One of the most difficult and sometimes desperate questions I receive is from our more mature workers who are frustrated with finding a new job in this difficult job market.
It is certainly true that additional job and hiring challenges exist for the more senior population as it does for young professionals, veterans and persons with a disability.
Today’s topic will provide helpful tips for those who are in the middle or end of the work life to find a job and overcome career search challenges that are unique to them.
Our current workforce is made up of 4 primary generations: Matures – born before 1945, Baby Boomers born between 1945 – 1960, Generations x’ers born between 1961 – 1980 (my generation) and the Millennials born from 1981 – 2000. Over the next two years we will introduce a new generation into the workforce, we’re not sure what we will call them, but some are calling them Gen Z or Nexters. They will be the ones showing up for work expecting the computers to be touchscreen.
And although over the next 15 years the most skilled and senior employees at many companies will begin retiring in large numbers, we still have employment issues with this group today.
The bad news is it is a challenge for matures and boomers – but the good news is companies are hiring and still value the traits that boomers in particular bring to their workplace.
So my more mature Career Gladiators listen up – here are a few tips to help you land a new opportunity:
#1 Get connected to social media and with new technology:
Long gone is the slow process of running an ad in the Sunday newspaper and waiting two weeks on resumes to develop a candidate pool. Most new positions are advertised on social media sites for 3 or 4 days and the interview and selection process is usually wrapped up in a week or two. Recruiters will actually search for you on social media sites like LinkedIn. Yes – They will call you before you call them. And get training on new computer and software programs. Free classes by churches, nonprofits, etc.
#2 – Review and Edit your resume:
Remember your resume is a marketing tool that accurately represents you in the best light. It is not necessary to put the date you graduated from high school or college on your resumes. Nor is it necessary to list every single job = including your first job that you started in 1968. Your job experience from the last 10 – 15 years is most important.
#3 – Network & Connect
Get involved. Go back and join or rejoin civic and professional organizations. Link up with groups uniquely designed to assist matures and baby boomers. AWARE – which stands for Aging Workers Are Reliable Employees is a great source. Led for many years by Peggy Clark, that organization can help with all aspects of career management including placing you with companies that match your current or new job skills. Reach them at Positive Maturity 803-3211. http://www.positivematurity.org/programs/aware/
#4 – Update your look
Last week I discussed organizations hiring for fit. You need to look like you will fit in. If your look is do dated that you look like father time or Mother Nature, and a prime candidate for an extreme makeover, you’re placing yourself at a disadvantage. Add a little color to your hair, get contacts, try some teeth whitening, lose a few pounds and update your wardrobe. This is especially important if your job is external, like sales or marketing. Some have even resulted to face lifts and plastic surgery to get a new look. Not my recommendation, but if it works for you………..
# 5 – Can’t find a job – start a business
If you’re frustrated that you’ve been unemployed for over a year, submitted over 100 resumes and applications and have interviewed over 50 times – It may be time to consider entrepreneurship. That’s right, start your own thing.
In a mix of boomer individualism and economic necessity, older Americans have fueled a wave of entrepreneurship.
An annual report of entrepreneurial activity found the share of new entrepreneur’s ages 55 to 64 grew from 14.3 percent in 1996 to 23.4 percent last year.
The business may not make you rich, but it can keep you afloat when you can’t find a job and serve as a bridge to retirement.
So get to work my more mature Gladiators updating your look, your resume, your technology skills and your network to find that job of your dreams that will carry you through retirement.