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Job Searching for Older Workers: Top Tips and Resources

Job Searching for Older Workers: Top Tips and Resources
Thursday, February 8, 2018
Posted in category Job Seekers by

Once you reach age 50, locating a new position can be more of a challenge than before. Employers sometimes hold certain preconceptions against older workers. While hiring bias against employees aged 40 and older is illegal, some job seekers still encounter this.

Job Search Tips for Older Workers

As an older adult searching for a new job, you’ll want to be sure to highlight certain aspects of your career experience over others.

Remain current: One concern employers may have about hiring an older adult is that they may not have kept their skills current. You’ll want to show employers that you’ve remained current both with industry trends and technology. Document your technology training and skills on your resume to show employers that you embrace new technological developments. You’ll also want to be sure you’re using current terminology in your career field on your resume. Trends and terms change over the years in every industry, and you’ll want to reflect to potential employers that you’ve kept up with these changes. If you feel that you need further training, check out Knowledge to Work’s learning resources.

Embrace your age: With age comes experience and confidence. Don’t be self-conscious about your age when job searching. Employers are looking for individuals who are self-assured. Emphasize the skills you have to employers rather than the time you’ve been employed in the field. Older workers also have some specific skills that not all younger workers have had the change to fully develop. Additional years of experience in the professional world can mean that you’ve likely developed excellent soft skills. Skills like communication, customer service, problem solving, and leadership are all skills that need practice to be fully developed, which means these types of skills are often a strength for older workers. 

Emphasize adaptability: Some employers may hold beliefs that older workers are set in their ways or resistant to change. Be sure to communicate to employers that you embrace change and provide examples of your flexibility. Another asset that many older workers have is they know themselves and what type of environment they’re most comfortable working in well. Once you find a position and organization that seem like a good fit, be sure send a clear message to employers that you are interested in the open job role. You can also address any concerns that you’ll be retiring in the near future by letting employers know that you’ll be there for a while.

Resources for Job Hunting as an Older Worker

CareerOneStop, AARP, Knowledge to Work, and others have great resources offering help for older job seekers.

AARP has several articles with tips for job seekers aged 50 or older, including resume tips, cover letter writing advice, and job interviewing recommendations. AARP has also compiled a list of job hunting resources for older workers, including job searching websites specifically for older workers. The National Committee on Aging (NCOA) has also put together a list of tips for job hunting after age 50.

CareerOneStop has several articles on tips and advice for older job seekers. They also have specific advice on job interview tips, resume writing advice, and cover letter writing guides for older workers. You can also use their mySkills myFuture tool to help you define the skills you’ve gained in previous employment for writing your resume.

Knowledge to Work also has several great resources to help in your job search. If you’ve had a gap in your employment history from caring for a loved one, travel, illness, or any other reason, check out our blog post on this topic to learn more about job searching after an employment gap. You may also want to take a look at our learning resources to brush up on your job searching skills, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve last been job hunting. We also have learning resources on information technology and many other topics to help you stay up to date with current industry standards and technology skills. Be sure to sign up for your free account to keep track of your learning progress, save your favorite learning resources and helpful searches, and much more. You can also use our job searching tool to locate job openings in your area and connect with potential employers.

If you’re over the age of 50, you may face a tougher time locating a new position. We’ll provide you with some tips and resources to help you through the process.

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