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AdvisorNet

Thinking Robust Experience Should Open Doors To Interviews, But Now Fearing Age Discrimination

Veteran

Greg Kropkowski Colorado Springs, CO

I've never had any problems in obtaining a job after I first left active duty in 1990. My average job search lasted about one month. Of course, I was much younger.

Service was 24 years in total but since most was within the U.S. Army Reserves, I was able to build a substantial and accomplished civilian career in in financial management and financial program management across several diverse industry. I was just "raised" in a corporate environment where one would think these qualities are something to be sought after by employers, not shunned. Couple this experience with a West Point degree and a Masters in Finance from the University of Colorado and the " Sorry, but we have decided to pursue candidates better suited to our needs" emails become just absolutely mystifying to me.

I'd like advice from someone who can offer strategies to combat the age discrimination I feel I am facing because I truly feel I should be getting interviews and not these emails I just referenced above. Thank you! ~ Greg Kropkowski

3 March 2019 8 replies Networking

Answers

Veteran

Greg Kropkowski Colorado Springs, CO

Thank you, Yasmina. My resume doesn't have the years of graduation on it form the schools I've attended. Likewise, I don't put the periods of employment for my past jobs.

However, when you fill out an application online, as is almost ALWAYS the case, they require you to put the periods in. It quickly becomes evident that the HR screener is looking at someone in their fifties. And, rather than embrace the rich experience the applicant can bring . . .the older applicant is rejected out of hand.

Age discrimination, in reality, is legal (in practice) . . .because companies can get away with it . . .as they can with other forms of discrimination . . .simply by rejecting you and letting you know that there were just "other candidates better suited to our needs" ! In MY case meaning "someone younger than you"!

Any thoughts on this?

Greg

3 March 2019 Helpful answer

Advisor

Jo Prabhu Long Beach, CA

Discrimination is often used as reason for those who are rejected but today its really elimination by computers that decide whether you are a qualified applicant and its primarily the most recent 2 jobs that matter the most to a future employer because it reflects your most usable and recent skill sets. An educational degree acquired 20 years ago is very different to what is being taught in universities today. Even surgeons have to continually upgrade their education and skills to catch up with the procedures being performed and what you learned years ago does not relate to todays trends and technologies. I suggest you read every job description thoroughly and only apply for those if you really have at least 8 of the 10 things they are looking for. Incorporating that as buzz words can at the very least get you to come up in searches and an opportunity to get in the door.

Advisor

Nancy Quartey Palo Alto, CA

Hi Greg,
Unfortunately, I hear stories of age discrimination all too often. Although it is not supposed to happen, we know that it does. One way to take control of your career and stop depending on others is to start your own business. Have you ever thought of franchising? Many people are attracted to the idea of a proven, successful business model that is duplicatable, on-going franchisor support, and training. I would be happy to schedule a conversation with you to discuss career possibilities in business ownership. Let me know if you're interested!
Nancy

Advisor

Scott Gagnon Winthrop, MA

This is a great resource to help you. It is run by my company (Navisite) to help veterans like you:

https://www.veteransjobexchange.com/

Good luck

Advisor

Jerry Welsh Middleville, MI

Be sure you do not put out front something to discriminate against. i.e. 24 or 20+ years experience. I see many retired military start their profiles that way and wonder why it sits with no activity. If I hiring and need 7 years of experience and a BS degree and you have 20+ and a Masters, it has nothing to do with age-you are over qualified. The comment about networking is key. I always used to write on the board for TAP workshops Network or Notwork. You owe then only 7-10 years of you work life in a resume and your profile. The application will require more, but most folks get the invite based upon the resume. Thanks for your service and God Bless.

Advisor

Bob Molluro Wilmington, DE

Greg, you are approaching your problem from the wrong direction. Trying to get past the resume /HR screening process doesn't work as you have found out. Your solution lies in Networking until you find someone who can recommend you to the right person. You have extensive and valuable experiences to offer. The financial services industry is looking for people who can succeed. Try connecting with local area agency managers. Even if they don't have a need they have connections to the people who do. You need to sell yourself to the right person who recognizes what you bring to the table. Ask for help from your past contacts.

Advisor

ACP AdvisorNet Staff New York, NY

Hi Greg,

I think that the following article better outlines what hiring managers are looking for in a resume: http://money.com/money/5481496/how-to-make-a-resume-2019-free-template/. From my personal experience, it has helped in the past when I’ve added the years of employment for my past jobs on my resume, even when you are required to do so on an application online.

I would also take a look at the following article to compare different types of resumes https://www.thebalancecareers.com/resume-types-chronological-functional-combination-2063235 ( you might want to try a few out to see which one works best for the type of job you are applying for/ which one best highlights your experience and skills).

I also saw that you recently applied for our mentorship program. This is definitely something that I would discuss with your mentor once you are paired. They will be an expert in this area and will be able to guide you through this process. As always, I’m a phone call a way if you need further assistance.

Best,

Yasmina

Advisor

ACP AdvisorNet Staff New York, NY

Hi Greg,

Thank you so much for your service and for submitting your question. Although I do not have first hand experience with your situation, my father has gone through the same issue. As outlined in the CNBC article (https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/27/how-to-overcome-age-discrimination-when-interviewing-for-a-job.html) age discrimination is illegal, but it doesn’t mean that it does not happen. What has worked for my father, and what this article suggests is that you pay extra attention to your resume in situations like these. Because you have a lot of experience, I suggest paying close attention to the length of your resume (try to aim for one page). Also, I think it helps if you focus on the roles that relate the most to the job you are applying for. For more tips, I suggest taking a look at this article: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/9-tips-to-help-jobseekers-beat-age-bias-2012-11-21. My other suggestion would be to check out our community tab feature and directly reaching out to advisors who may have more experience with the general job search process. If you have any questions at all, or would like help navigating our website, please feel free to give me a call, 212-752-0700.

Best,

Yasmina

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