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How to Get a Job If You Are Over 50

Let’s face it, anyone who’s 50+ fears that they’ve become “too old” to be hired anywhere. We’ve been brainwashed that while age means knowledge; in the working sector age means less time for them to get their use out of you. You fear going up against those fresh out of college kids who don’t have even a smidgen of the experience you have; yet will somehow get a second look because they can grow with the company. Yet the facts are, 50+ is far from the time your life is “over” and definitely still gives you well over a decade of working time.

Generally speaking age usually means having pride in your work.  Those in the older categories of life tend to go in to work regularly, like clockwork, with fewer sick days. You’re no longer in that age group where it’s okay to call in sick because you were out partying the night before.

Being 50+ means that you are mature and often willing to put in the extra mile for your company because of the work ethics you’ve been taught. Fifty is not a life sentence to being stuck in a nowhere job or worse yet, milking unemployment until it’s no longer available and then taking a minimum wage job and hating your work for the next 15 years.

So how do you make your age work for you? It’s quite simple actually. You show them what 50 really is and be proud of your knowledge, experience, and abilities. Believe it or not, employers often do realize that your age means experience and experience cannot be replaced by book smarts or a piece of paper that says you learned everything.

Sure, some places want to train a younger person and mold them into their own creation; but chances are that younger person isn’t going to stay in that position for an extremely long period of time. An older candidate is looking for a place to finally hang their hat and coat and call it their last job. They’re almost a guarantee of 10-20 years of good hard-working and experienced employment.

Believe it or not a recent study published in Forbes Magazine, August 6, 2012, states that out of 4.3 million jobs created in the last three years, nearly 3 million have gone to people over the age of 55. That’s an astounding number if you consider what most of us are lead to believe; that once you hit 50 nobody wants you. So how do you become one of those positive statistics?

One of the best things you can do is not list every job you’ve ever had but instead focus on all of the abilities you have from your work experience. On your resume, focus in particular on your experience and expertise that will impress them for this particular job. It’s okay to change your resume up so it reflects the one particular job you are going for.

Utilize one main resume and make small changes to beef up the areas that are going to help you look like the best, most experienced candidate for that particular position you are applying for. Focus on your talents and experience rather than the number of years you’ve had to obtain your experience.

Target companies that a presence of older workers puts their customers more at ease; for example financial industries like an older presence because people want to feel like their money is being handled by someone with experienced and not some young guns that will be reckless with their money.

A company filled with all new, young faces can be frightening to a client who is coming in to see the way the company operates. They will wonder why nobody has been there for long and how much do all these younger people really know. Sprinkle in the right amount of older, more knowledgeable workers throughout the company and the company looks like most other companies out there who have been in business for many years. Every company needs the “old timers” to give a little insight and guidance.

Most of all don’t let your age allow you to put yourself out of the race. You will be surprised what experience can do over college degrees or youth. Knowing that you have confidence in yourself is one of the biggest battles; just like it is for everyone. If you can keep that confidence and wow them with your experience you could wrap up that interview better than any new college grad may ever be able to do.

5 Common Job Errors You’re Probably Making

Although there is a ton of information available that will help job seekers avoid mistakes that could potentially cost them an excellent job opportunity, people continue to make common job seeking mistakes that should be avoided at all costs. In the information that follows, you will discover 5 job search errors you’re probably making, which should be corrected before you make one more phone call, or submit one more resume.

1. Not Keeping Your Options Open

One of the biggest problems, when a person is on a job search, is that they find one position that they really like and they only submit one application to that specific opportunity. This is a complete no-no. If you really want to limit yourself in terms of options, this is a prime example of how it’s done. Quite honestly, this is a mistake you’ll need to avoid. You should always keep your options open by applying and interviewing for a number of different positions within your field until you land that ideal job. Frankly, if you put your job search on hold in anticipation of landing a single job opportunity, you could end up starving once you find out you didn’t get chosen for the offer.

2. Job Descriptions That Turn Up Your Nose

A very common mistake is to not fill out an application or interview for a job opportunity based on its description. Some may feel that if the job offer is the ideal job or that they feel as though they don’t have many of the qualifications required, they simply won’t apply. This is another no-no. The whole idea of a job search is to learn specific information about the job market as well as landing that ideal job. The more you interview, the more interview experience you will have. This means that when the ideal job does come around, you will be well prepared because you have wasted no time taking on all comers when it comes to job listings.

3. Not Creating a Thank-You Note of Perfection

It’s surprising that a vast number of job seekers do not make it a practice to send a thank-you note after they’ve been interviewed. Well, once you do get in the practice, there are some other things you’ll need to know about creating the ideal, “Thank You” note. The first thing is, you don’t want to send a thank you note that is long and drawn out and basically states that you are desperate for that particular position, and you will do anything in order to acquire it. On the other hand, you don’t want to send a one-liner such as, “Thank you, I enjoyed the interview.” A genuine thank you note should be between four and eight sentences, which will express gratitude for the opportunity to interview regardless of the direction taken by that particular company.

4. Not Verifying References

Another item to avoid will be to give out references that you have never taken the time to pre-screen. How would you like it if someone gave out your name as a reference, and this was a person you really didn’t care for? You see, unless you pre-screen your references, you could potentially do more harm than good when it comes to landing an ideal position. Make sure that all references that you use have been screened properly before you use them on any type of employment application.

5. Bad Attitudes Don’t Get Jobs

If you have a poor attitude, the interviewer will notice whether you are on the telephone or in a personal interview. It’s important to always be positive in every aspect when speaking to a potential employer. Quite honestly, if you keep a positive outlook on every aspect of your life, what you desire will also desire you.

By discovering the 5 job search errors you’re probably making, you’ll be able to make corrections where needed and move forward in the job search market. You will have a better outlook on what needs to be done, and the steps that will need to be taken in order to land that perfect job opportunity.


6 Tips to Stay Positive During a Job Search

Staying positive during your job search is no easy task. Sometimes a job search can feel somewhat hopeless in the economy that we are currently in. Here are six tips to stay positive during your job search:

  1. Set daily and weekly goals. Setting goals as far as updating your resume, updating your LinkedIn profile or making sure that you apply to a certain number of jobs per week will help you to stay motivated. Treating your job search as you would a job will make sure that you don’t miss any opportunities and that you end up getting the job that you deserve. Depending on the market that you’re in your job search could be incredibly competitive, staying ahead of the competition and working at your job search regularly by setting these goals will only help you succeed.
  2. Do something every day to move your job search forward. This goes back to setting goals. If you can’t think of something that will help you to advance your job search, or an activity that’s productive to your job search to complete during the day, then there’s a good chance that you’re not going to get very far with your job search. Taking days off from your job search will only extend the amount of time that you’re unemployed.
  3. Believe in yourself. When you’re meeting up with people, or even handing off your resume it’s important to represent yourself in a professional manner and in a confident manner. Be sure that when you’re meeting someone, even to drop off your resume at a business that you conduct yourself with confidence. If you believe in yourself and believe that you deserve the job that you’re applying for, you have a much better chance at getting in.
  4. Feel the fear and do it anyway. When browsing through job opportunities do not be afraid to apply to something that you feel may be competitive, or difficult to get into. It could allow you to get into an excellent career path as a result.
  5. Never give up. It’s important to never give up, even though you might not be getting callbacks it doesn’t mean that you can’t keep trying. Time that you spend taking a break from your job search means that other people are getting positions that you could potentially work at. Giving up is counterproductive to your job search.
  6. Picture yourself working at your perfect job. Visualizing yourself at your perfect job will help to give you the strength to continue your job search. Although, times may be tough financially throughout the course of your job search, picture yourself happy after you complete your job search and it will make the entire struggle worthwhile.

Keeping these tips in mind will help you to stay positive throughout your job search. By staying positive you’ll be able to get into a new job faster and also remain more motivated throughout the course of your job search.

Job Hunting Lessons I learned from Olympians

OK, reality time; the vast majority of us will never, ever get a chance to be Olympians. Ever. Once you can wrap your mind around that we’re ready to proceed.  Done?  Good.

While most of us are never going to be Olympians we can learn quite a bit from them about how to find a job. That’s right, Olympians have the skill set necessary to find work in, well, any economy. By looking at the way they approach their training we can learn much about how to find gainful employment.

Focus, focus, focus.  Let me ask a question; do you think Michael Phelps plays Farmville or party all night?  No, he does not.  He is supremely focused on the task at hand, and because of that focus he is the most decorated Olympian in history.  If you are looking for a job you should not rest until you have one, and by putting away the distractions you’ll give yourself the best shot.

Gabby Douglas is the newest Gold medal Olympian in gymnastics and let me tell you she has spent the last four years sticking to a schedule to get there. She has devoted herself completely to her sport and her tight schedule allows for almost nothing else.  Training, stretching, exercises and cardio, and that’s only in the morning. If you put that much devotion into your schedule you’d have a job in no time. Plus you’d be a lot skinnier.

Don’t worry about the guy to your left or to your right. When you see those runners sprinting as fast as they can for the finish line do you think they’re asking themselves ‘I wonder what the guy in lane 2 is doing to get so strong?’. No, they’re keeping their eyes, and head, in their lane only.  They don’t care about what other guys or gals are doing, only what they’re doing and where they’re going. When searching for a job it pays to keep the blinders on and concentrate on your actions so that your number comes up next.

Commitment to a goal is the final lesson.  Most Olympians spent years focused on their goal of being a champion.  If you can put similar commitment into your job search you should be able to find employment much quicker than they found gold, and with a lot less sweat.

The fact is, while few of us will ever stand on that most special of podiums, if we take a few lessons from Olympic champs finding a job should be a piece of cake. Plus there’s very little chance that some 4 foot 3 girl from Slovakia will come in and steal it out from under you.

5 Reasons You Did Not Get the Job

1. You Were Not Prepared For the Interview

One of the most important aspects to getting the job is to be prepared for the interview. Study the company before the interview, so you appear knowledgeable and experienced. It is important to do research on the job and the business before even walking into the job interview.

 2. You Failed To Make a Good Impression

They say that making a first impression is one of the most important parts of a job interview. Make a good first impression by simply being relaxed, personable and staying in the moment. Make sure you come in with a smile on your face and be ready to listen to the interviewer. By listening and coming in with an open mind, you are well on your way to making a great first impression.

 3. You Did Not Show Enthusiasm

Showing enthusiasm is very important when interviewing for a job. The interviewer wants to know that you can firstly do the job, but secondly, that you want to the do the job. Convey enthusiasm by being present and in the moment as well as asking appropriate questions at the right time.

 4. You Lacked Sincerity

Sincerity is one of the most important personality traits employers look for. Be honest and sincere throughout your job interview. And, if you come to a point where you do not know the answer to a question, just say so. Don’t try to outsmart the interviewer.

5. You Did Not Ask For the Job

Many people forget the simple fact of just asking for the job and expressing actual interest in the position. At the end of the interview, simply ask for the job. Say something like, “I want this job, and I can do this job well”.

How to Avoid a Job Scam

Have you ever had a feeling that the job description or company sounds just too good to be true – so good in fact, that it might even be a scam? Many of us have passed by light poles displaying ads for earning six figure incomes from home before you roll out of bed.  In this difficult economic climate there are some disreputable “companies” that try to take advantage of unsuspecting job seekers. These companies are often after your money or personal information that will give them access to your identity or your contacts.

  1. Research the company and the position – Your first stop should be Google (or another search engine of your choice.) Search for the company’s website and see what other results come up. Evaluate whether their website is professional and is consistent the company’s stated mission/purpose. Identify contact information for the company on their website and any other pertinent information.
  2. Check with the authorities – The Better Business Bureau website permits you to search for companies and can provide some basic information about a company and reviews. The Federal Trade Commission’s website has a section devoted to job scam advice, including tips on how to avoid scams.
  3. Check the company’s references – Ask the company for a list of employees and/or customers you can speak with. You can also use the major social networks to find people currently working at the company. For example, you can use LinkedIn to see the profiles of current or past employees working at the company. Once you find some employees on a social network, reach out to them to see if they would be willing to speak to you about the company and their experiences with the company. If you reach out to former employees you might get a less biased perspective since they no longer are directly associated with the company.
  4. Protect your personal information – The people running a job scam can be after your personal information to carry out identity theft. Information such as your name, address, and telephone number are a standard part of all job applications. However, your social security number and bank account information are not.  If a job application or website requests your social security number or bank information up front, your “scam radar” should be on high alert.  Of course, there are legitimate companies that will ask for more personal information during the job application process.  But if you are unsure, or are uncomfortable, you should question the hiring manager or the HR department about their policies for protecting applicants’ privacy.  When it comes to your personal information, it pays to be extra cautious.
  5. Distinguish job phishing from legitimate postings – Job phishing scams that are focused on accessing your personal data or money are often posted on multiple websites. However, legitimate companies can also post on multiple sites.  If you do come across copies of the same job on multiple sites, follow the steps above to help identify the real jobs and avoid the scams.

Sometimes, when you apply to a job, it’s difficult to determine whether it’s a scam, or not. Rather than giving up your job search, focus on educating yourself to spot fraudulent jobs.  At Ivy Exec we have a team of researchers who do the screening for you, so you don’t have to worry about the authenticity of the jobs. For resources beyond Ivy Exec, make sure to have the tips above in mind during your executive job search.

If you ever feel that a company is asking you for inappropriate information, trust your instincts and proceed with caution.  A second opinion from a friend or someone you trust never hurts.

In this economy, and in this day and age, trust your instincts.  Protect yourself.

We’d love to hear how you protect yourself from scams.  Please share your answers to the questions below and help other job seekers protect themselves:

  • How do YOU to tell if a company is a scam? What steps do you take?
  • What did you do once you decided that a job was a scam?

This is a guest post contributed by the Ivy Exec Blog, an exclusive site where pre-screened, high caliber professionals find relevant job opportunities with leading companies.”

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