Overcoming Concerns About Your Age
We all know that age discrimination is illegal. Our firm will never, EVER engage in any discrimination policy nor will we work with clients that engage in such a practice. However, in the real world of interviewing, we know that age discrimination takes place. People send me their resume where they list jobs going as far back as 1983. And when I ask them if they want to put their dates of graduation, they don’t want to for fear that they will “age themselves.”
My advice is simple. Don’t go back more than 15 years unless previous jobs are highly relevant to the one you are seeking. Try not to list defunct companies that went out of business in 1987.
Now let’s talk about the interview. I have placed people in their late 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. And again my advice is simple. I tell them that when they sit down with the hiring manager they should open the interview with the following statement:
“Mike, let’s get the thousand pound elephant out of the room right now. What you see here is seasoned, successful and well respected sales representative. I’m not your 30 something rep who is looking to climb the corporate ladder and will leave you shortly after you hire him /her. I do not want your job, nor to be the next VP of sales. I can assure you that if you give me the chance I will be productive, I will stay with your company for the foreseeable future and you will not have to fill this territory for a very long time. Do you see the value in that?”
Offer to be his / her mentor. Offer to give advice to other members of the sales team. Offer the fact that your expertise and your years of experience will balance out the less experienced sales reps. Tell him /her that you will make his / her job easier.
And above all: Do not get discouraged. Someone will give you a chance. Go for it!
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