As an older jobseeker, you might feel like the odds are stacked against you…
But, not all companies share the same outlook. In fact, with a vast range of experience, a network of connections, and myriad of knowledge – your maturity might actually be a huge potential benefit to employers. You just need to learn how to sell yourself effectively.
We’ve already covered five of the best jobs for older people, but here’s how to find work as an older jobseeker:
Whilst older jobseekers usually excel in terms of skills and experience, they may be less likely to show it off digitally – whether it’s by keeping active social media profiles or by communicating with their network of contacts.
And with most recruiters not only using social networks to recruit, but also vetting candidates’ social media profiles as a way to shortlist applicants – having a digital presence is absolutely key in today’s world of jobseeking. It’s also a good way to stay connected with other industry professionals.
But it’s not just social media that helps you stay relevant.
It’s also vital to ensure your knowledge is current, especially if you’re working in an industry that’s constantly changing.
Listening to webinars, reading industry-specific articles, or attending conferences are all great ways to ensure you stay up-to-date with the latest trends.
Give yourself a (career) makeover
Chances are, you probably first created your CV decades ago. And if you’ve been in the same job for a while, it might not have been updated since then either.
So before you jump back into jobseeking, make sure your CV is not only up-to-date, but also relevant to the roles you’re applying for.
And it’s not just about adding your most recent achievements and skills; it’s also important to remove any irrelevant information – whether it’s because it was from a long time ago, or because it doesn’t add any value to your application.
After all, CVs don’t have to include everything you’ve ever done. And they should also be no more than two pages long.
Additionally, if you haven’t interviewed in a long time, it’s also a good idea to brush up on your technique. Practicing with friends or family, recording yourself speak, researching the company, and reading advice online are all great ways to prepare for an interview.
Play to your strengths
Remember: being a mature jobseeker isn’t a flaw, it’s a benefit – one that can differentiate yourself from younger competition. You just have to play to your strengths.
For example, you’re likely to have a wealth of experience in a particular field with a good track record of success, making you a valuable asset to any organisation. You should also have a lot of great examples to demonstrate your enthusiasm, dedication, and commitment to your career.
And whilst not every employer will line up with your values and preferred culture, it’s all about doing your research to find the workplace that suits you. If you think you’ll fit in, chances are, the recruiter will think it too.
Hit the books
When was the last time you learnt something new?
It can be all too easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to your continuing professional development, especially if you’ve been in the same role for a while. And whilst employers value experience, they’re also looking for someone who’s willing to carry out lifelong learning.
So take some time to look into the specific requirements needed for the position you’re looking to apply for, and ensure your qualifications match up.
It could be that you decide to go back to university, or gain an industry-specific qualification to help you stand out from the crowd.
Even something as simple as taking an online course (that you can fit around work) or attending a retraining programme, could be all it takes to brush up on your knowledge and prove your enthusiasm and willingness to learn to employers.
Looking for work as an older jobseeker can often feel like starting over.
You might have spent 10-20 years in a senior position, only to be presented with lower level roles and a pay cut – which in no way match your level of experience and expertise.
For example, you might be put off by certain responsibilities or requirements that differ from what you’re used to. But instead of ruling it out – see it as an opportunity to learn and expand your skillset.
And, as job descriptions are just an outline of what you’d do, there’ll always be a way to adjust it to your talents and progress to something more senior if you’re offered the role.
Remember: you’re looking for a new start, not a replacement.
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