I recently hosted a live (text-based) chat for job seekers with a panel of my company's recruiters that gave general advice and answered job-seeker questions. I was struck with how many questions were coming from older (I'll say 50+) job seekers that clearly expressed their worries and concerns with being treated fairly in the job marketplace. A couple of sample comments in the chat and on my corporate blog were:
"How does a job seeker over 50 get considered for bottom of the totem pole job again?"
"How do I get a recruiter to notice that my past and current experience in sales and education is a benefit to the company? They seem to look for inexperienced people that they can offer a low wage/salary to."
"why does it take the older applicant longer to find a job? is it that you know you can hire a younger candidate cheaper? Or you think they are more "teachable"? How might older applicants assure you otherwise?"
"Should I only list my jobs for the last ten years as some recruiters have stated (I have 32 years experience in the graphic arts field). I am concerned that my age is becoming a factor but I feel that this is not be forthcoming about all my experience (I am in my mid fifties)."
Is their perception of bias correct? Older job-seekers seem to feel that (regardless of age-discrimination laws & policies):
In your experience, how prevalent is an age bias among hiring companies & hiring managers?
What advice would you give to older job seekers as a result?