Finding A Job After 50

Elizabeth Witbeck

Finding A Job After 50

It can be challenging to start a new job search, but perhaps most frustrating when you are 50, 60, or even older. A person may have spent their entire life within a particular field, and now find themselves looking for a new job.

This could be the result of a layoff within the company, a termination, or any other number of reasons. It is important to see this as just one of many parts of your life.

A new job offers the opportunity for personal career growth, no matter what age you are.

There are many things you can do to improve your chances of landing a great job when you are in your 50s or older. Here are some tips to help you in your job search.

Believe that your age is an asset

Many older job candidates are pessimistic from the beginning, believing that nobody would want to hire them because of their age.

Pessimistic thinking will not win you the job offer. You must believe that you have the skills and talents that this company needs, and you are a perfect fit for the job.

As an older candidate, you have a lot of experience that younger candidates do not have. You have likely picked up a wide variety of skills. You know the trade much better than others.

In the interview, be sure to explain to the hiring manager how your experience would be an asset to the company.

Keep your resume short and concise

By the time you have reached your older years, you have undoubtedly worked at many different places. You have had many positions, from entry level to perhaps even managerial.

There is no need to send in a four or five page resume into your hiring manager, detailing every single position you have ever had. The jobs you held 30 years ago are simply not relevant.

Remember that managers are busy people, and they often have time to just scan your resume. They will make a decision based on the first impression that they get from your resume and cover letter.

Focus on the job role that you are applying for, and which positions you have had in your life that best qualify you for that exact position.

At most, your resume should be two pages. If you are having difficulty slimming down your resume, feel free to consult a resume editing service, or ask a friend for help.

Don’t call attention to your age on a job application

Your age is completely irrelevant to the job. The hiring manager does not need to know how old you are; they simply want to know if you are the right fit for the job.

It is against the law for managers to make a hiring decision based upon age, as well as other factors such as:

  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Disability
  • Nationality
  • Gender
  • And other factors

Despite this, unfortunately, some managers may look at a resume that calls attention to the fact that you are a senior, and place it into a rejection pile.

You can lower this risk by not calling attention to your age on your job application.

Example: You do not need to list the years that you graduated from college or graduate school on your resume. You also do not need to list the exact years that you held a particular position.

These are just a few of the ways you can show off your qualifications as a whole person, not bringing attention to your age.

Show your technology skills

The world is changing at a rapid pace. We now live in a world where technology and computers are all around us. It is difficult to go a single day without using a piece of technology.

One of a hiring manager’s biggest fears with hiring an older job candidate is that they will not know how to use technology properly, unlike younger candidates, who were raised in a technological era.

Be sure to showcase on your resume the various technological skills that you have. Mention your technology skills at an in-person interview.  If there are highly advanced programs that you know how to work with, be sure to include those on a resume.

If you feel uncomfortable using technology, there are a few places you can go to learn some new technical skills. You may want to ask a friend or family member for help with learning basic programs on the computer. Public libraries also often have programs to assist you with learning basic computer programs and skills.

Practice interviewing skills

For those over 50, you probably have not been on a job interview in a long time. The best way to succeed in the job application process is to practice, practice, and practice. Everybody could use some practice with job interviewing, including younger candidates.

There are plenty of resources where you can learn more about job interviewing. There are often local organizations where you can sign up for mock interviews.  You could also ask a friend for help with practicing interviewing. This will help you increase your chances of success in your search.

Remember that when one door closes, another door opens.

Being unemployed is an opportunity for you to find another great career path in your life.

About The Author

Elizabeth Witbeck

Elizabeth Witbeck works as a college consultant and educational entrepreneur. She launched the first business in the United States that sends care packages to first generation college students, and also helps prospective college students on their applications. Her interests include education, poverty, and working with youth.

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