Does it feel like no one wants to hire someone your age? Are you afraid you’ll have to take a lower paying job than what you had? It’s true that if you’re job hunting over 50, you have some challenges. But, you can find a great job (at a great salary) and get hired. Here’s how:
Edit Your Resume
Your resume should not be longer than 2 pages (unless you’re in the C-suite). Don’t go back more than 15 or 20 years in your job history because that early work dates you. What’s more, it’s probably not relevant to what you’re doing now.
Then, take out paragraphs that describe what you did and use bullet points. And, quantify your accomplishments by describing them in terms of numbers, dollars, or percentages. See more on that here: Write a Resume That POPS!
Update Your Email Address
If you still have an AOL or Yahoo email address, get a Gmail one. You need a personal email account with a business-appropriate name (no nicknames, please). All your job search communication should go through that.
Update Your LinkedIn Profile
If you’re not on LinkedIn, start your profile. If you are, make sure you have a good photo and a powerful headline that says what you do (not just your job title). Then join groups related to your career field. Lots of groups post jobs that might not get publicly posted.
Need help with LinkedIn? Get my LinkedIn Profile Tutorial.
Use Your Network (It’s Bigger Than You Think)
Think about ALL of the people you know…everyone you worked with in the past, everyone you met through work, everyone you met through your kids or social groups, and all of your friends, relatives, and acquaintances. Each one of those people should know that you’re looking for a job (and what kind of job) because they know people that you don’t. Just a casual, “Hey, if you hear of a job in XYZ, let me know,” can work wonders. Use your network.
Contact Hiring Managers Directly
If you’ve been in the workforce a long time, you’re more likely to be passed over by HR departments (this is where your online applications go).
Your best bet is to skip HR and get your resume into the hands of the person who could actually hire you. That’s the person who can best see your value and will be most likely to offer you an interview.
In addition, contacting hiring managers will uncover hidden jobs. Not only are these often better jobs, you can cut your competition out of the race by finding them first.
Sell Your Age as an Asset
Older workers are less likely to job hop, have more experience and often have better judgement than younger ones (with age comes wisdom, right?). Think about the positive qualities you have to offer employers and sell yourself for the job.
And...use your experience to create a 30-60-90-day plan for your interview.
Know the Biases Against You and How to Overcome Them
One of the biggest biases against you is the perception that you’re over qualified—especially if you’re applying for a job at a lower level than you were in before. You may have your own reasons for this, and those are valid. But you should have a good answer to this question and feel confident delivering it.
I have a whole webinar where I show you the 5 biggest biases against ‘Over 40’ job seekers and how to overcome them, and I hope you attend. Find out when the next webinar is here.