It’s no secret that ageism is prevalent within the work industry, and this detail can influence an employer’s decision on choosing which candidates to hire, whether they are aware of it or not. Resumes have been filtered out during the screening process because of this situation, and this traditional method can make job-searching a more difficult task for older applicants. In this blog, we will share some of our top tips for job searching when you’re over 50!
As an older applicant, your circle of network connections is larger in comparison to younger applicants. Use this to your advantage and start contacting others! Whether it’s family, friends, previous coworkers, bosses, or acquaintances, don’t be afraid to reach out and connect with people.
Once you have a grasp on the sort of job you’re seeking, you can provide a solid idea of what you’re searching for, which can help out during your networking process. Simply asking around can be a step in the right direction. You’re bound to receive suggestions, advice, or even directions to a place that’s hiring.
There are also many sites available online whose main purpose is to help you locate a job. You can list a portfolio, keep it updated with any information that would serve to be relevant to any employers who are hiring. When networking online, make sure to be internet savvy. This involves being aware and cautious when making connections and communicating with others.
One important step is to overcome any age bias; the most common assumption is that people over 50 cannot effectively use technology. In a world that is incorporating technology into every facet of our lives, computer literacy is an essential skill that can allow you to work anywhere. This form of literacy does not limit itself to simply knowing how to navigate a computer, but as well as knowing how to utilize online tools that are used by companies to communicate and keep contact between employees, provide important information, and optimize production.
In order to improve upon your computer literacy, there are many sources available online that are either free or affordable. You can also check out any local libraries, community centers, or colleges that provide classes and information on how to access and use your computer and other devices.
Older adults are also stereotyped as being unable to adapt quickly to new surroundings. This bias can be proven wrong by seeking out classes, curriculums, or any new opportunities that may come your way in order to expand upon your list of skills.
When crafting your resume, make sure to list jobs and experiences that only go back the last 10 to 15 years, but never more. While you should not lie on your resume, do not make your age blatantly obvious to your employers; you don’t need to include any graduation dates within your resume and stick to experiences that are recent and relevant to the job you’re aiming for.
There are many employers that use computerized resume scanners in order to go through resumes quickly and efficiently. However, this means that your resume can pass by unnoticed if the proper keywords are not used within it. Keywords are helpful in grabbing the attention of employers since it matches the job description and is relevant to what they are looking for. Make sure to do your research beforehand. Include any keywords in your resume in order to make sure that it doesn’t go unnoticed!
As you get older, you tend to have more responsibilities to tend to in comparison to someone who’s younger. Acknowledge and understand the duties that you have, as well as the time and energy that you take out of your day to attend to them. Keep this in mind when searching for a job, and be honest about the amount of time, effort, and energy that you can fully commit to the business. Being dishonest about this is not only unfair to the company, but to yourself too! It will result in you being worn out and unhappy.
Look for a job that can provide flexible work hours or is willing to adjust to your unique situation. These are things that should be addressed early on in order to prevent any conflict or confusion from occurring in the future. Especially if you plan on working long-term with whichever job you are applying for! Ask questions about the company’s culture, speak with any employees, whether they were previous ones or are currently working there. If possible, bring up these questions and any other concerns you have during the interview. This will make it easier for you to get a clear idea of whether or not the job will be a good fit!
While you don’t want to appear overqualified, you still want to showcase the knowledge and experience that you have acquired over the years to prove why you would be a great addition to the company. You can utilize that moment to explain your skill sets and previous experiences more thoroughly to your interviewer and demonstrate how it would help further the progress of their business.
If you’re comfortable with the idea, express your desires in helping other employees flourish within the company. Your experience allows you to mentor and guide younger employees who may not have a solid grasp on what they intend to do within the company or how they plan to do it. A guiding hand is an important asset that you can bring to the table, and it allows the company to worry less about finding someone to assist their younger employees if they have more experienced ones onboard.
Your work experience can give off the impression that you’re overqualified, which can raise some concerns for any possible employers. One way to combat these assumptions is to bring in your enthusiasm during the interview. Share your passion and excitement for the job; in doing so, you can assure them that you’re looking to work at the job for the long run.
Another way to counter the assumption is to show your interest and desire to learn about the industry; while your experience and skillset can be applied to the job, you are showing your willingness to adapt and learn more about the job. You can also utilize what you know in order to provide a greater contribution to the company that you are applying for. Show your employers that you will prove to be a great asset to their business.
Just like some companies target younger workers, there are those that are looking to hire older workers into their companies; older workers can provide experience, insight, and wisdom into the workforce. Older workers also have a stronger work ethic, are more confident in their decisions, and are less likely to take sick days.
Either by going through your connections or doing a quick search on the web, you are bound to find companies that are searching for older workers and are working towards combatting age discrimination. This is key when job searching over 50!
This warning applies to both the job and yourself. Depending on your own goals and interests, the red flags you’re looking out for can vary. Making sure that you know what you expect and don’t expect out of your job can help pinpoint what they might be.
Some red flags that can apply to anyone who is job-searching:
While there are several red flags that you watch out for when job hunting, there are red flags that employers keep in mind during the hiring process:
While the ones listed above are generalized, there could be some things within your resume or that come up during your interview that might catch your employer’s attention. Make sure that you’re able to catch what things could stand out to your employer. Be ready to address them in a manner that convinces them otherwise!
While you might have already applied to two or three jobs and feel confident that you’re bound to get hired for one of them, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Acknowledge that the job market is a competitive one. There are many people who have probably applied for the same jobs that you have. In the case that you’re not hired for any of those jobs, keep applying to additional ones; making sure that you have options at your disposal can help break your fall if need be.
Remember that while it’s good to be optimistic, you must also be realistic: getting the interview does not signify that the job is yours, so it’s important that you’re still putting yourself out there and keeping your options open. Safe to say, this strategy means that if all else fails, you still have something to look forward to.
Having a positive attitude is helpful when you’re looking for a job. This attitude can give any possible employer a good impression of you. When you’re busy looking on the bright side of things, it can help you bounce back from any losses or rejections that could occur.
Job searching can be exhausting. However, if you are persistent, you are bound to find a place that suits you and is willing to hire you! Even after you’ve gotten the job, positivity and persistence can help you get things done. You’ll even create a better environment within your workplace, too!
Finding a job is never easy, but there will always be opportunities waiting for you. You just have to go out and look for them! We hope this guide helps anyone who is exploring job searching as a 50+ candidate.
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