If you know anything about the job hunting marketing for people over 40 in Austin, Texas (any other vibrant tech community) you will know that ageism is a thing. And that a ton of highly-qualified workers are being bumped out of the market and then suffering for months trying to find new employment. Tech is a young field. And none of my managers are within 20 years of my age. They are young, ambitious, and for most companies, not interested in hiring the “old guy.” My current employer (SEE LinkedIn) sees the world in a different way. Indeed, however, should know better than to use this REAL PROBLEM to set up an ad. The guy above is carrying a box of his desk objects and looking pretty concerned. It looks like he’s been fired. The payoff is he’s just be hired. But the price of the ad is the shame and many of us over-40 workers are feeling today. It’s bad form for Indeed to use this dramatic moment as a sales pitch. They should know better.
It’s not just the recruiters and employers that don’t call you back. Job hunting sucks. But being a recruiter might suck even more.
As happy and hopeful as the Indeed.com commercials are, the reality is it’s a dog-eat-dog world in the job hunting process. And as an older worker (anyone over 35 years old) you’re going to quickly discover that there are 100+ things that are going to disqualify you from getting that new job.
There are great tools like LinkedIn, Jobscan.co, and Indeed.com, but they are not going to find you a job. Sorry. About 5% of jobs are filled via online recruiting and job boards. (Okay, made that statistic up, google it yourself if you want the real number) If you’ve done any work looking for a job you probably know that the #1 way to get a job is to network with people in real life. Ask them for coffee. Hit your LinkedIn network hard.
So why is the job market so hard and why is nobody calling you back?
Last week I was interviewed a 3rd time for a very cool non-profit full-time role. I was excited. I got the idea that the company was excited too. And then NOTHING. It’s been almost two weeks. Why did they go dark? Are they ghosting me to keep me as a backup if their first choice doesn’t accept the position?
Communication is the key. But employers don’t have time to give you feedback. Recruiters might, but probably won’t. And even your LinkedIn network is going to be non-responsive if you’re looking for a job first. The key is to network even when you aren’t looking for a job. But, most of us hate networking meetings. And most networking meetings are for people who don’t have jobs, people who are self-employed, and people who forgot to network before they lost the job.
LinkedIn is a tool, but it is not the answer.
That commercial about the older guy walking down the hallway with his box of desk stuff, is very intense. Indeed is playing on us “grey hairs” who are back in the marketplace looking for work. And the ad appears to be his firing, not his hiring. And then all the young people stand up and applaud him as he is making his new “open office” desk his own.
That’s not how it works. And that’s not very cool for Indeed to pray on our fears as older folks.
Here’s what you can do when you are looking for a job.
- Use LinkedIn
- Build your LinkedIn network
- Optimize your LinkedIn profile
- Go to networking meetings
- Join a job club
- Use your network of job seekers to support and encourage each other
- Stay optimistic
- Look for alternative jobs
Most of all we need support and feedback from the companies, recruiters, and hiring manager. But, if that’s not forthcoming, then create a feedback and support network of your own.
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The offending Indeed.com AD: “The Box”