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Older Graduates Face Some Clear Obstacles

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Summary: Are you over the age of 30 and just graduating? Here is some advice about hunting for a job as a college graduate in your mid-30s.


Question: I am changing careers and have returned to school to get a bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting. As a graduate in my mid-30s, will I have as good of a chance as my younger counterparts in landing a potentially lucrative career?

Answer: Given our youth-oriented society, in many situations, your early-career counterparts will have an edge. Is that edge universally applicable or insurmountable? Absolutely not. Besides, the mid-30s doesn’t exactly launch you into the age bracket that faces age discrimination.

Most candidates face barriers of one sort or another. Apply a two-pronged approach to address potential obstacles.

1. Prepare to overcome potential objections. Anticipate employer concerns that may be lurking below the surface. If for example, employers may mistakenly assume your salary expectations are far above their entry-level offering, you will need to take into account the standard salary range and negotiate within it to arrive at the best offer possible without getting screened out.

2. Become a strong competitor for positions. Top-notch qualifications and related experience should be your No. 1 priority, as they will be uppermost on most employers’ wish lists. To that end, maximize your college experience to stand out from the crowd. Fit in as many quality internships as you can, make alumni connections, excel in your coursework and take on special class projects, introduce yourself to guest speakers, build strong relationships with faculty, and become a member of professional associations in finance and accounting. Yes, it is an ambitious “to do” list—ambitious enough to give you the edge you are seeking.

See 4 Tips For Older Job Seekers Facing Discrimination for more information.

Older Graduates Face Some Clear Obstacles by
Authored by: Andrew Ostler

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