As an experienced career coach, I have found that at least 20% of my clients are over the age of 45. There is no telling how many so called “older workers” are so discouraged about their age that they reject even considering applying for a leadership job. My older clients ask: “I am an older candidate and feel that my age is working against me, how do I compete against these 30-something year-olds?”
I have worked with more than 650 educators, about 600 of whom are well-qualified. Sixty (60 %) percent of my well-qualified clients successfully get a job. The success rate of “older worker” clients is the same as the rest of my clients.

Most of us are aware that it is discriminatory to ask about your age; you will not be asked that question. However, in most cases it is not difficult to figure out your age. Your resume indicates the year you graduated from college; add 22 to how many years ago you graduated, and they have your age. You are not required to include that on your resume, but you do have to include your record; add 22 to how many years ago you got your first teaching job. Of course, at some point you will submit your college transcripts; your date of graduation is there. If you google yourself, you will find a free site that provides your age. Therefore, don’t hide it by leaving your date of graduation off of your resume. You will only be signaling that you are uncomfortable with your age. My advice is to be proud of who you are. How do you do that?

Usually the first question you will be asked on an interview will be: “Tell us about yourself”. This is your opportunity to tell your story. Take what you might consider to be a deficit and make it into a strength. What is implicit is that with age comes maturity, experience, good judgment; life experience. In my book, “Landing Your School Leadership Job“:, my advice is avoid reciting your work and educational experience in answering that first question. The interviewers already have that information in front them on your resume. What you should do is to describe the characteristics that make you stand out.

Describe your life experiences. Tell them about a problem you solved or a decision you made based upon your sound judgment. Be proud of your maturity. Employers want leaders and educators who have good judgment.

Attend Dr. Aronstein’s March 7th four-hour workshop.


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