Tips for Job Seekers Over 50

 

Companies are looking for workers who can easily adapt to change, have current skills, learn new things and are technology savvy. Whether you are currently employed, unemployed, or making a career transition, you can expedite your job search and increase your chances of landing a job by focusing more on the value of your experience rather than your age. Below are a few tips seasoned job seekers can implement to improve their success rate.

Harness the Power of Your Network. The advantage of a developed network is that you can contact your personal community and business connections for potential job leads. They are more likely to refer you to their contacts because of the relationship you’ve had with them over an extended period of time.

Keep up with Trends in Your Industry. Follow blogs, join groups related to your career field on LinkedIn, and participate on discussion boards. Join a group for job seekers or start one if it does not exist. Subscribe to industry newsletters and follow thought leaders on Twitter.

Update Your Resume. Tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for—each time. Impress the hiring manager with your skills and competencies. It is not necessary to emphasize that you graduated 20 years ago or list every position you have held since you entered the workforce. Two pages and 10 years of relevant work experience is more than enough.

Use a Different Email Address. Email accounts such as Hotmail, AOL and Yahoo are no longer popular and considered outdated. Consider using Gmail, at least for your job search. Remember to use a simple email address such as firstnamelastname@gmail.com. Avoid any references to birthdates and dates you graduated from college.

Pay attention to attitude. At times, some job seekers over the age of 50 sense that they are being discriminated against due to their age, especially if the interviewer is younger than the candidate or if they do not receive a call back. Remember to assume positive intent with each encounter.

Demonstrate your fluency with technology. You can demonstrate to potential employers that you are tech friendly by including your LinkedIn URL on your resume, mention an interesting article you found on the employer’s Twitter feed, or regularly contribute to industry-related groups on LinkedIn.

Older workers will continue to play a vital role in our economy so approach your job search with a positive attitude. Focus on your strengths, accomplishments and the value that you bring to the employer. Keep in mind that UMUC Career Services is available to help you plan and achieve career success. Click here to set up an appointment with a UMUC Career Advisor by visiting our website.

Rhoda Smackum is a career services advisor at University of Maryland University College. She in an associate certified career coach and global career development facilitator. Her areas of expertise include career coaching, career transition, career exploration, working with special populations, job search strategizing, and supervision.