How Current Are You - Interior & Exterior Redesign

I went to a meeting this past week and was struck by a conversation I overheard about age discrimination. So in my ususal manner I excused myself and entered the discussion. I want to make sure I place this post in the right context so there is no misunderstanding on what I mean.

A person I know has been out of work for over a year and a half and has not had any luck in landing a position. Yes, this is another human resources professional at the senior level looking for work. I have talked to her in the past and asked what is her approach, her story, and how she attacks the interviews. To sum it up in less than five(5) words, "I do not fit"!!! WHAT, you do not fit ,what does that mean. Her comment to me was "age discrimination". In addition she said, I think they are not considering me because I was at my prior company for 28 years. Have you heard that before, I bet you have, probably coming from your mouth to a hiring manager behind closed doors and telling the candidate he/she is overqualified or something like that - right!!

Here is my observation of this person and what she needs to do going forward. I told her this by the way in very clear and concise terms and descriptive words:
  • you dress like you are 10 years older than you are
  • people think I am too old
  • you present a negative image in your discussions with people around you
  • you feel you are a victim
  • your hairdo is 10 years behind the times
  • you do not think up to date
  • you do not show any confidence
  • you do not sell yourself on your resume
  • you do not have a plan when going into the interview
I could go on but these are the key elements of what is wrong and what she needs to do to change her image going forward:
  • dress your age, but in a modern way, check out the fashion magazines to see where you can make changes
  • be positive in your open discussions with people so they get a sense you can contribute rather than criticize
  • think and have a survivor mentality
  • use your age as a degree in business experience and how that can help a company
  • go to the beauty salon and tell them to style your hair for the times and to the shape of your face and height
  • think current and relate that to business and engagement conversations
  • exude confidence in every discussion
  • use your 28 years as stepping stones to your last job- that means never in the same position or responsibilities for XXX months/year(s)
  • have a plan when you go into an interview - be smart and do your homework. etc, etc
I cannot wait to see what happens the next time I see her in March. If she looks, acts, and does the same things she does not want to be employed. If she makes these changes she will be employed by then.  

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