Age Discrimination is Alive and Kicking

Securing a job at any age is difficult. For the older unemployed (anyone over 35) the battle to find employment opportunities can be a humbling and a devastating experience. After all, most at that age are accustomed to a lifestyle where financial quakes damage the individual and the family beyond imagination.

Though discrimination based upon race, age, religion and the sorts is illegal, we all know discrimination is alive and kicking in the hiring process. Right, wrong, or indifferent, that’s just the way it is. Taking a realistic look at what old folks are facing as they apply and interview, it’s time to understand the reasons from the other side of the desk.

Let’s take a moment and look through employer eyes to evaluate his or her justification to overtly break established rules of conduct by excluding the most experienced.

* Old folks are often labeled as expensive whereas younger adults work for less. True or not, no matter your age, it’s about value and return on investment which drives the hiring process. For those oldies out there, your greatest advantage over the youngsters is hands-on experience. First-hand knowledge means less training costs, less job confusion, less attrition, and less professional guesswork. First-hand knowledge also means more work diversity, more problem/resolution issues have been tackled, and an increase of confidence.

* Old folks are only looking to work for a few years while youngsters are seeking a career. True or not (and I lean to not true), employee age is not a good indictor to career tenure. Statistically, workers change their careers 4 to 6 times during their life… that number is expected to increase as technology is creating remote-friendly offices and global competition. Old or young, it is up to you to convince employers that you are looking for stability and your loyalty will not be questioned.

* Old folks carry baggage and they are not worth retraining. What are your thoughts: Why do some employers think this way? True or not, many believe that an employee who has been working in the field for 20 years or more is not willing to change with the times. After all, employers can hire a newbie with a clean slate and not have to worry about bad habits. Your goal, young or old, is to confirm the ability to learn new things and the desire to cross-train into other departments. By doing so, you are showing hiring managers a progressive character and work ethic. Taking advantage of professional development opportunities adds huge points in your favor… sitting back over past 20 years doing the same job over and over again (without attempting to learn or progress) takes points away.

To summarize, discrimination is a part of life, and I suspect it will be a constant tag along. Recognizing what drives hiring decisions (to the good or to the not-so-good) allows one to establish a counter attack, effectually introducing your arsenal of value which will sway perceptions to your favor.

If you have specific situations or questions needing resolve, forward and our team of career professionals will address.

For those interested in cutting-edge career books to guide you along your journey, visit www.edu-cs.com or go to Amazon and search Danny at ECS for a listing of available material.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
www.EducationCareerServices.com
Got Twitter? Shadow me @dannyatecs

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Central Florida Jobs Initiative: Spread the word

In what promises to be a career management game-changer, Christian HELP and the Central Florida Employment Council (CFEC) will be revealing an innovative program equipping job seekers with the tools to become excellent employees.

This six-session program is focused on changing the attitudes, behaviors, and habits that keep job seekers from being successful.

During Central Florida Jobs Initiative “Revealed” event, you will hear about the program and opportunities to become involved as a community partner, employer partner, and/or volunteer. This program promises to be life changing for the participants as they gain a new outlook on job searching and being an excellent employee through our Performance Excellence Model.

For complete details and to RSVP visit http://cfji.eventbrite.com/

I ask that you spend a few minutes to provide feedback by taking the following survey http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DVKTY5Q

Time is NOW for you to get involved within your community. We would love to have volunteer trainers, mock-interviewers, mentors, and of course business partners that would be willing to interview our program’s ‘graduates’.

You may bring guests to this event, again, please RSVP by visiting http://cfji.eventbrite.com/.

Location: ITT Technical Institute, 1400 South International Parkway, Lake Mary, FL 32746

Directions:For Directions only call 407-660-2900
or  ~From South Orlando – accessible to I-4:  Take I-4 EAST, Take exit 98 for Lake Mary Blvd, Turn LEFT onto Lake Mary Blvd, Turn LEFT onto International Pkwy, Follow traffic circle around – turn RIGHT onto street AFTER the Notting Hill Condo entrance, Follow road all the way back which will dead-end into ITT Tech.

~Directions from I-4 coming from Daytona Beach area:  Take I-4 WEST, Take exit 98 for Lake Mary/Heathrow, Turn RIGHT onto Lake Mary Blvd., Turn LEFT onto International Pkwy, Follow traffic circle around and turn RIGHT onto street AFTER the Notting Hill Condos, Follow road all the way back which will dead-end into ITT Tech.

See you there. Your input is invaluable!

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
www.EducationCareerServices.com
Got Twitter? Shadow me @dannyatecs

Does your resume stand up or sit down?

We recently received an often expressed comment and an often-asked question from Nina Burkley, a recent graduate at one of our local vocational schools. Ready to graduate, Nina wants to stand up above her fellow competition (a smart thing to do) and make sure the hiring manager takes a second look at her qualifications.

Nina is worried about losing credibility and career opportunities due to fluff, graphics, and use of colors in her documents… what do you practice?

Crossing the line between standing up and sitting down is a matter of common sense, industry standards, and the ability to think like an employer. Here’s what Nina had to say…

Everyone says I need to make my resume stand out, and I’ve seen some pretty cool examples online where people use photos, graphics, and colors to give their document some pizzaz. What are your thoughts on doing this?”

Thanks for the question, Nina. Using photos and colors will definitely make your resume stand out, but not always in the way you might like. Although there is no global best-practice “official” list of requirements for a resume, the top career management associations do make some rather strong suggestions which I, too, recommend as you consider document development.

Listening to experts in the field makes a great deal of sense when it comes to your career. Put in another way, taking the lazy research way and trusting online recommendations may not be in your best interest as anyone can (and do) jot misguided gibberish. Fortunately, you know better than the follow blindly!

Let’s round up a few best-practice suggestions from the top career management associations:

1) Limit the use of color. Here’s an idea: Use any color you want as long as it is black and white. Naturally there is room for brief moments of shade but, as a general rule, colors are not the way to go.

2) With limited color choices, pictures lose impact so you may want to reconsider using images. Think of it this way: Slipping in cheap clip-art does not say many positives about your creative abilities.

3) If you are a graphic artist (or in another creative industry—accounting not included in this bunch), use common sense when it comes to image branding. Think like an employer when it comes to pictures as what you intend to show may not be what is perceived or recognized, leading the way to confusion and possible insults.

4) With Internet transparency, many folks are going with the flow by placing personal photos on their resume… Here’s the scoop: Throughout the United States, personal photos on resumes is not recommended… unless you happen to be applying to be a swimsuit model. True enough, in some European countries, placing personal photos is fairly common… but we are not in England.

5) Pizzaz does not get you hired… your knowledge, skills, and abilities (along with your soft skills) get you inside the door; getting your foot in the door should be your number one priority.

6) Think like an employer: Hiring managers often receive hundreds of resumes/applications for one job position. Hiring executives are not in the mood to waste time on clip art, fluff, unrecognizable images, or irrelevant clatter. In other words, state as professionally the value you bring and how you will positively affect the bottom line… nothing else really matters.

With the above in mind, if you must, use moderation and common sense when it comes to artistic flare.

Note: If the job you’re applying for doesn’t require any work to be submitted with it, then you should leave colors and graphics out of your resume. There is no need for it.

If the job position requires supplemental material such as a portfolio displaying work accomplishments, you have a creative license to introduce color, graphics, and blue prints. It is recommended that all applicants create a professional portfolio as “showing” your talents is always more effective than simply “telling” what think you can do. Distinct portfolios have the power to lift you above the competition quickly and impressively as long as it is relevant to the job/industry.

To detail a bit further: A portfolio is a hard copy or digital folder containing past work as it relates to the current position you’re applying for. In the graphic design example, the job seeker would use his or her resume to highlight work experience and skills while using the portfolio to actually demonstrate it.

Time to wrap Nina’s comment/question into a branding statement for all to take advantage of:

It is always better to make your resume stand up due to layout of information; overuse or misaligned graphics, color, or pictures often prove to be detrimental to career success.

If you would like our career experts to address specific questions or issues related to your career development and success, reach out by using the comment box.

For those interested in cutting-edge career books to guide you along your journey, visit www.edu-cs.com or go to Amazon and search Danny at ECS for a listing of available material.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
www.EducationCareerServices.com
Got Twitter? Shadow me @dannyatecs