The law prohibits age discrimination, but there's no denying it gets harder to find a job the older you get. This is especially true in technical fields, where there's a rapid pace of innovation and a belief that older employees are less likely to keep up their technical skills or be creative. If you're over 50, here are five tips to help you get a programming job without lying about your age.
Create a resume that emphasizes accomplishments, not dates.
Rewrite your resume so it offers specific evidence of your skills and achievements. Use a project-based or functional organization that shows how you bring problem-solving skills and creativity to your work.
Improve your interview skills.
If you haven't interviewed for a job since you graduated from college, take time to practice before heading out to your interviews. You'll want to be able to cope with technical questions, questions about the details of the projects you worked on, questions about your career goals and expectations, and behavioral interview questions that probe how you tackle problems.
Prepare to prove your technical ability.
You may have been programming in Java for more than a decade, but you should still be prepared to back up your technical expertise. You may be asked to solve problems through an online exam or at a whiteboard during the interview. It's a good idea to review subject matter before an interview or test, even if you're an expert. The test or interview questions may touch on areas of the technology that you haven't been using in your current position.
Look for new ways of applying your skills.
You may not be able to find a job that uses your skills in the same ways you've used them up 'til now. Be open to positions that draw on your technical knowledge in a different way, such as analysis or testing.
Demonstrate that you're capable of learning and working in new ways.
Take a class in a new technology and add a new certification to your resume to show that you're still interested in staying up to date. At interviews, discuss how you've adapted to changing circumstances to show your flexibility.
At The Armada Group, we don't care how old you are. If you've got a resume packed with skills and experience, we can help you find a job that will let you leverage your talent in new ways. Contact us to get started in your search.