Thursday, August 20, 2009

Job Searching Over Fifty Tips

By 55-Alive! Featured Contributor - Roberta Chinsky Matuson

Forty may be the new fifty but not if you are job searching. We have laws to protect us from age discrimination in the workplace but in reality discrimination occurs daily. Don't be discouraged if you are looking for jobs for retirees. You can improve your chances of breaking through the age barrier and landing a fulfilling job by following these tips.

Give your resume a facelift
The purpose of a resume is to get you a job right? Wrong. All a well-written resume will do is get you in the door for an interview. Then it's up to you to convince the company you are the best candidate for the job.

Does your resume look weathered? Has it grown to three or four pages over time? Do you still list your first job after high school graduation? Are you displaying the date you received your college degree? Freshen your resume up by condensing your background. Limit your job history to the past 10 years and eliminate dates that reveal your age. Worried about losing important information? Consider summarizing the relevant pieces of your previous work history into a few short paragraphs. A lighter, more updated look should increase your chances of receiving interviews.

Some companies still handle resumes the old fashion way. They read them. However, many organizations are turning to resume management systems, which require a different type of resume. Action words, such as "managed" or "designed" used to be in vogue. Today it's more important to use nouns, since many employers are searching their databases using key words.

Looks matter
Understandably you want people to accept you for who you are but in our culture looks matter. There are many things you can do to update your appearance without taking drastic measures.
Start with your wardrobe. Dressing for interviews can be confusing in this day of business casual. Half the people in the office are wearing jeans while the other half are in Dockers. Neither of these clothing items are appropriate for an interview. This is your opportunity to make a good first impression. It's better to be a bit overdressed than to dress too casually.
If your suits still have shoulder pads then it's time to make a trip to the mall. If you can't afford to buy a new outfit, then consider removing the shoulder pads and purchasing a few accessories to freshen up your wardrobe.

When's the last time you had your hair professionally styled? If you can't recall the date, call for an appointment today. While there, consider throwing in a few highlights to cover some of those gray hairs. You can always go back to your original look once you've landed the job.
Be prepared

It used to be enough to walk into an interview prepared to discuss the company's latest product or marketing strategy. Today you have to be prepared to meet with someone who may be half your age.

Don't assume the person interviewing you isn't the decision-maker. In some companies, like technology-based organizations, you may very well be speaking with one of the founding partners. When responding to interview questions, watch your tone. Most organizations are looking for enthusiastic and energetic employees, regardless of age.

Passive job searching didn't work when you were twenty so what makes you think it will work now? Get out of the house and start connecting. Attend conferences, association meetings and become visible. Don't just show up. Become involved. Offer to lead a committee or recruit volunteers for a nonprofit. You never know whom you might impress in the process.

Don't assume your contacts would have called you if they were interested in offering assistance. It doesn't work that way. Be proactive. Let everyone know that you are searching for a new job opportunity and ask them for the names of others who they think can assist you.

Job searching can be a daunting task or a process that encourages you to push your boundaries. Like age, it's all in your attitude, don't go into an interview feeling down on yourself. With todays ecomony, many seniors are looking for jobs for retirees.

© 2006 Human Resource Solutions. All rights reserved.
Roberta Matuson is an expert at creating intergenerational harmony at work. She's President of Human Resource Solutions, a firm that provides consulting and training to resolve intergenerational conflicts and help companies capitalize on the unique generational perspectives of their workforce. She has appeared on FOX's "The O'Reilly Factor" and has been quoted in The New York Times, Boston Globe, and many other national business publications.

No comments:

Post a Comment