Are You Over 40 and Looking for a Job?
The Job Forum has volunteers from over 100 companies and organizations who volunteer to help job hunters. You can sign up and get helpful input and referrals. The Job Forum helps experienced as well as new job hunters and shares practical tips and “lessons learned” that you can use for your own job search situation.
Research shows older workers who have been laid off from their positions face unemployment longer than younger workers in the same situation. Here are a few questions you need to consider when looking for a job:
How will you work with younger managers?
As the workforce continues to turn over, it’s entirely possible your interviewer or manager will be younger than you are. Will you be able to work and collaborate with someone younger? Regardless of what you may think, they have evidently earned their position and job title. You want to proactively show that you respect their experience and position and that you’re excited to be on their team.
How will you thwart age discrimination?
The most important thing to remember is to work on what you can control; you can be your best self and you can be the best at the standard rules of interviewing- regardless of age:
- Show your enthusiasm about the position and energy to take on a new challenge
- Communicate a “future forward attitude”, rather than one fixed on the past.
- Exhaust all resources to learn about the company, and go to your network and see who is working there; referrals are gold at any age.
- Ask for an introduction to the hiring manager if that is not who you are interviewing with initially.
- Finally, don’t be afraid to create a conversation to better connect with the interviewer. It will show that you can fit in with the team.
Why don’t recruiters respond to your résumé?
–Salary or expectations of what your salary will need to be.
You might be approaching your peak earnings. Salary is a factor and job grades define salary ranges. Men usually have higher paying jobs than women do.
By the time women hit 39, their typical wage is $60,000 per year, while men earn $95,000 per year, depending on the type of job.
–Your résumé is probably outdated.
When you are searching for a new job, one of the first things you should do is update and modernize your résumé. Your résumé from 2000 is likely irrelevant, or a bit outdated, and may be detrimental to your over-40 job search. Your résumé is the first impression a hiring manager gets of you, so you best make sure your résumé does you justice. The old adage, “best foot forward,” is so true when it comes to your résumé. A few key tips to consider:
- That objective statement listed under your contact information? Remove it and replace it with your target JOB TITLE and a strong summary statement that highlights your skills and experience.
- Core competencies should have no more than 8 bullets, 4 bullets each in two columns.
- The paragraphs under every job title? Break them out into short bullet points instead; they should be factual and concise.
- Most of the time your resume is submitted electronically and many companies have built-in search engines for key words that match the job description, and if they are not found, your résumé is automatically rejected.
- Those graduation dates? Delete them. They will date you!
It can take months to find a job, so get started soon and expect some bumps in the road.
It is estimated that the average person takes six months to find a job. Be sure you and your family understand that this can be a laborious process. You want them to support you. Plan to try to “Be OK with rejection.” Keep learning and look forward to meeting more people to get to the one who will say “yes”. There is competition. If selected to interview, you could have multiple interviews with various people within the company and still not be chosen for the position, so having a positive network to keep your spirits up and your network growing is very important.
The Job Forum is a network you can tap into to help you get the next job. Come and meet the helpful people who volunteer at The Job Forum. The Job Forum will help you overcome job search obstacles.
It is rare that you get the first job you apply for, so cast a wide net and apply to multiple companies.
The most important thing to remember is that it is not YOU.
Looking for a job is a numbers game, so don’t take it personally.
Be open to constructive feedback,
Ask for input at The Job Forum and don’t give up!
Cindy Fassler is a Job Forum volunteer, a career coach and recruiter.