How to handle perceived ageism

Any recommendations for finding a new gig at age 55? My resume is very solid, but I feel like I'm being ghosted and/or overlooked because of my age.

That sucks. It could be a tough job market impacting your callback rate too. Not sure what industry you’re in but if you have a lot of skills that are transferable to others maybe you can try expanding your net a bit?
According to her profile, Krista works for the city of Philly so my guess is the industry would be local government.
I am so sorry to hear this, Krista. While I definitely do not want to minimise or invalidate your experience with ageism (it's very real especially in tech/startup world), I do also think the competitive job market is to blame here. What roles are you going for? And what industry? If you are indeed trying to get into tech, going from the public sector (assuming you still work for the city of Philly) to the private sector is usually a bit of a harder jump (though not at all impossible) so I'd focus on finding roles that either are at companies that deal with the government (eg sells to government/public sector stakeholders) or are in functions that would use the same skills you use in your role now.Lastly, nobody needs to know your exact age ie. you don't have to add your graduate dates to your profile if you don't want to. People will guess you have a lot of experiences under your belt but do not need to know your specific age. Also hi from Philly hehe!
Great advice! I've been thinking about removing my graduate dates from LinkedIn and in my resume. Is that appropriate?
Absolutely is! It’s very common to see it!
Your last point is super important as well.
@doowats Unfortunately, there are some logical (if unfair) reasons why some older candidates may be at a disadvantage. I'm not saying this is a good thing, just highlighting some of the reasons why companies tend to overlook older candidates:- they believe your knowledge may be outdated, because your resume shows no signs of continuous professional education or personal development- they think that your salary expectations may be too high, because they know that candidates with fewer years of experience will probably be able to do the job just as well, if not better- they care less about your years of experience and more about the value you can add to the role, and they don't see it clearly in your resume, because you highlight those years of experience rather than the impact, outcomes and value you have created- they fear that you may be inflexible or unable to adapt to constantly changing requirements from the business and from stakeholders.- they are sceptical about whether you will fit into their organizational culture - perhaps because the organization is made up people from similar backgrounds, and you are likely to stick out like a sore thumb.There is no sure-fire way to getting an offer, but finding a way to address the above assumptions in your resume, cover letter, your LinkedIn profile and overall digital presence will hopefully reduce the number of obstacles. Good luck!
Super spot on! "- they believe your knowledge may be outdated, because your resume shows no signs of continuous professional education or personal development" + "they fear that you may be inflexible or unable to adapt to constantly changing requirements from the business and from stakeholders."These are super real and I think this is where it becomes really important to own the narrative and not let anyone assume something that's not accurate about you ie. you may have spent a long time at a company but that doesn't mean you are inflexible and in fact you may bring special knowledge that addresses the needs of the org.
Do you have a side gig that you enjoy? Can you start one? Give that some attention while you job hunt. That way, you aren’t deriving all your self-worth by hoping that “the man” will hire you (I use that term metaphorically). You never know when your side hustle will become your main hustle.
Super great idea! Did you have a side hustle that slowly became your main one? Any advice on how to get started somewhere?
Yes, I am writing a Substack along with a few consulting contracts. I am not an organization person, and while I could make more in a job, I like this flexibility.
Does writing on substack pay?! how do you go about it?
This is what I’m trying to focus on more. Like do I want to just be working for some corporation forever or do I branch out with a passion/side hustle that is more in my control? I think doing my own side hustle sounds more fun and interesting instead of just slogging it in the corporate world.
If you have identified what that side hustle is and it's starting to pick up, I'd focus on this full time! Life's too short to be miserable at a corporate job you don't care that much about! Also remember that if for any reasons the side gig ends up not working the way you want, you can always go back to your corporate job ie. those jobs will always be there!
I just went through that myself wondering if my age was why I was being looked over. I’d take a look at your LinkedIn and resume to see what info you are giving away without realizing it. I removed my years in the industry and the word “seasoned” off of my resume and LinkedIn, took out college graduation dates, reduced my jobs to the past 10 years on my resume but left my longer yet parsed down list on LinkedIn, and I know some people do not have a LinkedIn photo for that very reason. Since my resume was limited to 10 years, that’s what I put on applications when I applied. Interestingly enough, when I did a background check for my current job, I entered in all my jobs and the background check report I received back indicated that they only look at the past 10 years so it was a bit validating. The market is incredibly tough right now and in general, it’s taking longer to find a job. I was laid off this past November and it took me 7.5 months to find a job. Good luck to you as you continue your search.
Hi SoRo. Is there a way to denote that only the last 10 years is listed on the resume so they don't think that's all you've done?I've been working 25 years and most of that was with one company (I moved on during the pandemic). But I don't lie and say I only worked somewhere 10 years when it was really 20+ years.
To clarify, I wasn’t suggesting to lie on your resume. For jobs that I have had for a long time, I list my full tenure first and then list out each position, a blurb about my responsibilities, and timeframe. If the job was really similar to the last one, I don’t include the blurb, just the title and timeframe. Once I reach 10 years of experience, I don’t include any additional jobs. But, I do include any relevant skills from those jobs in the skills portion of my resume. I also keep my resume to two pages. As a hiring manager, I can easily tell that someone has more experience than what is written in their resume just be looking at their job titles. Recruiters scan resumes very quickly so the top portion of your resume really has to shine so they will keep reading. Hiring managers do the same thing. If you really want to make sure that they know you have more experience than what is listed, you can add a sentence at the end of your resume that says to see your full work history, visit your LinkedIn profile.
What I did was shift experience around. I was with one company for 17 years. I broke that out as the separate entities (we went thru 5 reorg/name changes) and added a highlight section near the top with bulleted achievements - tangible actionable metrics that showed my expertise. It is difficult however you have to go into the interview with an attitude of "Been there done that" without actually saying that. It took me over a year to find a new position in 2017-18, and less than a month in the last year. I think it came down to attitude and knowing your worth. During the interview process, make sure that you listen to their challenges and let them know how you have handled similar obstacles in the past. A proven track record goes a long way to setting yourself up for future success. I have been in my current field (Transactional Law - legal professional, non-attorney) for 30 years. Narrowing your timeframes and adding the highlighted achievements really made a difference for me. I am happy to share a copy of my resume to show you how I highlighted my achievements.
Sounds great Sheilla, and I'm glad that worked for you. I'd be happy to see your resume!
@doowats in my industry (tech) there are lots of skill building / affirming courses and certifications to take for free. Perhaps you can find something like this to underscore your existing expertise and commitment to continuous learning. ❤️