Everyone has a unique set of career aspirations and concerns and it would be wrong to band students together, either by degree discipline or age. There are, however, certain issues which often concern mature students and certain strategies which they can adopt.
In October 2006, new laws were introduced to protect workers from age discrimination. The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations make it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees, trainees or job seekers because of their age.
Many employers know a good thing when they see it! Older graduates often demonstrate valuable characteristics such as:
Thinking about yourself positively but objectively can greatly influence how others perceive you and can prove to be a very useful approach when it comes to filling in application forms and attending interviews.
If you are concerned that your CV or application form will pale into insignificance beside all the other applicants, try a more proactive approach. Remember that many jobs are never advertised so send out speculative applications.
Ask local contacts or your own network of friends, acquaintances, former work colleagues about possible openings or opportunities. Undertake work shadowing or voluntary work to increase your insights, increase your experience and get yourself known. It’s neither unorthodox or heretical - just a different strategy!
DiversityNow is an organisation that mentors job seekers from diverse backgrounds, and that helps prestigious employers committed to diversity to target and hire candidates from diverse backgrounds.
Employers Forum on Age - is a network of employers whose website provides information and advice on age-related issues.
Real World Magazine - Advantage aims to help you build a career based on your merits rather than your date of birth. It also intends to amplify the advantages of age diversity and good practice to employers. Contains interesting articles and case studies. Hard copies of the magazine available in the Careers Service.
The Student Room - offers help and information for mature students interested in working in a particular area. Also offers opportunities to share experiences and ideas.
TAEN - The Age and Employment Network - is made up of member organisations who have a shared objective of ensuring better opportunities for mature people.
University of Westminster Careers and Student Employment Service -useful online resources to assist mature students to develop their careers effectively.
This article was published on Aug 13, 2010