Happiness begins at 50, or so one study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says. Fortunately, things are actually looking better for job searchers in their golden years. According to a 2015 Time magazine report, “the unemployment rate for those over age 55 stands at just 4.1%, compared with 5.7% for the total population and a steep 18.8% for teens.”
The challenge is for you to stand out long enough to be considered by companies. Here are five ways to do just that.
Leverage Your Network
Although younger job seekers use modern ways to find jobs – be it online or through social media – with much success, this still doesn’t beat knowing people on the inside of the companies you want to work for, who can tell you about open positions and other opportunities.
When it comes right down to it, the best way to look for jobs is through personal contacts. More importantly, knowing someone on the inside can help prevent implicit discrimination because you have someone who will vouch for you.
Ease Manager Concerns
One of the biggest workforce management concerns managers have when recruiting older job candidates is the potential awkwardness of supervising someone much older than they are.
Will an older hire constantly raise the experience card and undermine my leadership role? Will the older hire drive me out of my job?
It’s important to let them know you’re happy to take on a junior role and be under a younger supervisor, and that you’re not looking to take on anyone’s job.
Don’t Bring Up the Issue of Age Unless You Have To
Only talk about your age in an interview when it comes up and above all, don’t mention how the interviewer is younger than you are.
The last thing you want to do is undermine an interviewer’s experience and authority by talking about how they’re the same age as your children. Even if you didn’t mean any disrespect, seemingly innocuous remarks such as, “Good for you for making it this far at your age!” can be seen as condescending.
Keep Your Resume as Brief as Possible
Don’t turn your resume into a history lesson. You may think listing down your work experience over the last 20 years will impress employment agencies and hiring managers, but it might just backfire – they’ll see you as overqualified.
Focus on your most recent and most significant achievements. A good rule of thumb is to include your work experience within the last 10 years.
Show Off Your Tech Savviness
Older workers are often seen as technologically inept, so be sure to highlight your skill and experience with using different technologies, as well as your willingness to learn more. Demonstrate your know-how with social media and online tools by adding a URL to your LinkedIn profile, or by mentioning your research on the company through Facebook and Twitter.