Many people struggle to find work, especially during harsh economic conditions. Unfortunately the struggle can sometimes be even worse for jobseekers over 50. However, there are always things one can do to give themselves the competitive edge. Here, we give you 10 tips for over 50 jobseekers.
1. Never stop learning, even if you’re well over 50
Don’t just apply for jobs whilst unemployed, take this time to improve your skills. There are many online courses and part-time courses that enable you to upskill and really develop the skills potential employers want.
By staying up to date with the latest technologies and tools, you can prove to be the perfect candidate for hiring managers. Find out about the latest tools and skills needed for your particular industry/role and start improving your knowledge, until you are able to impress hiring managers.
2. Apply for the roles where your expertise can be utilised
Don’t apply for any random post because you need a job; apply instead for the jobs where your experience and expertise are needed. The more niche the sector or position, the more likely you are to get the job.
Concentrate your efforts when job searching in your “area” – you will bring in the knowledge companies need. In this case, your decades are not a hindrance, but wealth of expertise and skills.
3. Networking is important for over 50 jobseekers, too
Today, social media and networking plays a great deal in finding work. Don’t underestimate the power of social media. Start following the companies you wish to work for on Twitter and create the perfect LinkedIn profile that showcases your talent and skills.
Businesses now rely heavily on social media and the internet, and they need people who understand how they function and how businesses can grow through them.
4. Get your CV or resume in line with modern-day technology
The world of job search has changed dramatically in the last decade. Nowadays, many recruiters and hiring managers use applicant tracking system (ATS). This software enables them to have more free time, rather than spending hours reading CVs/resumes. The software basically does the job for them by scanning the documents received to ensure the ones forwarded meet the right criteria. Those that do not meet the requirements are trashed by the system!
Things that can have your CV trashed include poor or outdated formatting, graphics and images, as well as lack of use of keywords.
Learn how to beat this software by learning more about how it works. Here is an earlier article on how to beat the ATS.
5. Cut down your CV to the last 10 or 15 years
It’s not just over 50 jobseekers that struggle with this, it’s also much younger ones. Long CVs can be a hindrance, they also alert your age to hiring managers. Age discrimination is illegal but it happens. To avoid falling victim to it, it is encouraged that you do not mention your age on your CV or go as far back as the 80s (a whole different world)!
Make your CV two or three pages maximum. If you feel certain roles that you held beyond 15 years ago are relevant to the job you are interested in, then mention the irrelevant ones beyond 10 years by title and give more details about the relevant ones.
6. Focus on your achievements
Long gone are the days you can list duties and responsibilities on a CV and impress a recruiter. Machines can perform duties now, just like with the ATS! So, you need to learn how to highlight your key achievements and appropriateness for the job.
What have you accomplished in your previous roles? How did you make a positive change in your job or to the companies you worked for? If you can make a list of answers to these questions, then you will impress recruiters.
7. Remove dates from your education background
Sadly, age discriminators will check all dates on your CV, so remove the dates but state the degree and the university you attended.
Of course, if you attained a certificate or degree within the last 10 or 15 years, mention it. This will be to your advantage as it shows that you gained qualifications in recent times.
8. Get familiar with the latest videoing tools
As we move more and more towards the online world, we become more and more dependent on its tools. During pandemic times like COVID-19, we have seen the importance of these tools as we depend even more so on our online technologies. Many first interviews are now carried out online first then later in person.
It’s important to learn how to use these technologies and feel comfortable with them. Start practicing your online interviewing skills. When taking interviews online, it’s important to set the right scene. Choose an area or room that is clutter-free and setup your camera. Make sure you have correct lighting and that you are comfortable with your image. Then call a friend or a family member who can give you a mock interview. It will make you feel more confident when the real interview happens.
9. Turn your years of experience and knowledge into your best weapon
Imagine all the years of experience you gained in your sector and role. Turn that into your best weapon. If you have been lucky to have worked in the same industry for many years, then you know its ins and outs. Let your interviewer and hiring managers know this, so when they meet you they know they are facing someone with knowledge and expertise.
Don’t let yourself become intimidated by younger people or knew technologies, showcase the years of work experience that were gained in the sector. Use your seniority as a competitive advantage.
10. See your age as diversity and not hindrance
We’re all about “diversity” today, whether in gender, race or sexuality. Add age to this category and make an organisation more diverse. Don’t be afraid to let a company know that you are looking for an organisation that is inclusive and diverse, to the point that everyone is represented. That includes you, over 50 jobseekers.
This will empower you and make them feel, well, less modern and regressive, if they are ageist.
If you would like us to have a look at your CV/resume to see if it’s fit for the modern world, get in touch here. Our reviews are free, as for our writing, you decide whether it is necessary or not!