Have you read any job search blogs about Gen Y? There is a lot of talk about how Gen Y is so great, and why they are such a wonderful asset to bring into an organization. They have terrific attributes like being (more) tech savvy (than the old people), being better multi-taskers (than the old people), being more flexible (than the old people), being (better) team players (than the old people), etc.
This generalization of Gen Y is positioning them to swoop in and solve a companies problems, for sure.
Generalizations are bad, though. Other ways to say generalization is stereotype, bias, judge, … and the common one, discriminate.
Discrimination is rampant in the job search, as it is everywhere. One of the “groups” that I hear about the most when it comes to job search discrimination is the Baby Boomer Generation. I’ve heard “they have gotten us into this mess” with regard to the current economic situation. They don’t understand technology, etc. etc.
Lots of reasons why you shouldn’t hire an old person. Lots of reasons why you should hire a young person. Let’s ignore, of course, all of the “other side of hte coin” stuff about the stereotypes of either generation.
The fact is, discrimination in the job search is there, and we (as individual job seekers) have to figure out how to combat it in our job search. I don’t have enough faith (or neivity) to believe we can get rid of it all together, but I do think that individually we can work to get past discrimination in many cases.
As we do this, aren’t we simply moving past some prejudgements that people have, and helping them learn more about us outside of a group/category? Once they get to know us as individuals, as professionals, regardless of age, race, religion, etc., then they can see what value we bring to the team… right?
What are your ideas to combat age discrimination in a job search? It can be in a resume, interview, cover letter, networking event, etc….