Tips for Older Job Seekers
It wasn’t that long ago that almost everyone in the workplace over the age of 50 was looking at an upcoming retirement. That expectation does not hold true anymore. The aging baby boomer population is having to stay in the workforce longer to remain financially solvent, remain productive, or support both aging and younger family members.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the group of younger workers in the total labor force is expected to gradually drop off through a period that ends in 2016. In contrast, the number of older workers, aged 55–64, is projected to rise by 36.5%. In spite of those statistics, it is difficult to secure a job as an older person, and 50 or older who are unemployed have a difficult time re-entering the workplace. So how do you market yourself for success?
A network is just as important today as it was a few decades ago, and while some people have the knack for it, many do not. Use your network effectively. Call up old friends and put the word out there that you’re looking for work. Also, post your resume and credentials on LinkedIn, and use social media to communicate with both your network and others.
Get Out There
This doesn’t mean cold calling or walking into a place of business to ask for a job. Instead, volunteer in the community. You can put that work on your resume, and it will naturally put you in a position to network with others. And, as a value add, volunteer work has been proven to boost moods.
Give Yourself an Update
The way you look and the skill set you have are important when it comes to remaining viable in the workplace. Dress appropriately and professionally for your age. Don’t overdo makeup, and keep your hairstyles simple and classic. Additionally, consider getting certifications or taking continuing education classes to improve your skills. While you may have the skills necessary for a job, listing outdated technology or other skills may incorrectly portray your abilities. You’ll also want to project yourself as energetic. Stay positive and upbeat to let hiring personnel know that you are up for the task.
To keep positive, it’s important to have backup plans. Target what you want the most first, and then include other jobs in which you can see yourself working. The job market is difficult to break into now. Employers are looking for more and job seekers are looking for fulfillment in their work as well as a paycheck.
Perseverance is what you’ll always need to break into difficult circumstances. Remember that a rejection does not define you. Even the most notable figures in our country’s history were rejected multiple times before they succeeded.