Although the job market has improved significantly in recent seasons, older job seekers still face formidable obstacles in finding new employment. If you find that your midlife crisis is more centered on looking for work than on stereotypical identity issues, or if your retirement plans now involve not retiring at all, you need help leveling the playing field.
According to Forbes, about 55% of job-seekers over the age of 55 take longer than 27 weeks to find new employment, and earning power for older people fell 23% once they began working again after being unemployed. Fortunately, there are some straightforward ways to beat the odds; following these four tips will enable you to sidestep age discrimination and get back into the job market quickly.
1. Use the computer - the right way
Forbes points out that “fewer than 10% of job-seekers find jobs through listings,” and they call the repeated act of sending out resumers the “kiss of death.” So what is it you’re supposed to be doing online if not going through masses of job listings?
It’s not enough to simply be online -- social media is the new channel for connecting with opportunity. Now is the time to build a LinkedIn profile, and begin to participate in LinkedIn's professional groups relating to your field. Vet your Facebook profile for anything you would not want a potential employer to see, and start to follow Twitter conversations involving movers and shakers in your area of interest. Reach out to contacts from the past and re-establish them in your new networks.
2. Make your resume “age anonymous”
This involves a couple of steps: First, don’t mention your actual age on your resume, and second: remove the graduation dates from any schooling you did unless you graduated within the past 10 years. Next, make sure to focus on current skills and remove all references to jobs you held more than 15 years ago. Finally, learn how to craft a resume using some of the newest templates, so that your visual presentation is on the cutting edge.
3. Network constantly in person
Keep your eyes open in the real world as well as the digital world. Read the business pages of your local paper and tell everyone you know that you’re looking for work. As an older person, you’re statistically likely to move less often, and this gives you the advantage of a pool of local friends and neighbors who are aware of your talents. Chat with people you meet at the store, at church, at the swimming pool; creative staffing often makes use of informal channels, and you never know who might be connected with someone that’s hiring.
4. Get up and out
Attend conferences in your field, even if it means you have to spend a bit of savings to do so. Enroll in workshops or seminars that will update your skills, spend time chatting up presenters and exhibitors, and offer to provide some pro bono consulting. Volunteer for status-enhancing, visible roles on boards of directors or publicity teams. Position yourself as a valuable resource in the fast-moving daily operating sphere in which you’d like to find paying work.
Searching for employment is all about marketing your unique talents to the target audience who needs them. With our job opportunities, connections, and resources, Artisan can give you a tremendous advantage. Contact us today to learn more.