If you are hoping for a ‘it’s not fair…’ commentary this is NOT the article for you. If you are a mid-life job seeker ready to take action, this is a must read. By now you took your graduation date off your resume, but that is not enough. What we are talking about here is image, attitude and perception. We are talking about interviewing younger. This includes the way you look, the way you carry yourself, and the way you communicate.
Let’s get the ‘shallow’ physical things out of the way first.
- Exercise! Not only is it actually good for you, you’ll look more fit and have more energy, both of which contribute to a youthful image.
- Invest in a consultation with a professional hair stylist. MEN: There is a HUGE difference between the quality and subtly of hair coloring by a professional versus the DIY kit you made your wife buy you at the supermarket. LADIES: If you are wearing the same style you did 20 years ago, I promise you, it is NOT helping. Ask for advice from a professional and follow it.
- Review your wardrobe with a critical eye. Dressing age appropriate is not the same as frumpy or old fashioned. MEN: Go see a REAL tailor. A well tailored suit does amazing things for a person. LADIES: The size tag is on the INSIDE. No one knows what it says. Focus on getting a high quality career piece that fits you beautifully regardless of your size.
- Whiten your teeth. Yellow teeth are aging. If you don’t have the money for a dentist visit, there are very good kits at your local drug store.
- Lose the cologne and perfume, especially if your signature scent hasn’t changed in decades. Remember, scent invokes memories. If your perfume reminds me of my grandmother, we’re going in the wrong direction.
Now, let’s tackle how you communicate.
- If you are not on line, you are INVISIBILE to recruiters and employers. Being absent from Linked In, Facebook and Twitter says you are not tech savvy. It says you are not able to keep up with the times. For anyone about to complain about Facebook being for kids, do 10 seconds of research and you’ll find the fastest growing age demographic is NOT your children or grandchildren. If you need help, ask for it. There are plenty of free guides and tutorials that can help you enter social networking without making a fool of yourself.
- Get to know sites like Google and Wikipedia. They are free, easy to use and will help you research just about anything so you can stay current.
- Yes, you do need to learn how to text. If you have a smart phone, learn how to use it.
Now, on to the way you carry yourself.
- Do NOT hand deliver your resumes. It is simply not done anymore. Find the online application system and learn how to use it.
- Please don’t come to a job interview with a copy of the newspaper you are reading! Youthful people get their news online.
- Brush up on current events so you can get through the small talk phase of a discussion WITHOUT referring to your children or your grandchildren.
- Don’t try to use ‘hip’ words that you overheard from your kids. You won’t pull it off. At the same time, don’t refer constantly to the ‘good old days’ or ‘back in the day’ when you speak.
- Ask some one you trust to ‘youth check’ your voice mail greeting. Do you sound old and tired? Replace it with something a bit peppier. Do you go on too long? Keep it brief and upbeat.
For those of you who want to scream about the injustice of it, I hear you but I am not listening. I care about helping people who are unemployed or underemployed get back into the market. According to phillyjobs.com there are almost 15,000 jobs open in the tri-state area right now. If we need to take a detour through vanityville to get you one of them, that is perfectly OK with me.
Need help? Email me for more information or a quote on certified, professional resume writing services. See my full profile on Linked In. Follow me on twitter. Think this article might be helpful to someone else? Share it on stumble or digg.