Five Tips for Job Hunters Over 50
Though the job market has improved in recent years, many people are still unemployed. Perhaps most troubling, many of those people are age 55 and older. They are fearful of an uncertain future and a job market where they are seemingly overlooked.
For many unemployed over the age of 50, the harsh reality of a job market that does not value their experience or skillset is deeply disconcerting. As difficult as the job market can be for older adults, it is not impossible to find a job.
Do not limit yourself
Those who were victimized by layoffs should expand their job searches to more than just their previous fields. While it is definitely a good idea to maintain contacts and look for openings in your old field, it is also a good idea to examine your skillset, experience and find a new field where these things apply. Chances are, your years of experience are transferable to many fields, and redirecting your job hunting efforts to a new line of work might yield opportunities you are not even aware existed.
Embrace the 21st century
Many companies mistake workers in their 50s and might unfairly categorize them as dinosaurs with no grasp of mobile technology or the latest software. However, those applicants who can demonstrate their proficiency in the latest technologies, including mobile technologies like smartphones, tablets and social media, can put themselves above fellow applicants.
If you are mired in long-term unemployment and spend every day at home, get out and start working. Volunteering is a great way to lift your spirits, network with other professionals and maybe even learn of employment opportunities you would not hear about on the couch at home. Volunteering, be it with a charity or a professional organization, is a great way to revive your resume and continue to add accomplishments.
Emphasize your age
Many unemployed adults over 50 tend to look at their age as a hindrance from finding gainful employment. However, your age can be an advantage, as many organizations find older applicants are more reliable and need less time to adapt than younger applicants. When emphasizing your age as a positive, focus on specific achievements and accomplishments and reduce the emphasis you place on job tasks and titles. Achievements tend to stand out above titles, and adults over 50 likely have achieved more than younger, less experienced applicants.
Smaller companies, wherein employees tend to wear many hats, are more likely to value experience than a larger company is. By the age of 50, many professionals have vast experience in a host of different positions, and that versatility is likely to appeal to a small company looking for employees who can multitask.
Finding a job after the age of 50 is not easy, but taking a broad approach and emphasizing, as opposed to downplaying, your experience might help you stand out of the crowd.