Over 50’s job search tips

Competing against younger job seekers who are often more tech-savvy can be scary and discouraging. Career Money Life certified supplier, Andria Wyman-Clarke of Job Toolbox, shares some job search tips for people over 50.

You have a great depth of experience and many skills. However, you feel that you are being passed over for jobs because of your age. You wonder “what do I need to change to ace the interview and get the job?”

Using an effective job search methodology can help bring success, particularly, as many corporate companies desire the depth of experience that age brings to a role. You need to use your skills and experiences to your advantage and need to demonstrate how they are essential for the job you are applying for.

Here are my top tips to accelerate your success in your job search.

  1.  Ensure you are on LinkedIn
    Almost all recruiters use LinkedIn to find potential candidates. A well-written profile focusing on the value you will bring to your employer will create opportunities for you. Some essential components of an effective profile are a great photo with a smile, a dynamic headline and a summary that explicitly states the value that you bring.
  2.  Job Search
    If you are still looking for a job in the weekend papers, you need to add a range of new locations to search for your next job. In addition to LinkedIn job sections, ensure that you are active on all the major job boards such as Monster.com, Indeed.com, and Seek.com.au. On job boards, ensure that you set up job alerts to notify you when suitable jobs in your area are listed. Also, many job boards allow you to upload a profile or your resume which recruiters can search.Target companies that you would like to work for and check out their careers page for job advertisements and register to be kept informed about suitable vacancies.
  3.  Network
    One of your great advantages is the size of the network of people you know. You probably just haven’t thought of using them for a job search. In many job searches, networking can play a significant part in getting a job.Reconnect with old friends, associates, and colleagues. Tell them that you are looking to change jobs and ask for their advice and if they know of any vacant roles.
  4. Resumes
    You have spent 20, 30 or 40 years developing depth of experience and skills and you believe that your resume is the place to showcase it. Unfortunately, you need to adjust to the latest modern resume style. Companies are only interested in the last 10 or 15 years of your relevant experience. You should delete everything from the prior century.Change the format of your resume to two pages using size 11 or 12 point font and only include the relevant achievements from your last 2 or 3 jobs. It doesn’t matter what your responsibilities were, your new employer will want to know what you achieved. There should be only 3-5 bullets points summarising these for each job.

    Similarly remove birthdate, age, and dates from degrees and courses, as these details are not relevant to your job search. Also, ensure that you have a modern email address such as Gmail, but don’t include your birth year as part of your email address (such as Bob1952).

    If you are uploading your resume, you need to ensure that it is compliant with the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), which can require different formats. It is probably safer to use a file format of .doc (not .docx or .pdf) unless the instructions state what format it can read.

  5. Ace the Interview
    Although employers find that employees of all ages can show inflexible attitudes, the perception is that it is more prevalent in people over 50. It is up to you to demonstrate this is not the case.Ensure that you show flexibility in answering your questions. Certainly, include one or two answers where you have demonstrated that you have flexibility in how you handled a task or assignment.If the role is a manager of a younger team demographics, try to incorporate an answer for a situation where you successfully managed younger people, and they found you were a great mentor.

    Even if the recruiter or manager is young or inexperienced, don’t lecture or give them advice.

    Practice, practice, and practice. Ask a friend to give you an interview and get used to answering questions in a live setting.

  6. Negotiate your Salary
    You may need to be more flexible on salary expectations. Most managers run tight budgets and have choices to make in the talent they hire. Just like shopping for a new car, you want maximum value for the lowest price. If you price yourself out of the market with high expectations, you will be searching for a longer time.If you are currently paid at the top of the pay band, you may experience difficulties finding another company to pay at the top for a new starter. Rarely will companies start people at the top of the band due to a potential risk that they will not be a top performer in the new culture.

    If the job is different from what you have done in the past (industry or type of role), the company pays for the experience that is required for this job, and they may not put a premium on your experience that is not as useful for the new job.

    7. Kick-start your new Job
    When you start your job, you need to be open to learning about your new company, your colleagues, and your new job. Some new starters believe that they know it all and they are the solution to the problem and this can negatively reflect on them.

    You may be used to using certain software and technology, but it may be different at your new company, so you need to upskill quickly.

    Also, your colleagues will find the statement “at xyz we did it this way” very frustrating. Your colleagues are not interested hearing your last companies name frequently.  Instead, ask if they have tried a different method – people are more accepting of this approach.

    Ensure that your attitude will get you past your promotion period.

This post originally appeared on:  www.jobtoolbox.com.au/blog

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