Showing Shared Core Values Could Get You Hired

John Krautzel
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Unfortunately, age discrimination happens in the workplace whether it's intentional or not. Companies may think that older workers aren't tech savvy enough to handle a contemporary office environment, which leads to hiring younger people instead of highly qualified and experienced older workers. Shared core values are the key to get you hired in a highly competitive labor market when it comes to showing your worth to a company.

Shared Core Values Defined

Shared core values mean you have a personality trait that resonates with an employer's corporate culture. For example, a company can have a customer-centric focus that puts customers ahead of any other consideration. If you love making connections with customers, you share a core value with companies that have the same type of attitude. Core values should be ingrained in a company culture so much so that everyone at the company can define them.

A company should espouse its values from the leadership team on down to entry-level employees. CEOs and company presidents should routinely talk about values that are part of the employer's brand. These values could be in thought leadership and innovation, improving customer experiences, automation or a wide range of topics.

Why Shared Core Values Are Important

Employers cannot train someone to have shared core values. This soft skill is important because employees who have the same core values as a company engage better, work harder and are more productive. Workers who have the same values as a company show they are more invested in their efforts. Knowing your core values works as leverage as you seek the right job opportunities.

Using Core Values to Your Advantage

Older workers have a greater sense of their core values versus younger ones. Younger people are still trying to make their presence known in the workforce, which means they focus on hard skills rather than defining their values or gaining valuable experience. Older workers apply their values and experience to their jobs, and they make decisions based on those soft skills. When your core values match that of an employer's, it's time to demonstrate that fact.

Research companies that share the same focus as you do. You might enjoy working outdoors with an environmentally responsible company, or you could find employers that love people with analytical minds that solve computer coding problems. With so many opportunities, all you have to do is discover the right company. Researching companies that share your core values is easy thanks to the internet. Look at a company's mission statement, employees, leadership team, social media and LinkedIn pages to get a sense of its values.

Watch for core values in action. Do employees at the firm happily talk about values in their social media posts or blog entries? What do press releases or news media outlets say about the employer? How do customers respond? You should have plenty of information to determine if a potential employer shares your core values.

Shared core values give you an advantage beyond technical skills because you know how your values work. You already have loads of experience; you just need to demonstrate how your core values benefit an employer to get you hired. What core values do you look for in a company?

Photo courtesy of Howard Lake at


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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Mark S and @Ellen B thanks for your comments. So hard to get around the age thing. But, companies are slowly starting to change back and realizing that they need the experience and work ethic that "older" employees bring to the table. They are realizing that the new generation doesn't have that same work ethic or conscious that older generations have and they want that steadying influence in their work centers. It may not turn around as quickly as we would like but we are seeing a slow up-tick towards companies hiring older workers. So demonstrate those core values on your resume and in the interview and you could just be the person they are looking for - even if the hair is a bit grayer!

  • Mark S.
    Mark S.

    One of the largest road blocks I have ever encountered in my life. Lots of experience and "core values" ,work etiquette/ethics but over 50. Hard to find now a days with the young college graduates with little to no work experience...

  • Ellen B.
    Ellen B.

    Very much enjoy your open mind attitude and confronting another common discrimination against those over 50 in the workplace. Thank you for your thoughts.

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