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Overcoming stereotypes

Handle concerns an employer may have about hiring an older worker.

Older workers include anyone born before 1964. Hiring bias against any worker age 40 and older is illegal, but some job seekers still experience it. Be aware of these potential stereotypes so that you can address how you present and describe yourself.

Stereotype Resolution
Some employers think that older workers will leave the job sooner for retirement Find a way to let prospective employers know that you are interested in working for a long time.
Experienced workers may be presumed to be overqualified and therefore expensive to hire and retain. Research typical current wages to confirm that your salary requirements are appropriate.
Be ready to communicate your enthusiasm and willingness to tackle the position offered, rather than a higher level position.
An employer may believe older workers tend to have low energy and use more sick time. Cite your own attendance history if it’s strong.
Communicate energy and engagement during your phone and in-person interviews through tone of voice, posture and carriage, handshake, clear focus, and by asking questions.
There may be a concern about a lack of technology skills, or requiring extra training time. In your resume and interviews, note technology training and skills without overestimating them.

If this is a weak area, explore training options in your community and online to expand your skills and get up to date.
Some employers also think older workers cannot adapt to new workplace cultures or rules. Make it clear that you are comfortable with change and can follow protocol.

Many older workers perceive that they are passed up for jobs, promotions, or pay raises because of their age. Age discrimination is prohibited by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). If you believe you are the victim of age discrimination, you can contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for assistance.