RE: "Age-old" question

Subject: RE: "Age-old" question
From: "Wright, Lynne" <Lynne -dot- Wright -at- Kronos -dot- com>
To: Jody Zolli <jody -dot- zolli -at- gmail -dot- com>, TECHWR-L Writing <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2016 19:19:04 +0000

As I just said to someone on a private thread, I have a feeling that its salary expectations that make younger vs older candidates more likely to get hired.

We believe that our skills and experience are worth high-end salaries; but from the company's perspective, its better to hire somebody who will do an adequate job/improve as they go but who is willing to settle for significantly less in terms of salary and vacation time, etc.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=kronos -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=kronos -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Jody Zolli
Sent: September-12-16 2:43 PM
To: TECHWR-L Writing <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Subject: Re: "Age-old" question

I found myself in need of a job earlier this year. The search wasn't pretty. I'm a technical writer with 30 years of experience. In addition I also have experience in user-centered design and usability testing. And I'm a woman over 50, which kind of seems to be the kiss of death.

I did try to tune my resume' based on the position I was applying for - I often deleted decades of experience in hopes it would make me more appealing. I wasn't interested in removing positions from LinkedIn though - there were lots of people from previous companies I'd appreciate the opportunity to work with again, so I guess if the companies I wanted to work for took the time to look there they'd have found out the truth.

During the economic downturn, I spent 18 months working at a wonderful company who was trying to stretch their round of investment money as far as it would go, resulting in my bringing all of my years of experience to work with me, but only being paid for 60% of them. Being the breadwinner (and health insurance provider) for my family, I couldn't afford to do that again. This time I sent out 58 resumes. The two that got me interviews were both delivered as referrals by someone I knew at those companies. In both cases I got through the first interview but was then eliminated with the reason that "another applicant was a stronger candidate". Does stronger = younger?

The opportunity that finally came through for me was through a headhunter who was likely unaware I was even looking. He found me on linkedin. And one of the main reasons I was hired was because I had coincidentally worked with one of the other employees at a previous company, so they could vouch for me. I wonder if I had been a younger person if I'd have gotten more interviews without someone vouching for me.

I agree it's hard for more experienced writers to find jobs and I don't think it's just because companies are primarily looking for writers with
"3-5 years experience" or "5-7 years experience". (And based on the job descriptions I saw it's unlikely that someone with so little experience would be able to handle all of the responsibilities listed for the job anyway, but that's neither here nor there.)

I've seen lots of articles recently about how hard it is for older people to get jobs in high tech, especially older women, and they seem to ring true for me.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/04/opinion/sunday/youre-
how-old-well-be-in-touch.html?_r=1

https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2016/03/05/tech-job-
market-hot-but-older-workers-struggle/775HPU2OYc5i0Jhr3THTqM/story.html

https://hbr.org/2016/03/older-women-are-being-forced-out-of-the-workforce

https://www.boston.com/jobs/jobs-news/2016/01/05/older-women-hit-hardest-when-looking-for-work

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/work/never-mind-the-menopause-why-women-in-the-workplace-are-finished/

-Jody
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Re: "Age-old" question: From: Jody Zolli

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