The Hidden Challenge to Getting Hired When You're Over 50 – And How to Overcome It

May 2, 2018

The challenge of getting a job when you are over 50, and how to overcome it.

Recently, we asked people on the LinkedIn Learning Facebook page the biggest challenge they were facing in their professional lives. And we got one challenge repeated over and over: how do you get a job when you are over 50-years-old?

“For my husband, (his biggest challenge) is being over 50 and unable to even get an interview,” one Facebook user wrote. Another – “blatant ageism.” A third – “being over 50 and out-of-work.”

This is hardly a trend unique to our Facebook page. There are dozens of articles online of workers 50-years-and-older saying how difficult it is to find a job, and the challenges that come with it.

So, what do you do if you are over 50 and looking for work? 

LinkedIn Learning Instructors Elizabeth and Lisa Earle McLeod explain how to get a job when you're over 50-years-old.

How to get hired when you're over 50 – stay culturally relevant

While there are several changes older professionals face, a big one is cultural relevancy. In a tactical sense, that means the language used in offices around the country today is language many workers aged 50-and-above aren’t familiar with.

For example, do you know what skip meetings, cadence calls and huddles mean? If you don’t, you can appear out-of-touch in an interview or with colleagues. And that makes your experience and wisdom feel irrelevant, even when it’s anything but.

The solution – go to lunch with a younger professional and ask them about their work. And listen to the language they use to describe it – and use that in interviews around the office. That’ll ensure your message stays relevant.

Also, there’s something to remember here – as Ronald Reagan once so eloquently put, being over 50 is an advantage, not a disadvantage. Lean into it. Claim your wisdom. You’re older and you’re wiser – just make sure you're seen as relevant, too.

Looking to land a new job? These LinkedIn Learning courses can help: