Job Searching at 50+: a Few Basic Rules to Follow

It’s a reality of today’s job market…

More and more “seasoned” employees are remaining in the job force. Consequently, as some lose their jobs to outsourcing or right-sizing, these more mature workers become job-hunters competing for that next position.

While some older people believe they should easily be able to get a new job because of their extensive experience,
there is a lot more to take into consideration. First, realize that a lot of companies today are looking for younger people out of college with a few years of experience and new ideas. As unfair as it might sound, there is a perception that older people won’t have new ideas or prove difficult to train.

At Key Corporate Services, we have the following recommendations for older job seekers:

The Cover Letter

Forget about bragging about your years of experience. Don’t re-state your job history in your cover letter. It would be far better to emphasize a willingness to learn and adapt to new ideas and combine that with proven experience and results, results, results.

Time to brush up that Resume

Yes, regardless of federal rules against age discrimination, “ageism” does exist in hiring. However, companies need help and if you bring some unique and/or highly desirable experiences, list the things potential employers are most interested in knowing about; your achievements relating to those experiences! Simply summarize early experience into a paragraph that lets the reader know what you did more than 10 years back.

Honesty is appropriate, but don’t be too extensive

Don’t list your age or date of birth on a resume. Never lie on a cover letter or resume. You want to find creative ways to get that proverbial foot in the door. Only then can you WOW the interviewer with your experience and worth.

You HAVE to have an effective ONLINE persona

If you aren’t up-to-speed on knowing about networking sites like LinkedIn, research or get help to learn. At a minimum, you need a good LinkedIn profile. There are lots of online instruction on how to prepare one. The use of keywords is critical when creating a LinkedIn profile. Understand this and create your profile accordingly to include the keywords of the posted job description you are applying to, provided you have that experience or skill.

In the end, realize any cover letter or resume is just a tool to get you an interview. And, consider balancing your online application efforts with networking events. Networking with contacts established over a long work career gives you advantages in this area over younger competition. Mining your networking contacts pay produce the golden nugget of a job that was never posted online but perfectly suited to you.

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