5 top tips for the over 50s job seeker

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Posted on: 01 May 2019 by Jen Wiss-Carline

If you find yourself in a position of having to find a new job in 2019, fear not - we've got plenty of tips to inspire and motivate you to your next position.

Most people in their 50s are settled into a career and have been for many years. However, there may come a time when the need to search for a new job or even a total career change presents itself.

But what has changed and how easy will it be to move into a new job?

With the recent popularity in social and business online networking and other technological advances, finding a job for a 50+ year old could be a very daunting experience. But that doesn’t mean to say it will be impossible – far from it!

Here are 5 top tips to inspire you:

50+ years old is young

If you are in your 50s you are still likely to have many years left in a career. People are now living much longer than they used too and hitting 100 is a lot more common. As such, the retirement age is continuing to increase and according to ageuk.org it will become 66 by October 2020, and potentially 67 by 2026-28.

With the potential to live longer and work longer, plans have to be made to assume that at the age of 50 another 15-17 years of work could be on the horizon. With this in mind it’s important to consider job satisfaction and longevity.

Job satisfaction is important for anyone, no matter what age or career. But at the age of 50 it could be easy to assume that it isn’t worth the hassle of starting a new career of looking for a high level position. With so many years left to offer your expertise will be sorely needed, and your experience will be a valuable commodity.

Get with the times 

If you are a bit of a technophobe and don’t have an online business profile or portfolio, it would be a wise decision to get one started as soon as possible. If you’ve been in employment for many years and have never needed to create an online profile, it may come as a shock at how important this is nowadays.

Employers are routinely checking for LinkedIn profiles and other online links on the job seekers CV. This network is now seen as an essential part of the application process and would be found on most if not all of the CVs received.

If you are unfamiliar with sites like LinkedIn you should take a look to find out how they can increase your chances of success. Having an online profile is a great way to showcase your skills, qualifications and experience, and adds a lot of value to an already ‘experience heavy’ CV.

Having an online profile can also create a lot of opportunities. Being connected to other like minded professionals who are all sharing valuable information can open a few doors. You are also much more likely to be head hunted for a position as many recruiters use online networking to find suitable candidates.

Did you know that a LinkedIn profile can significantly increase your chances of gaining an interview? Find out why a good LinkedIn profile boosts your interview chances by 71%.

Give your CV a revamp 

When reaching the age of 50 and in the position of job hunting again, your CV is very likely in need of a makeover. No longer can you simply add your previous or current job title and re-send it out to prospective employers. A total revamp is required, and here’s why and how.

Your application will be competing against more creative designs with fresh and relevant content. If your CV is showing its age and has been gathering dust for over a decade in the drawer, it will not stand a chance against the modern CV design and layout. So where do you start when creating a brand new CV from scratch after all these years?

First of all you need to choose a CV template. Fortunately there are hundreds of free designs to choose from, from simple designs and career focused templates to more colourful and creative layouts to suit your needs. Selecting a CV template could take a matter of minutes, and will save you hours of tinkering on the computer which could be better spent on the content.

If you are worried about the quality of a CV template and would like some help on the selection process, the Guardian has some good advice on choosing a CV template.

When it comes to writing the actual content of your new CV it’s important to get up to speed with what’s expected in 2019. Take your time and use a guide to find out how to write a CV in 2019 - a lot has changed!

Play to your strengths 

Looking for a new job or career at the age of 50+ yields many advantages over the younger folk. All these new fresh faces may seem lively and dynamic, but there’s no substitute for years of service and experience.

Someone in their 50s is far more likely to have developed a whole host of soft skills to a very high level – ranging from fantastic communication and rapport building skills, to excellent customer and co-worker interaction and teamwork. These soft skills are highly sort after and certainly hard to come by from the younger generation.

A conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years mere study of books.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

With age, comes wisdom. Use this to your advantage and don’t be afraid to highlight the many years of service on your job application. Don’t forget to make everything relevant to the employer and bring out your very best achievements to date. You are likely to have a lot more to offer than someone half your age! 

You CAN teach an "old dog" new tricks

A common concern amongst employers when considering a candidate in their 50s or over is whether or not they will be willing and able to learn new skills. Technology is everywhere these days, and although your previous employer didn’t make you delve into this world, the new employer most likely will.

Don’t be afraid to try out new methods and approaches to tasks you thought had been perfected many years ago. Although you may have a fantastic range of skills that will get the job done, the new employer may want you to diversify and learn new skills and new methods of completing the same task.

It’s extremely important you make this clear throughout your job application – the cover letter, the CV, and the interview. ‘Keen to learn a new approach and to seek further knowledge’ is a great tag line for your application. It informs the employer you are not stuck in your ways, and you CAN teach this "old dog" new tricks.

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