"I'm a 52 year old woman, single parent who put the children 1st. They are off to Uni now and I'm stuck on a checkout in Tescos!! A few years back I was an administrator, re-trained updated skills and got experience......but now cant get it across to employers when interviewed that I'm not too old or 'behind' to enter the job market at a new level. Can u suggest anyone or anyway that may help?"
Getting back to work after a long absence can be frustrating. I am not going to say that it will be easy and I am not going to patronize you. Instead I will give you some tips you can maybe use and a psychometric test you should consider.
1) You are not obliged to reveal your age on an application form or CV. I believe that by asking for it the employer may be breaking some employment discrimination law. Don't deliver potentially negative information until you have had a chance to deliver your very positive message. Getting in front of the interviewer is your primary objective. Do whatever it takes to get in front of your audience and then you better be good.
2) Make a list of why employers may prefer to select a younger candidate. It may include things like;
- They will stay longer with the company
- They will be easier to train
- They will more open to ideas
Once you have made a list, go through each one and address it head on. Prepare your answers. Raise what you believe will be their concerns at the interview and address the issues head on in the open.
3) Other than that you are probably suffering the same frustration that every other job seeker is. I hear the same from twenty year old graduates and thirty year old executives. Don't fool yourself into thinking that finding a good job is because of your age or your height or your lack of experience or your hair colour. Everyone finds it hard.
4) And finally from the conversations I have with employers, they find it equally hard to find half decent candidates. From talking to them you would think the world is full of idiots. Remember the employer owes you nothing. Don't think about what they can do for you or why they should. Think about what you can do for them. Make a point of trying to understand their issues and then perhaps you can point out where your skills / experience would be useful to them. Be specific.
If you have been out of the job market for a while then you should have a read at your Career Planner Report psychometric report, as it will help you address many of the issues you are facing.
Oh and the photo is of Cher at 60, in case you are wondering. Inspiring?