Monday, August 26, 2013

15 Best Tips for Job Seekers Over 40

Resume Design
Resume Design (Photo credit: CharlotWest)
Searching for a job when you are over 40 is much different than searching for a job in your 20s.  There are challenges that you might not have anticipated.  But there can be advantages too.  Check out these tips and make your job search as efficient as possible.
  1. Choose a direction.  If you don’t have a direction you might end up applying for jobs that you really don’t want.  And when you do have a direction you can make every step you take focused on your goals.
  2. Make sure that your resume looks at the future.  Don’t focus on what you have done. Instead, focus on what you can do for the company that you want to work for.
  3. It might be tempting to skip dates on your resume but that just looks like you are hiding something.  Be proud of the things you have done and include dates.
  4. Yes, the stereotypes are there about your age.  Just ignore them.  Emphasize your best skills and don’t play into the preset notions that employers might have about you based on your age.  Be you, not the stereotype.
  5. If you have qualities that indicated that you have the same skills that are normally associated with the younger generations (like social media skills, for example) bring attention to these.
  6. Don’t be intimidated by jobs descriptions that use terms like fast-paced or multi-tasking.  Just because you are older than some of the other applicants doesn’t mean that you can’t have these skills. In fact, you likely have an edge on them and have worked in these types of environments before.
  7. Prove that older people can learn new things.  Learn about a new technological software in your industry.  Learn how businesses are using social media.  Develop an online presence.
  8. Keep your mind open.  There are a lot of new career fields that you can likely apply your knowledge and skill sets to.  Transferable skills are especially appreciated in newer job fields.
  9. Join communities of job seekers. Thanks to the Internet it is easier than ever to find like minded people that are willing to share information and resources.  Facebook and LinkedIn are a great resource for groups that are focused in your field.
  10. Consider creating your own job.  Yes, start a business.  Your experience means a lot so you may find a great deal of success in the consulting fields. It may not be permanent but it looks great on a resume!
  11. Spend some time doing volunteer work.  It will prevent you from getting bored if you are not currently working and give you the opportunity to expand your network.
  12. It might be tempting to put all of your vast experience on your resume but no one is going to read all that.  Include the most relevant experience for the job you are applying for.  You may end up with many different versions of a resume but you will find that you get much better results if your resume is targeted.
  13. Be prepared to talk about your positive experiences in working with younger people in your past jobs.  Chances are that there will be supervisors and managers that are younger than you and the interviewer will want to know that you are able to work with them without egos getting in the way.
  14. Have you got an empty nest?  No more children at home?  Then you have an advantage because you’ll be able to work hours that those with a family are not able to.  Make that clear in the interview as this is often a big selling point for companies.
  15. Take advantage of the chronological-functional resume.  This resume style allows you to put the emphasis on your skills as they apply to the job in question.


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