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Job Search Tips for Older Workers

Finding work during a recession is tough, to be sure, but finding work during a recession when you are 55 and older can be even tougher. The fact is, in our youth obsessed culture young pups will always have an advantage over grey wolves, no matter the experience level.

A  Harris Interactive/CareerBuilder poll found that, among workers 55 and older who had lost their job since the recession started, only 28% had found employment within a year as opposed to 71% of 25-34 year olds. Those are disheartening stats to say the least.

If you’re a grey wolf don’t feel like you have to give up on catching the lamb just yet however. Many folks in the same ‘too young to retire’ situation are indeed finding work, and they’re using the tips below to do it. Read on, and let’s see if we can give you something to keep those pups at bay.

Firstly, look for companies who have an older core of executives, people that realize the value of real-world experience.  Steer clear of companies being run by execs in their 30’s though, unless you like heaving your pride hurt by a guy 20+ years younger than you.

‘Streamline’ your resume.  If an employer sees that you were on Moses’ team when he parted the Dead Sea, you might want to consider dropping that bit and going with something a little more recent. It also helps your cause if you don’t look smarter than the boss. In this case, less is better.

If you don’t have a computer you should get one ASAP. (What the heck took you this long anyway?!) A smart-phone would be a smart idea too.  These days it’s all about being ‘tech savvy’. Taking a basic computer course wouldn’t hurt either.

List your capabilities more than your achievements.  If you were Valedictorian of the Class of ’65 you don’t look smart, you look ancient. Put down what you can do now, not what you did then.

Renn Zaphiropoulos, the founder of Versatec , had this advice for the older job seeker-  “Don’t tell me how hard you worked, don’t tell me how long you worked, tell me what you accomplished. Tell me what you can do for me. Don’t tell me you’re a self-starter or creative. Show me what you did to demonstrate these characteristics. Let the data speak for you.”

Finally, use the facts about your age to your advantage without playing up the actual years that you’ve been in the field. Emphasize that you’re stable, always on time, hardworking and dependable. Employers, no matter your age, are always seeking people they can depend on.

Top 4 Reasons Why You Have Not Landed A Job

The main reason you have not landed a job in an improving but still sluggish economy is you. This does not mean you as a person but rather your tactics in networking, your resume, your interview techniques and skills, and your use of social networks like Linkedin that can aid you in your job search.

The tired old adage “doing the same thing and expecting different results” may be just where you are in your job search. The top reasons why you have not landed a job are your management of networking, your resume, and your interview skills.

Your primary and only objective in answering ads for open positions is to get an interview. The more face time you have with potential employers the more likely you are to land a job if not the job of your dreams. Dream jobs are scarce these days

Your primary weapon in opening the doors to a face to face interview is your resume. A well done resume is putting your best foot forward in your first contact with a potential employer.

A great resume makes you stand out from the herd. Your resume should be concise, have perfect punctuation and grammar, and above all present your accomplishments. A laundry list of former job duties is meaningless to a potential employer. Accomplishments that saved or made money for former employers is what a potential employer wants to see. A cover letter briefly stating your qualifications and some of your major accomplishments make you a viable candidate for a new job.

An interview is the best way for you to stand out from the rest of the pack that is hungry for the same job you are. Dress like you would for a funeral. Overdressing is an indication you understand the seriousness of the situation and indicates that you are flexible even in job environments that do not have a formal dress code.

Do not attempt to make yourself better than you are. With all the background information available to a potential employer for a few dollars any fabrications will eliminate you from consideration.

Networking your old job associates is a very useful tool in finding a new job. If you are just beginning a career or are “of a certain age” your network may be small to nonexistent.

Linkedin can be an invaluable networking resource for the job seeker. Linkedin is a social network of business people. You can connect with former employers and coworkers, find direct contacts with potential employers in your field, and get tips from pros about what jobs are hot. You can use Linkedin as a marketing tool for the product you are selling. That product is your experience, ability, and accomplishments. The majority of Linkedin’s services are free

If you have not landed a job you need to look at your networking methods, perfect your resume, and practice you interview skills. Landing a job is work. Work is what you are looking for anyway so do the work that gets you what you want and need.

10 Job Search Tips From a Fortune 500 Recruiter

I recently had the honor to interview Sucheta Jain, Senior Technical Recruiter at Latitude 36, Inc., who has over 6-year experience in Information Technology (IT) staffing recruiting on the topic of IT job searching strategies. Her recruiting focus is IT Project Management and IT Program Management. Here are Sucheta’s tips for IT job candidates. Enjoy!

Top 10 Job Search Strategies

1. Have a clear idea why and what you are looking.
2. Networking
3. A strong Resume
4. Review the job description and customize your resume to the job position by using keywords.
5. Be honest and be persistent!
6. Tell everyone you meet you are looking for a job.
7. Don’t be late. Arrive at least 15 minutes early for the interview.
8. Think before answering a question.
9. Do not take rejections personally.
10. Follow up.

Top 3 Common Mistakes that Job Seekers Make

Poor resume: Having a poorly written resume is a turn-off for many hiring managers. When I see a resume that is not professional and polished, I immediately skip it. I will skip a resume from someone who can’t even take the time to spell check or check for grammar errors.
Not prepared for an interview: Basic elements: articulating your value, conveying your knowledge of the company, asking intelligent questions, negotiating compensation, and following up. After the interview you may also want to send a thank you note either by postal mail or email.
Ineffective Networking

Your Top Recruiting Sources

Job Boards (e.g., Dice, CareerBuilder, Monster, Hot jobs, Indeed)
Professional and Social Network (e.g., LinkedIn, Facebook)

Final words

The most important thing in managing your job search is to clearly know what, why, and how. There is no “best” candidate, but a “best suitable” candidate. A successful outcome for both the company and the candidate is to find out if they are the best match for each other.

5 Tips to Use LinkedIn to Network With People

One of the main websites leading the way in the social network game is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social networking website that caters to more than just social networking for friendships; LinkedIn specializes in business networking for everyone. The website helps its users to network within a business as well as social platform in many different ways.

Tip #1: Put Up a Profile Picture or Image

One of the best ways to network on LinkedIn is to post a photo or picture of either yourself or a photo that illustrates what you are all about. Post a photo that is easily viewed in a thumbnail size and try to incorporate color as much as possible so it is easy for others to see just by quickly scanning it.

Tip #2: Fill Out Your Entire Profile

Make sure every single aspect of your profile on LinkedIn is filled out. It looks better to people if you have a multitude of information on your profile. The first impression of yourself is through the information you provide in your profile; so make it as comprehensive as possible.

Tip #3: Make Sure Your Website or Email Address is clearly visible

You want to make sure that individuals that view your LinkedIn profile are able to contact you if they feel so inclined. Having your website or email address clearly visible on your profile makes the ability for others to find you and contact you that much more easily.

Tip #4: Add People to Your Profile that are Interested in what you are Interested in

If you are interested in fashion, then try and add individuals to your network that share fashion interests. If you market an internet company, then add internet savvy individuals. You will be able to find people’s interests on their profile, so look and add appropriately.

Tip #5: Post Your LinkedIn Profile link on other Social Networks

In order to get the most networking power out of LinkedIn, make sure you post your LinkedIn profile link on anywhere you can. Post it on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blog sites, etc. You will find people clicking on it and messaging you merely from them seeing the link on another social networking site.

3 Career Tips For College Graduates

If you’re a new graduate you’re probably wondering ‘what’s next’ right now, and maybe even a little scared about the job market and what the future holds.  While your concerns certainly are fair, this isn’t the time to go hide under your desk at home but rather to start doing the things that will get you noticed by prospective employers and get the job search under way.

The old adage that ‘pride goeth before a fall’ is still true, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be confident. The fact is, you’re adept at working with computers and the latest tech, you’re adaptable to changes, and you’re open to doing things a little bit differently. You don’t need your first job to be the best job ever, you need experience and you have a lot going for you. So get out there, see what’s available and go get it if you want it.

Clean up your on-line profile!  If you spent the last four years posting every rant, rave or ridiculous picture of yourself on Twitter, FaceBook and Tumblr, now might be a great time to go around and take some of that stuff down. Today’s employers are looking at social sites to get a feel for what their future employee brings to the table, so having a picture on FaceBook of you, half sloshed, wearing a T-Shirt that says ‘let’s get naked and f@ck’ might not be a great idea.

If you really want to get some real world experience, go out and see the real world. Teach English in Peru, go to Haiti and build shelters for homeless people, or travel Europe and work on your language skills. Now, at this time in your life, you have the last burdens that you will ever have. No family, no mortgage, no ‘career’. This is probably one of the last times you’ll be so free, so take advantage of it.

No matter what you do, enjoy this time of your life and be proud of your accomplishments. It’s not the time to sit around doing nothing, but if you want to stretch your legs and smell the roses for a little while you’ll still be OK.

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