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5 Expert Tips for Job Hunting After 50

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There is nothing like experienced job candidates for employers, but that doesn’t mean looking for a job when you are 50 years old (or older) will be a piece of cake. First off, if you look older, many hiring managers will think twice about hiring you (sorry but true). Why? Just like everything else in life, there is an age bias when it comes to hiring. Maybe they think you will be too slow, not know new technology, or may have an issue learning new stuff.

Whatever the bias (and there are many), there are 10 times as many good reasons for hiring managers to hire older job search candidates. The trick is to find the right opportunities for you and to convince the hiring manager that you are the best person for the job.  Following are some tips.

  1. Update your resume: Showcase relevant skills and experience and highlight achievements.
  2. Leverage your network: Reach out to friends, family, and former colleagues for job leads and references.
  3. Upgrade your skills: Stay up-to-date with new technologies and trends by taking courses or certifications.
  4. Attend job fairs: Attend career fairs and networking events to meet potential employers and learn about job openings.
  5. Use job search engines: Use online job search engines like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor to search for job opportunities.
  6. Consider part-time or freelance work: Consider part-time or freelance work to gain new experiences and connections.
  7. Be open to new industries: Consider exploring new industries and job roles to expand your opportunities.
  8. Show your enthusiasm: Show your enthusiasm and interest during interviews to demonstrate your passion for the job.
  9. Stay positive: Stay positive and confident throughout the job search process, even if it takes longer than expected.
  10. Consider a career coach: Consider working with a career coach to help you navigate the job market and improve your job search strategy.

Keep Your Resumes Short

You have accumulated a lot of experience over the years, but having an excessively long resume can be a red flag for potential employers. To maintain a delicate balance, ensure that you use current and popular resume formats. Consider removing or condensing older job listings to focus on your recent and relevant experiences. While it’s important to list your education, there’s no need to include the year(s) of graduation or your GPA.

Ensure you show that you have current skills (like Excel, PowerPoint, or whatever is relevant to your industry/job type). Check your prior experience on your resume and make sure they reflect current terminology for your industry. Make sure you’ve listed major accomplishments for each job and try to show how this has either saved the company money, added sales, or where you’ve created efficiencies.

Leverage Peers in Your Network

If you have lots of experience, you should have lots of contacts in your network. Focus on your contacts that have a similar level of experience. They are more likely to have or know of opportunities that are in line with your level of experience and will understand the value of many years of experience. “Knowledge is power” and it can only help if your network is aware that you are looking for new opportunities.

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The “best-kept secrets” will not help you in this case. You should already have a presence on one or more business network sites (if not, now is the time).  review your contacts and profile and update as necessary.  Recruiters (both internal company recruiters and 3rd party recruiters) depend heavily on business network sites for sourcing candidates.

Over 50 and Motivated: A Job Search Book for Job Seekers Over 50

You’re over the age of 50 and intellectually or intuitively you know your age could be a factor in your job search.

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04/20/2024 04:11 pm GMT

How to Leverage Your “Spare” Time

Whether you are 24 or 54, your full-time job is to look for a job when you are out of work. However, an extended period of unemployment does not look good either. If you are out of work for a while, it makes sense to try and do some volunteer work. While volunteering in your industry would be the most useful, it is generally not practical (unless you are an attorney, health care worker, or accountant).  Having a solid volunteer position on your resume will show that you are active and making good use of your time. You can also consider contract roles and part-time employment to fill the gap.

It’s All About Money

Lots to consider when you are out of work, like paying your bills. Chances are if you are in your 50’s you’ve saved some money (granted, retirement savings) but of course, this is not always the case. The second thing you should do (the first being “apply for unemployment”) is to examine your fixed costs (stuff like rent/mortgage, utilities, credit card payments, etc.) and figure out what you need to do to meet these expenses. Many lenders will work with you if you’ve generally paid on time and are in a tough situation. Discretionary spending is easier to control, but how much less do you want to eat? So, now is a good time to examine your entire budget and figure out what is absolutely necessary versus what you can do without.

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04/20/2024 06:43 pm GMT

Starting Your Own Business

You are unemployed. If you’ve ever dreamed of starting your own business, now may be the time to take the plunge. You need to have a business plan, cash to back it up and a viable business. There is some support for new business owners (like SBA loans). This is a big decision not to be taken lightly, but you have lots of time on your hands. Maybe it’s time to be your own boss.

Great Jobs for Everyone 50 plus
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Kerry Hannon's national bestseller, Great Jobs for Everyone 50+, has become the job-hunting bible for people in their forties, fifties, and beyond. With her no-nonsense style, Hannon shows where the opportunities are and how to get them.
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04/21/2024 10:11 am GMT

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