It can be intimidating to look for a job when you’re over 50. You’re often competing with younger prospects willing to work for less, and fluent in the latest technology. Here are a few strategies to help you land that next job.
Adjust your attitude: Don’t think about your age. A defeatist attitude will come through in an interview and will destroy your confidence. Focus instead on your abilities and experience, and feel good about what you have to offer.
Network: Now’s the time to call or email your former colleagues to let them know you’re looking for a job. Create a profile on LinkedIn, Jobster.com and other social networking sites so you can remain in touch with these people. Don’t forget that Facebook is a great networking tool, too.
Brush up on your technology skills: Take a computer class to learn how to use the latest software and social media. Potential employers need to see that you’re as up-to-date on the latest technology as your younger counterparts, and that you’re flexible and a quick study. Be sure to include your new skills on your resume. And speaking of your resume…
Update your resume: If you worked at your last company for many years, the terminology used in your resume is probably crusty. So go back through it and incorporate up-to-date vocabulary. Remove work history older than 10 years, unless it displays a particularly extraordinary accomplishment. You can also omit your graduation dates, so that the focus will be on your skills and experience rather than your age. Tailor your resume to each job you apply for so that it reflects skills and experience relevant to that position.
Look the part: On an interview, wear clothing that is fashionable, age appropriate, and well-fitting. You can reduce or eliminate the gray in your hair, and be sure your haircut is not straight out of the 80s.
Sell yourself: Emphasize your track record and your many professional accomplishments. Point out your loyalty to past companies—it will prove valuable at a time when many younger employees frequently switch jobs.
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