Filed under: Networking
Posted by: John Hadley
@ 4:13 pm
Question: I have a lot of experience and feel my age may be blocking me from job offers. What’s your strategy about filling out job applications?
Answer: You can’t change your age, just how you deal with it. You need to build your case for why your age is an advantage, and deliver a confident message. If it is still an issue at the time you are filling our a job application, then you may not be conducting your search the most effective way. You can’t lie on the application, and you are unlikely to get to the next step if you don’t fill in the application accurately, so I would advise completing it and keeping your fingers crossed.
You need to find ways to get to hiring managers and other influential people through your networking independent of openings. You want to be meeting with me and having a conversation that gets me excited about what you can do before you ever get to the stage of filling out an application. That way, how you fill out the application isn’t an issue.
Follow-Up Question: Here’s my take away from what you are saying:
Before the first interview, if HR says, fill out application and send it to me, I should wait until after the first or even second interview to turn it in. Build interest as you say. Don’t turn it in right away.
What I’m really saying is, try to get connected with people directly so that you either aren’t coming through HR, or when you are, everyone is already prepared for what they might see on the application. If you are instructed to fill out an application, not doing so risks getting ruled out for not following instructions, or pissing them off. You can try filling it out and then bringing it to the interview, but if they call to request it again ahead of time, I think you are stuck.