I’ve decided to highlight and comment on a recent article by Robert Powell in USA Today titled, “Hired! Age doesn’t have to be a hurdle to getting a job.”
- Networking is critical for all job seekers, even more if you’re over 50. One, you should have a broader network than younger people and two, you will likely need your contacts to “sponsor” you as the right candidate. Use all your contacts, and if you have a spouse, tap into their network as well. I know people who have found jobs because another parent at a soccer game connected them, or people at your church or synagogue. Think broadly when tapping into your network – it should be one of your strengths as a more “experienced” job seeker.
When responding to online job postings, search your network for anyone who knows someone at the firm where you are applying. Find a way to make contact within the targeted company. Get to the HR group within the hiring company. Be aggressive – job search requires assertiveness when you are over 50.
- Spend time on polishing your LinkedIn profile. HR recruiters say they scan LinkedIn to find candidates for job openings. Having a professional profile that includes key words for search engines is vital. LinkedIn is now probably more important than your resume. Spend time to make sure you have captured relevant experience in an informal way. LinkedIn experts suggest you use first person – “I, we” in your LI profile.
- Part time work can be a great foot in the door. This is attractive to the employer who doesn’t want to pay for health care and other benefits. Powell suggests this is a good way to get through the barrier of being an older worker.
- Know what you are looking for and be able to say it succinctly. Powell doesn’t mention this but I have found this important as a career coach. Don’t provide a laundry list, rather highlight specific job titles or functional areas in which you are proficient. Tell your network what you’re looking for and in what types of companies – the industry and size.
Don’t despair. At times it may be difficult, but people over 50 can find new employment. It will take resiliency, discipline and a lot of hard work. For more information, visit our website at makinglifecount.com or contact Joni Lindquist – firstname.lastname@example.org, (913) 345-1881.