Over The Hill and Under The Radar

A blog for women of all ages who feel they are being ignored

Job Hunting tips for the over 50s

Looking for a job in your 50s can be a minefield

Here  are a few tips on how to get ahead


job hunting tips for the over 50s

How you look
It is said that someone interviewing you can make a decision within the first 30 seconds of meeting you.

Get a few staple pieces of clothing that look smart and are not dated.  A good suit and a smart clean pair of shoes are essential. Above all make sure you feel comfortable.

If you have grey hair it may be time to hit the hair dye bottle and or visit a local hairdresser for an update.  Not only will you look better you will be more confident at the interview.

Your CV
If you have over 30 years working experience listed on your CV that is going to draw attention to your age so only go back to the last 10 to 15 years.

On your CV you should adapt it to cover the role you are applying for and listing all the skills you have that are relevant for the role you are applying for.

List  any achievements eg Saved XYZ Company money on a new travel supplier. If you have any achievements outside work that you consider are useful put those in as well.

Your CV should only cover 2 pages and should be easy on the eye.  If in doubt get a professional CV reviewed.  Five Squid or Fiverr  often have people who can review a CV for you for a small fee.

If your email address is XXXXXX1963 for example change it to something more relevant.

When adding contact details to your CV do not include a fax number as hardly any company now uses a fax machine.

Consider getting a Skype ID as many first stage interviews are often now conducted this way. This I think is excellent as you are in the comfort of your own home and do not have to waste time and money going along for the first interview.

Update your CV to show you are a proficient user of Word, Excel and Powerpoint

Getting extra training

Why not consider taking the ECDL (Europe Computer Driving License) – this is a recognised qualification which covers all the essential Computer packages including    Word, Excel and PowerPoint.  Many local education establishments  run this course – check the internet for further information.  This will be another skill on your CV.  I took his course several years ago and it was invaluable.

If taking the course is not for you then check out on-line training. You Tube is an excellent way to check up on your weaker aspects of Computer skills.

It is essential you are fully IT Literate as recruitment agencies will often ask you to take tests.  Likewise at some interviews this is also the case.  Get prepared in advance and you will not be worrying.

Be Proud of your age
With age comes vast experience.  Women are like a good wine – we get better with age

Employers want people with a good work attitude, who are dedicated and loyal.  These are all traits we have in abundance as we get older.

Do not have an attitude
This is easier said than done but always be upbeat when meeting agencies or potential employers.  You may well be interviewed by a younger person so do not start saying life is unfair; I cannot get a job as too old etc.

Never apologise for being older!

Are you applying for jobs that are below your experience?
If you are asked at an interview do you feel you are over qualified for this role (and this had happened to me in the past) mention that you are keen to work for this organising because (and give specific examples from their website).  Also say that you believe you have the relevant skills for the role and would like to work for the organisation as you believe your background will aid the company and help them grow
Why not consider temporary work
This is an excellent way to get your foot in the door.  Not only do you get more experience on your CV it shows you are willing and able to adapt to change in any organisation.   Many people can start off in a temporary role and could lead to a permanent post.  When doing temporary work hard and be professional do not think this is only a temporary job I do not need to work hard.

Other ways to seek employment
Use your network of family and friends

Contact previous employers to see if they know of any job openings within other organisations. The HR department should be your first point of contact.

Reach out to your followers on LinkedIn and start creating posts to share. Connect with several groups and follow companies you are interested in working for.

Facebook and Twitter are also excellent ways of networking.

Never moan on social media that you are having trouble getting a role.  Always be positive and upbeat.  Remember often employers will look at your social media before calling you for an interview.

Why not volunteer – this will show your skills and that you are adaptable.

Always attend interviews even if you think it is not for you. Often you will be surprised at the role on offer.  Never turn any role down unless if is too far to travel, the hours are simply too long or the salary is so low it would not be worth it.

Remember it is often a full-time job looking for a job but NEVER give up.

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