There is no denying the fact that it is more difficult for older workers to land jobs in today's day and age. While you are more mature and more experienced, in the world of IT, older applicants tend to have outdated skills and higher wage expectations than younger candidates who have recently graduated from a college degree or certificate program. Organizations are typically looking for cutting edge professionals who know the current programming techniques and skills, and you can be that professional if you take the time to get current in the industry and stay current. If you are currently an older job seeker seeking a position in IT, here are some tips so that you can stand out in an industry where management will not admit that they favor younger applicants.
Know the Company Culture and Embrace It
The fact that human resource managers prefer a younger demographic is not necessarily because they are discriminating, it is because the younger demographic typically understands the culture of the typical IT company. You should take time to research the company culture and determine if the culture is right for you. If the environment is fast-paced, fun, exciting and energetic, the company is looking for a very passionate professional that is young at heart. Being an older applicant does not disqualify you for the position, but you need to keep current with cultures before you can interview for any position you qualify for.
Keep Up By Reading Industry News Feeds and Blogs
You are never too old to learn. In the ever-changing field of IT, you need to be dedicated to staying updated with the latest changing in the industry. By learning what new technologies are on the verge of being released, you can show recruiters that your age is just a number. Being in the "know" is imperative when you are applying for an IT position with a dated degree. Sure you have the experience that is listed, but is the experience current enough for the recruiter to accept it? Read blogs from trusted IT professionals you trust, read industry news, and keep yourself in the now and the "know". You do not have to be an expert in the latest technologies just to show recruiters and IT managers that you are making an effort to keep current.
Spend Time Learning and Teach What You Know
If you want to compete, you should update your skills by enrolling in training programs that teach you modern skills you do not possess. Be sure to list recent classes you have completed on your resume. If you are an expert in something that you could teach to younger professionals, consider teaching a class at a local school and add this experience to your resume to show off your expertise.
All job seekers need to learn how to write a quality resume and show off their passion and skills during the interview process. To get further advice and news on these topics some good resources to checkout are ITresume.org, Dice.com and CIO.com. By keeping current in the sector, you can find a quality IT position regardless of your age.