Specific Job Search Strategies When Over 50
Use your network
The biggest advantage you have as an Over 50 candidate is that because of your age, you probably have an enormous network. You’ve probably forgotten about all the people you know from school, from various jobs you’ve worked, from social groups, from churches, from your kid’s school, from all kinds of places.
A good network is one of the greatest job search resources you can have. Tap that resource by calling, emailing, or messaging as many people as you can. Touch base and see how they are…maybe even send them some article or something you’ve seen that you know they’d like. Let them know you’re in the job search, tell them what you’re looking for, ask if they know of anyone or have heard of anything, and offer your assistance to them. The more people who know you’re looking, the more ears you have to the ground to find out about any new opportunities.
Grow your network
I already told you that you should be on LinkedIn. Everybody should be LinkedIn, whether they’re in an active job search or not. There are just too many opportunities there in terms of contacting people that you don’t want to miss, But don’t just set up a profile, join groups. Participate in the discussions that come up. As your name gets to be known, you’ll likely pick up new contacts.
Talk about your job search on Facebook, too. The possibilities there are practically endless. Your friends have friends, and they have friends…you just never know where that ends. It’s very likely that someone knows someone who knows someone you need to talk to.
And take steps to grow your in-person network, too. I think that volunteering is an excellent way to pick up new skills or meet new people who might lead you to fresh opportunities.
Edit your resume
If you’ve been employed for a long time, you have a great problem: how to edit down everything you’ve done into a summary of your experience. Most over-50 people I talk to have no idea how to edit their resume so that it is less than 2 pages. But it must be less than 2 pages. The great news is that your editing is going to leave only the best, most impressive stats for the hiring manager to look at. You’ll probably have to edit it for each job you apply for. But that means that you can have a true marketing document that sells you for the position.
Don’t put the dates of your education on your resume, and only go back 15-20 years of your experience. Probably those earliest jobs don’t have a lot to do with your current job, so they don’t matter that much anyway.
IN OUR CULTURE, YOUTH EQUALS ENERGY