getting hired. Who has the problems? How can you demonstrate you're the best solution to those problems?