One of the biggest mistakes jobseekers over 50 make is thinking the job search process hasn’t changed much. It has.
On the other hand, some overestimate how much hiring has changed. Despite Applicant Tracking System technology, networking via LinkedIn and video interviews, the fact remains: it’s still PEOPLE making the decision to hire PEOPLE.
10 Musts for After-50 Job Seekers
- Don’t wait. According to a 2015 survey conducted by the AARP Public Policy Institute, jobseekers who start their job search immediately tend to be more successful in landing a new job than those who wait.
- Know what’s important to you. Before starting your job search, conduct a self-examination. How many hours a week do you want to work? Where do you want to work (do you want to be able to telecommute part of the time)? Do you want a full-time permanent position or are you open to project work, consulting, or contract work?
- Skills can set you apart. The value you can offer a prospective employer is critical to your re-employment chances. Part of your self-examination should be figuring out what sets you apart.
- Don’t let your resume age you. Your resume is not your obituary, nor is it your blueprint documenting everything you’ve ever done. Instead, make it your brochure by focusing on the last 10-15 years of experience relevant to where you’re going next, focusing on achievements and formatting in a way that is appealing for an ONLINE rather than a PRINT read.
- Money matters. Research salaries for the positions you’re seeking. You may need to take a pay cut, but not always.
- It’s often about who you know. Your personal network of contacts is 3-10 times larger than a 25-year-old! Instead of simply sitting down and applying for positions online – leverage your network and talk to people!
- Research, practice and prepare. Do your homework. In addition to researching the company you are about to interview with and those you may be meeting, it is essential to be ready for the act of interviewing.
Today’s job interviews may be structured differently than what you’re used to. You may meet with multiple people during the interview — either simultaneously in a group interview or in a series of interviews in a single day.
Your initial interview may be conducted via Skype or as a video interview. You need to be able to handle the technology piece of a virtual interview well to progress to an in-person interview.
- Dress for success. Personal grooming is key. The right haircut and attire can cut 10 years off your appearance. On the other hand, the wrong makeup and apparel can prematurely age you.
- Be Patient. It typically takes longer for someone over 55 to land a job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it takes an average of 37 weeks for people ages 55 – 64 versus 25 weeks for those 25 – 34.
- Remember what makes you special. Why shouldn’t companies hire someone younger or cheaper? Because the 50+ crowd has earned a reputation for an exceptional work ethic and a treasure trove of knowledge. Remember – you’re worth it!
In need of some career advice, a refreshed resume or rebranded LinkedIn?
As the founder and chief writer at Virginia Franco Resumes, offering customized executive resume and LinkedIn profile writing services for the 21st century job seeker, would be happy to chat!
VAFrancoResumes@gmail.com | http://www.virginiafrancoresumes.com | Call/Text: 704-771-8572