Older Job Seekers, Younger Hiring Managers: What Not to Do

In today’s diverse workforce, it’s common for older job seekers to find themselves being interviewed by younger hiring managers. This situation can be challenging for both parties, but with the right approach, it can also be a rewarding experience. Here are some tips to help older job seekers navigate this scenario successfully.

1. Resumes: Highlighting Your Experience

Crafting a resume that stands out involves focusing on your skills and experiences that align with the job description. Here are some key points to remember:

  1. Focus on Relevant Skills and Experiences: Concentrate on showcasing the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for. This could include specific technical skills, leadership experiences, or project management abilities.
  2. Avoid Listing Every Job: It’s not necessary to list every job you’ve ever had on your resume. Instead, select the positions that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for and highlight your accomplishments in those roles.
  3. Tailor Your Resume: Each job application is unique, and your resume should reflect that. Tailor your resume for each job application, making sure to highlight the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the job description.

By following these guidelines, you can create a resume that effectively highlights your experience and makes you a strong candidate for the job. Remember, the goal of your resume is to showcase your unique skills and experiences that make you the best fit for the job.

  • Do not make your resume a long list of every job you’ve ever had.
  • Do tailor your resume to each job application, highlighting relevant skills and experiences.

2. Interview Tips: Showcasing Your Value

During the interview, it’s crucial to illustrate how your experience can add value to the company. Here are some key points to remember:

  1. Don’t Dominate the Conversation: While it’s important to share your experiences and skills, avoid dominating the conversation or dismissing the interviewer’s questions. The interview is a two-way communication process.
  2. Do Listen Carefully: Pay close attention to the interviewer’s questions and comments. This shows respect and interest, and it will help you provide thoughtful and relevant responses.
  3. Use the STAR Method: When responding to questions, use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method to structure your responses. This approach helps you present your experiences in a clear, concise, and organized manner. Here’s how:
    • Situation: Describe the context or background of the situation.
    • Task: Explain the task you were responsible for in that situation.
    • Action: Detail the specific actions you took to accomplish the task.
    • Result: Share the outcomes of your actions, focusing on the positive impact and value you brought to the situation.

By following these guidelines, you can effectively showcase your value to the company during the interview. Remember, the goal is to demonstrate how your unique skills and experiences make you the best fit for the job.

  • Do not dominate the conversation or dismiss the interviewer’s questions.
  • Do listen carefully and respond thoughtfully, using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method to structure your responses.

3. Respect Their Position

It’s important to remember that the hiring manager, irrespective of their age, holds a position of authority during the interview process. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  1. Don’t Undermine Their Authority: Avoid undermining the hiring manager’s authority or questioning their competence based on their age. Age does not necessarily correlate with capability or experience.
  2. Show Respect for Their Position: The hiring manager plays a crucial role in the hiring process. They have the responsibility of assessing candidates and making hiring decisions. Show respect for their position by listening attentively, responding appropriately, and maintaining a professional demeanor throughout the interview.

By adhering to these guidelines, you can ensure a respectful and productive interaction with the hiring manager, regardless of their age. Remember, the goal of the interview is to showcase your skills and potential value to the company, and respecting the hiring process is a key part of that.

  • Do not undermine their authority or question their competence because of their age.
  • Do show respect for their position and their role in the hiring process.

4. Provide a Value Proposition Statement

A Value Proposition Statement is important on your resume for several reasons:

  1. Stand Out: It helps you stand out from the competition by highlighting your unique skills and experiences12.
  2. Communicate Your Value: It succinctly communicates your value to the hiring managers, explaining why you would be a valuable addition to their team12.
  3. Highlight Your Strengths: It allows you to highlight your strengths and demonstrate why you’re the best fit for the role1.
  4. Increase Chances of Being Hired: A clear and believable value proposition can dramatically increase your chances of being hired and the number of interview requests you receive3.
  5. Focus Your Job Search: It helps you to strategically focus your job search on a specific job target while strengthening your personal brand on your resume and LinkedIn Profile4.
  6. First Impressions: Your resume is often the first introduction to a hiring manager. A strong value proposition can make a powerful first impression2.
  • Do not give generic statements about being a hard worker or a team player.
  • Do provide specific examples of how your skills and experiences will benefit the company.

5. The 30-60-90 Day Plan

A 30-60-90 day plan is a strategic outline of your goals and plans for the first three months on the job. It demonstrates to the hiring manager that you are proactive and prepared to contribute immediately. Here are some key points to remember:

  1. Avoid Vague or Unrealistic Promises: Your 30-60-90 day plan should be practical and achievable. Avoid making vague or unrealistic promises that could set you up for failure or create false expectations.
  2. Research the Company and Role: To create a realistic and detailed plan, you need to understand the company and the role you’re applying for. Research the company’s goals, culture, and challenges. Understand the responsibilities and expectations of the role.
  3. Structure Your Plan: Break down your plan into three parts:
    • First 30 Days: Focus on learning and understanding the company culture, team dynamics, and job role. Set achievable goals like completing training, understanding the product/service, and building relationships with colleagues.
    • Next 30 Days (30-60 Days): Start contributing to the team by implementing what you’ve learned. This could include optimizing processes, contributing to ongoing projects, or proposing new initiatives based on your observations.
    • Last 30 Days (60-90 Days): By now, you should be fully integrated into the team and working independently. Set larger goals that align with the company’s objectives, such as leading a project or implementing a significant improvement.

By following these guidelines, you can create a 30-60-90 day plan that not only impresses the hiring manager but also sets you up for success in your new role.

  • Do not make vague or unrealistic promises in your plan.
  • Do research the company and the role to create a realistic and detailed plan.

The AGA Group: Your Partner in Job Search Success

With over 45 years of interview and resume writing experience, The AGA Group is here to help you succeed in your job search. Our Interview Tips Guide is a valuable resource for older job seekers navigating the modern job market.

  • Do not go into your job search unprepared.
  • Do take advantage of the resources and expertise available to you through The AGA Group.

Remember, the goal is not just to get a job, but to find a position where you can use your skills and experience to make a meaningful contribution. With preparation and the right approach, you can turn the challenge of interviewing with a younger hiring manager into an opportunity. Good luck on your next interview.


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