It’s not always easy for older job seekers to find work. Don’t get in the way of your own success. Try these tips to improve your chances of landing a job.
In my Suite 101 article, “5 Tips Job Seekers Over 50 Can Use to Make the Job Search Easier,” I recommend that older job seekers do several things to help themselves find a job, including staying up-to-date on the latest trends and technology and accepting the fact that not everyone is enlightened about the benefits of hiring older workers.
While the original recommendations still hold true, here are three additional tips to help older job seekers find work.
Exude Confidence by Being Prepared
Yes, you’ve heard this advice a gazillion times. But have you followed through? Do you know your work history well enough to provide clear and succinct responses to interview questions? Are you able to paint a vivid picture of your background using numbers to quantify your work experience?
The reason this is important is that prepared people are confident people. Consider the fact that public speaking is the number one fear for most of us. Now give an impromptu speech or a presentation that you haven’t practiced enough, and chances are your nervousness will increase. That’s what happens in job interviews.
Show You’re Uniquely Qualified, Not Overqualified
It’s been used repeatedly, in politics and business. I’m talking about the expression: uniquely qualified. I recently read it on a blog about being an entrepreneur. And it just seemed to make sense to me that it would be helpful in this instance as well.
One of the biggest issues that recruiters and hiring managers seem to encounter when conducting interviews with older candidates is a concern that they are “overqualified.” For them, being overqualified means too many years of experience and, therefore, too expensive.
To reduce the likelihood you’ll be considered overqualified:
- Limit your resume to the last ten years of experience only;
- Suggest during the job interview that there is always something new to learn (you may even want to be prepared in advance with a specific goal); and
- Focus on your valuable skills and experience, not the number of years it took you to develop them.
Now is the time to put that confidence you gained by preparing in advance to good use.
Be Internet and Social Media Savvy
Sure, you’ve heard of Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and all things Internet, but are you a participant? You don’t have to be a daily user. However, to have no online presence in today’s job market can virtually make you non-existent.
According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, over 2,000 hiring managers were asked why they use social networks to conduct background research. Sixty-five percent wanted to see if candidates present themselves professionally, 51 percent did it to see if they fit the company culture, and 45 percent wanted to learn more about each candidate’s qualifications.
Additionally, the Internet offers you opportunities to connect with potential new employers and re-establish friendships with former colleagues. Not to mention the amount of research you can do on companies where you might want to work.
So, before you run off to your next interview, thinking that you’re too old to get the job, be proactive. Take the time to prepare, focus on how you can contribute, and establish an online presence. You’ll be in a better position to land the job.