Looking for a job as an experienced 40+ candidate is hard! That news is bad, but the worse news is that many of the job search tips you as an experienced, older candidate are receiving isn’t designed for you. They are designed for new grads or the 25-35 year old crowd. Constantly running up against the “age discrimination” wall could be contributing to being a discouraged job seeker or job search depression.
But if you use these tips you just might find that getting a new job after years in a particular field may not be as difficult as you think.
Dust Off Your CV
It’s perfectly acceptable to eliminate experience more than 10 years old, as well as the dates you attended college. Most employers are only interested in current skills and whether or not you have the necessary skills to get the job done. Emphasize your skills, with tangible examples, and how these match the needs of the job.
Focus on recent experience
Perhaps your most impressive accomplishment was 20 years ago, but don’t feature it prominently on your resume. Make sure you don’t do anything to cause employers to think your best days are behind you. Feature more recent accomplishments and if you don’t have enough key things to focus on, find volunteer or other opportunities to expand your experience.
Even if it is not your current experience. Show them you have the exact experience they are looking for.
You need to market the person you want to be. You need to forget all the insecurities — about the lines on your face, etc. You need to create a persona that is the person someone will want to hire.
No one wants to hire you. They want to hire the person you want to be.
Depending on what you want to do you need to identify your market/ organizations/ industries so you can narrow down to the places where you can offer your candidature.
Steer clear of organisations or industries that are known for having young workforces.
Ensure your CVs use the latest jargon and drop anything that has lost currency. In some industries the lingo moves on quickly so it’s pointless to use old terminology, which is long gone.
You’ve recently received. This will show hiring managers that you’re continuously learning and up-to-date on your skills.
With years of experience behind you, it may be tempting to talk about how you can tackle anything the company needs because you’ve seen it all. Rather, focus on the demand of the job you are applying for, and talk about how you’ve succeeded in a similar role with a previous employer.
You really do have to be ready for anything in job interviews … you can always encounter ageism.
Chris Ball, chief executive at The Age and Employment Network
Become familiar with and use online tools like LinkedIn.
If you’ve recently run a marathon, completed a cycling race or simply go to the gym drop it into a conversation. But don’t worry if you haven’t. It’s the projection of energy and perception of health that matters.
The recruiter will face issues when it comes to salary. She/he will conclude that you will not settle for a lower bracket. You will not stand a chance against a younger applicant (who is willing to settle for less). If you have both been interviewed, all else being equal, the recruiter will likely select the younger one.
The majority of jobs being offered in today’s market will require you to be knowledgeable about the most current technology. You need to have excellent computer skills, know how to implement the latest office software and be able to easily navigate your way around the Internet.
Data shows that people who are older stay on the job three times as long as people who are younger.
A lot is gained or lost with first impressions. When you are seeking a job your looks is one of the most important criteria. Be full of life, well groomed, and project a healthy and full of stamina image. An employer would be highly inclined to offer you a job if you look active, and healthy than if you look pale and weak.
Investing in your health and appearance will demonstrate a positive attitude, which will always count in your favor.
Offer them to work on a part-time, trial basis.
Join a professional group or organization. Tell the world what you are doing and want to do. In accordance with the ‘six degrees of separation’ model, you’re bound to be directly or indirectly connected to someone who can help you make things happen. Attend meetings of relevant institutes and have some business cards ready to hand out. Do not lose touch with your industry.
Think about the skills you have that are transferable to another industry or profession; it’s never too late to find a dream job.
With a lot of experience, it may be straightforward enough for you to enter consulting, doing the work you know but charging higher prices than former colleagues.
It’s tough for everyone out there, so don’t take it personally if your job search lags on for longer than you like. Stay positive, keep networking, focus on your skills and competencies, and sooner or later you’ll be identified as the best person for the job.
The bias against mature people is highly prevalent in our country despite existing laws prohibiting such acts. This is a terrible waste of highly skilled human resources and a huge loss of opportunity for the companies who are too shortsighted to consider their application from them.
For those who are in this position there is no need to despair. There are many options open, and with planning and persistence, you will be able to overcome the challenges. Please share your thoughts and experience with us.