Welcome to the Gen Plus Blog

It's a backstage pass to info on jobs and life at 50+. Gen Plus, headed by Janet Wendy Spiegel, is dedicated to baby boomers and the plus generation of age 50 and older. Read up and speak out on issues affecting your future: jobs, income, life and respect.

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Northridge, California, United States
Successful businesswoman, consultant, entrepreneur. I operate two businesses -- social media consulting, AND premium pet care services in the West San Fernando Valley. Love what I do, love life.

Gen Plus has relocated to www.GenPlusUSA.com

Saturday, July 28, 2007

"Same-store" in job search for Boomers and 50 plussers?

In profit-driven, growth-focused corporate America, there are a few concepts that bring shivers of excitement to CEOs -- new business (acquisition), growth of existing business (retention) and the growth that new and old deliver. You may have heard the term "same-store" -- that refers to existing business.

In job search, especially at 50 plus, there is a certain corporate America bias to hiring the older worker. I like to think of it as an interpretation of the visual representation of the job seeker. Huh? Eh? What do I mean? Simple -- in hiring, the book IS judged by the cover. If you are a Gen Plusser -- a boomer or 50 plusser -- you are visibly older than a Gen Xer and Gen Yer. Looking older, creates a subliminal suggestion to the recruiter (especially in BIG business), that your contribution to the operation will fall in the category of "same-store". That means you'll add value only as running business as usual -- NOT bringing in the fresh blood and growth perception of acquisition (or a YOUNGER hire.)

Your strategy (and you need to have a strategic approach) must take into account your age and your approach MUST bring your "value-added" to the table. How will you add profitability to the company? What skill set do you offer that will bring fresh ideas and growth to the company's revenue (and/or bottom line?) How internet/web-savvy are you? What is your knowledge of the industry you are looking to work in? How can you take past successes and translate them into the new online relationship building market world? How do you break down new doors? Or ask for business, streamline procedures and expenses, make an operation more viable?

This contribution needs to be apparent in your resume, your cover letter, your "look", your approach, your conversation -- essentially, your personal brand. It does not matter if you are applying to big business or small business -- your value-added is key to overcoming your visible age.

If you aren't clear on how to brand yourself, there are a ton of branding articles in my Job search categories in the right sidebar. Here are a couple of links to some valuable articles. Let me know what YOU are doing to refresh and rebrand your own "book cover."


Heather CC said...

Oh my. I've never thought of it this way. Wow. Now I have some ideas of what to do. Thank YOU!

Dan Schawbel said...

Glad that you mentioned personal brand in your piece. You really need to shine that brand throughout all your marketing collateral, giving your audience a single view of you as an individual.

Dan Schawbel

Walter Akana said...

Hi Wendy! Great post!

You are *so* on target with the fact that –plusers need a personal brand! And you’ve inspired my own post here:


I’m glad you’re spreading the word!

Wendy, founder, Gen Plus said...

Dan, a good comment, thank you! Your point is well-taken. It is the cohesive single view of the individual that creates the personal brand. Please visit again!


Wendy, founder, Gen Plus said...

An excellent post, Walter! I highly recommend your content and hope readers do head over to read your great content: http://walterakana.typepad.com/threshold_consulting/

Scot Herrick said...

Personal brands are tough to create, no matter what the age. But, being in the workplace for so long should enable 50-plussers the ability to pull out the accomplishments of their career to create a personal brand and the messages that go along with it.

And, yes, we all need to sell the value of what we bring every day. It is the only way to differentiate ourselves in this age of rampant layoffs and global outsourcing.

Wendy, founder, Gen Plus said...

Scot, thanks for adding your thoughts. You are right -- it is very hard to create a personal brand. What we are all commenting on is the need to differentiate oneself -- to find those values/accomplishments that help us stand out from the crowd.

For our readers, Scot has a really good site -- http://cuberules.com. Check it out.


azureleaf said...

A note about personal branding - the brand should be short (3 or 4 descriptive words), evocative of you and what you offer, and open a door to further discussion/opportunity. For example, my personal brand is that I am a "connectician." I spark connections between people, ideas, things...practically and actionably.
-ellen, the connectician

m65 said...

very nice article and great mention about personal brand. keep up the good work.