If you’re a job seeker over 50 you may be struggling to find work. OK, let’s be completely honest here. Even though we have legislation which states employers shouldn’t discriminate against older job candidates, is this always the case?
Sadly, in reality older job candidates are just not taken seriously enough. But by following these ‘Job Seeker over 50 Top Tips’ you can change all that.
Added to this, lots of women in their late 50s or early 60s have been informed they’ve now got to work for many more years before they can claim their pensions. This has put many women aged over 50 under pressure to work longer.
So if you’re a job seeker over 50, how do you get a job?
Well, all is not lost, but you do have to get real here. You’ll have to stay up-to-date with modern recruitment tactics and strategies if you’re going to stay ahead of the game.
If you’re an older job hunter and find yourself looking for work this can be a daunting task and one you need to take very seriously.
Your circumstances can be very different, for example, you are:
- Being laid off
- Being made redundant
- Returning to work after taking care of children
- Returning to work after taking care of an elderly relative
Whatever the reason, getting a new job or returning to work when you’re over 50 isn’t as easy as people would have you believe. But it isn’t impossible. You just have to understand what employers are looking for. Then you implement the tactics or strategies needed to convince them you can do the job well!
Tip 1: Revamp Your CV or Resume
There’s a danger when you’ve worked for 30+ years to try to add every job you’ve ever had into your CV or Resume. This is a BIG mistake. The document shouldn’t be more than 2 pages – unless you’re going for a job as a CEO of a major company.
Your employment history on your CV/Resume should go back around 10-15 years and be matched specifically to the job description… and no, ‘one-size’ does not fit all!
Employers are just NOT interested where you went to school or which certifications you took as a teenager. They are more interested in your life’s skills, experience and qualifications and, more importantly, how you can add value to their company.
Highlight all your relevant experience and skills and include action words like:
These words will show employers how you have actively participated in duties and tasks in your previous jobs.
Tip 2: Targeting (one size CV/Resume does NOT fit all)
While we’re on the subject of preparing your CV or Resume, it’s important for you to understand applying for jobs when you’re a job hunter over 50 requires a lot more preparation.
The thing is, you have to convince employers you’re not too old and out of touch. Plus you have to convince them you are the IDEAL candidate as you have the skills and experience to do the job.
OK, so how can you do this?
Well, you’ve got to become a detective and carefully analyze exactly what the company is looking for in that job role:
- Highlight all the skills, knowledge and qualifications the employer has included in that particular job ad.
- Next, take a sheet of paper and list each one, leaving some space underneath.
- Underneath each one write down each job you’ve had where you have used these skills, knowledge or qualification.
- Create a new CV or Resume based on this list – or tweak a previous one. Don’t just send a blanket document out to each employer, as this is a surefire way to get rejected. One size does NOT fit all when it come to applying for jobs.
Tips 3: Consider Temporary Jobs or Volunteering
If you’re getting really stuck trying to find your perfect job when you’re a job hunter over 50, then sign up with some temp agencies in your area. Short-term contracts can be interesting and help you build your skills and experience in a different employment sector.
It also looks good an a CV or Resume as it shows someone is paying you to work for them and you’re not unemployed.
Volunteering for a good cause in your area can also have a positive effect on employers as they can see you’re still using your skills and also helping others by giving up your free time.
4. Improve Your Technical Skills
The Internet as we know it is only just over 20 years old, hard to believe we actually had a life without it. But many people aged over 50 didn’t learn computer or technical skills at school, so they have had to learn a new way of life as adults.
Nowadays, most employers are looking for people who can operate their computer systems.
This doesn’t mean you’ll be using coding or need a degree in computer science, but it does mean you’ll have to feel comfortable learning new systems in each company.
A lot of organizations have their own bespoke computers systems designed specifically for their line of work or industry. Granted, you can’t know them all that’s why most employers will provide training once you get the job.
The Job Seekers 50 Plus Top Tips is here to remind you that employers are looking for a job candidate who shows they aren’t afraid of learning new skills and is confident enough to face the challenge.
One way you can get to grips with computers skills is to join a course at your local community college or take a course online. Even learning the Microsoft Office Suite – Word, Excel andPowerPoint will help to show you are willing to learn new skills and keep up to date with technology.
Tip 5: Network like crazy!
Did you know a large percentage of jobs are NEVER advertised?
That’s because a lot of companies prefer to ask their current employees to recommend or refer family or friends they may know who are interested in current vacancies.
It makes sense, don’t you think? If a good employee recommends someone they are usually a better fit than someone who is a completely unknown.
So, it goes without saying, the best way to find a job when you’re over 50 is to network, network and network. Follow these Job Seekers 50 Plus Top Tips and network with as many people as possible.