Many older workers can struggle to find a new job in a pretty cut-throat economic climate that we are experiencing at the moment. But instead of looking at your age as a negative to your job searching efforts, over 50’s job seekers need to turn their age to their advantage.
Whether you have been in your present job for a long time and you are feeling a little stale and bored going through the same old motions every day, or you are having to look for a new position following a redundancy, applying for a new job can be a very scary prospect.
The current job market is a very competitive place, especially at the moment with a lot of economic turmoil and upheaval happening with world trade markets. Unfortunately, this can mean older job candidates having to work much harder than their younger counterparts to overcome some unfair barriers presented to them.
The age barrier still exists
While not every employer in the UK is actively shutting out all job applicants over the age of 35, there are still companies that tend to lean towards younger applicants because of old-fashioned beliefs about older employees only having a few short years of productivity before retirement. With the ever-increasing rise in retirement age, this is an old belief that no longer applies.
The truth is that a mature worker can bring a lot of tried and tested experience to a role that a much younger worker cannot. Having many years of knowledge and wisdom can be invaluable, so this is what you need to bring to the attention of employers. Always remember that you bring a lot of quality experience and professionalism with you that the company can benefit from.
Key points to use with your job searching activities
Fresh figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that despite the current economic upheaval, the UK job market is improving, with more positions becoming available for job seekers of all ages.
What the over 50’s need to do when applying for jobs is to be a bit more thoughtful about what information they supply with their application process. Here are some key points to take on board:
Have a savvy CV
While you may have a veritable wealth of valuable knowledge and experience that you can bring to a role, trying to shoehorn too much information onto your CV can actually work against you.
Most employers do not spend much time reading through the CV’s they receive with their job applications. There is little point sending in a five-page CV when 99% of employers will not read past the first one or two pages.
You need to highlight your skills and knowledge as quickly as possible to get the employers attention. Your key skills that are relevant to the job you are after should be front and center on page one of your CV. Demonstrating that you have all the skills needed plus ten years of relevant experience should be more than enough to grab their attention.
Use your age as leverage
Just about every employer will be looking for a suitable job candidate with the right mix of skills and experience to fit the role on offer. Your age can work for you in this situation because your age implies having plenty of experience under your belt. Not only this, but your age also implies a strong sense of reliability and dependability — two very desirable skills that many very young job candidates may lack.
Being very used to a productive work environment where a good knowledge of organizational protocol and procedures can be useful. These are awarenesses that younger workers need to learn and acclimatize too, especially if they are fresh out of college and more used to an educational environment.
Push your accomplishments
With age also comes a solid background and work record from previous employers. An employer will know exactly what they will get with you, whereas with a fresh-faced graduate, they are taking a risk because they have no proven track record.
Your track record will be the proof of performance that they are looking for. This is why it is important to stress your key accomplishments that are relevant to the job on offer. When faced with a proven track record right in front of their eyes compared to a candidate with little experience in the industry, there should be no comparison about who they choose.
For the mature job seeker, don’t make your age into a barrier against finding work. Instead, flip it over and make your age work in your favor for your next job application.