Article by Ceri Wheeldon
When looking for a job over 50 , you need to believe that your age is an advantage, and recognise that you are far from nearing the end of your career – but can draw on your experience gained to date while having the capability to deliver in the future.
- Understanding your marketable skills
Be honest in your assessment of your skills – and how they relate to what employers are actually looking for. Do your skills need updating? So you read job adverts and recognise that you are lacking in a given area or new technology? Then address it. Take a course – here are many excellent online programmes to update skills, or even free youtube tutorials. Alternatively see if there is a role you can do on a voluntary basis to gain the relevant skills and experience.
- Know who your local employers are….check out their websites and vacancies
- Maximise your chance of success at every stage of the job search process by investing time in getting every part of the process right.
- Tailor your CV to each opportunity/vacancy. Highlight your skills and achievements to match those requested in the job advertisement.
- Make sure your job titles reflect the roles you did . Does your job title mean anything outside of your previous employer’s organisation? You might have been ‘Special assistant to Head of Special Projects , but what does that actually mean to anyone? Make sure job title on your CV is searchable – think how you would describe your job if you were to search for it on Google.
- Network. Network both online and offline. Many jobs are not advertised at all.
- Rethink ‘job’. Does it have to one full-time role for one employer or can it be 2 part-time roles…or a mix of paid employment and self employed activity. Many people over 50 enjoy the flexibility of portfolio working
- Be flexible. Be flexible and realistic. Think about location, hours, and salary. how much leeway do have in all 3 areas?
- Prepare for your job interviews thoroughly. . Research both the company and the interviewers prior to going for the job interview.
- Be positive at interviews. Be open and positive about the prospect of working for a younger boss (if this is the case). If you are applying for a job which you think you are over qualified for, talk about why you see this as a positive opportunity, and how you wish to consolidate your skills in a new environment, and progress later within the organisation should the opportunity arise.