Youth: A Disadvantage in Today's Job Market?

"Out with the old, in with the new." That tired adage makes sense in many business settings, but not when you look at this recession's impact on the labor market.

Older employees aren't always the first to get the layoff axe today, despite assumptions about them being more expensive for an employer's bottom line.

If you look at the government's report on unemployment for April 2009, you'll see that the jobless rate for adults aged 20-24 was 14.7%, and 9.7% for adults between 25 and 34. But the rate for people over 55 was 6.4%.

This can be very good news for people who are close to retirement age but nowhere near close to retiring.

But for younger folks it's a reminder that youth isn't necessarily a big asset right now. Instead, focus on experience.

If you're young and want to keep your job — or are looking for a new one — here are a few tips on consider:

  • Highlight measurable results. Make sure you can point to your work accomplishments in terms that are quantifiable (e.g. money saved, traffic generated, new clients won, etc.). This applies to your resume as well as your annual review.
  • Cultivate a professional appearance — online and off. You don't always know if you're being judged as too young or inexperienced, so guard against it by always dressing professionally for work or job interviews. Are you "tagged" in any online pics of your friend's wild bachelor party from last year? Make sure your digital presence on social-networking and community sites is professional.
  • Emphasize your soft skills. Even if you don't have much work experience, demonstrate and emphasize skills like dependability, good communication, problem-solving, or a good work ethic. These suggest maturity and add value for an employer.

For more on this, I recommend the articles "When Young and Old Compete for Jobs, Who Wins?" and "With Jobs Scarce, Age Becomes an Issue."

 

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6 Comments

  • ghgh dfghdf

    If you are looking for a job talk to the governmental job center, staffing agencies, and other people who would logically be in the know.

    Germany Jobs

  • ghgh dfghdf

    If you are searching for job talk to the governmental job center, staffing agencies, and other people who would logically be in the know.

    Germany Jobs

  • Kimberly R

    It will be hard for the newly grads to have their way into the greatest job market. The job market for 2009 college graduates looking to enter into the workforce and into careers are going to have slower start than they would like, as the employment market isn't the hottest right now, so jobs for college graduates aren't exactly legion, that's how the experts predicted. With type view of how our economy is going through recently, the prediction can somehow happen. Experts also predicted that the new college graduates aren't entering into a market of instant money, and the experts are predicting that instant gratification won't be theirs, but after some time the market will rebound, but until it does, 2009 college graduates will have to worry about cash 'til payday.