Finding a job after 40 can take longer but don’t get discouraged. Anyone over 40 can have success if they incorporate some alternative search methods, revise their resume, refine their skills, and employ some new interview techniques. Here are four job search tips for success after 40:
1- Revise your résumé to be “age-friendly” by emphasizing skills, technology, achievements, and ongoing training, over longevity and length of experience.
- Downplay your age on your resume by eliminating dates of graduation and only going back 10 years for your work experience. Limit the résumé to 2 pages.
- Position yourself as an ideal fit for the job you’re applying to by creating a Branded Résumé. This is a resume style that is focused for a particular type of job as opposed to a generic catch-all type document.
- Emphasize your experience with technology by listing all computer and software programs you are familiar with, and especially list your social media URLs (or add buttons) to you résumé. This conveys that you are up-to-speed with Web 2.0 tools and have kept up with technology—BIG.
- List key skills, accomplishments, and problems solved—giving concrete examples—as they relate to a certain type of position. Show how you contributed to the bottom line. Add an Ongoing Training section to the resume and show current and recent classes. This shows you’re keeping your skills up-to-date.
2- Employ new methods for uncovering positions.
- Most jobs go unadvertised, so utilize your network to arrange coffees, lunches, phone calls or meetings, so you can convey what your job search goals are.
- Be specific and able to explain precisely how you can help an organization (create a 30 second branding statement).
- By contacting companies of interest proactively and utilizing you network to uncover unadvertised positions, you can greatly reduce the level of competition and increase your chances of reaching a hiring manager.
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3- Project a contemporary image, speak with confidence and energy, and emphasize modern skills during the job interview.
- Image is everything. Dress for success and wear something contemporary. A look through the Macy’s or Nordstrom’s web site will give an idea on what’s “in” in terms of business fashion.
- Show energy and enthusiasm and be aware of body language.
- Describe situations when you worked with or for a younger leader, mention your attendance record and tenure with certain companies.
- Discuss how you use technology professionally (Mac, MS Office programs, etc.) and even personally (Facebook, smartphone, iPhone) and what bloggers you like to follow for up to date industry and occupation information. Mentioning familiarity with social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook will have a major positive impact.
4- Focus on industries and occupations that welcome older workers.
Healthcare, higher education, and government agencies all have higher-than-average percentages of older workers.
- Niche web sites: WorkForce50.com (over 50 job seekers), Jobs4Point0.com (over 40 job seekers).
- Volunteering can go a long way in keeping skills sharp, staying positive, and networking. Can use volunteer and professional development activities as answer to the common interview question, “What have you been doing since your last job?”
- Start your own business!