Job seekers

5 insider tips for job seekers over 50

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Looking for work at the best of times is a stressful and frustrating process filled with anxiety, rejection and the nauseating feeling that it might never end – and it’s not the best of times.

For workers over the age of 50, it only gets more complicated.

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The insecurity that comes with competing with young professionals and the ageism that fuels those emotions can make looking for a job later enough to make you want to retire early, whether you can afford it or not, but it it doesn’t have to be that way.

If you have the right work ethic, the right resume, and most importantly, the right mindset, you may find that you have tools at your disposal that are the envy of your younger colleagues.

First, get yourself in the right frame of mind

It is undoubtedly daunting for many older job seekers to compete with young, energetic, unattached, optimistic Gen Zers who craft NFTs and buy land in the metaverse. But good hiring managers don’t see it that way — and neither do you.

“Recognize that your years of experience are an asset, not a liability,” said Nicole Johnson-Scales, executive career strategist and founder of Design your professional pleasure.

“Many professionals over 50 fear age discrimination, but many companies still recognize the value of years of proven success. This is a great opportunity to gain clarity and find a job that truly brings you joy. Take inventory of your work experiences and identify the roles you have enjoyed and why. Own your strengths and talents so you can clearly articulate what you will bring to this next role. »

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Be patient and break the process down into doable tasks

Enter the process in an optimistic but realistic way – it will likely be a long and tedious journey with no shortage of disappointment, rejection and frustration along the way.

“Getting a job at the best of times is an exhausting, stressful and demanding experience,” said Carlota Zimmerman, JD, career strategist and founder of CarlotaWorldwide. “We have just been through a pandemic and political stress. Many people struggle with trauma, so take a deep breath and create a strategy to allow yourself to succeed on your own terms.

The trick to getting through this is to break down the job search into manageable chunks that don’t feel as overwhelming as the process as a whole.

“Make a daily schedule of small, concrete, smart steps,” Zimmerman says. “That is, networking, writing sharp cover letters, tweaking your resume and LinkedIn.”

You have half a century of relationships – use them

Regardless of your age, the mission is always the same when looking for a job: use your strengths to your advantage.

“By age 50, you’ve typically built a strong network of relationships through friends, relatives, colleagues and acquaintances,” said Andrei Kurtuy, co-founder and CCO of Novorummary. “Use this to your advantage. Let them know you’re looking for a job and what your ideal career would be. If they know of an opportunity, then they can go further and recommend you to the hiring manager. Like As the famous saying goes, it’s often who you know, not what you know.

The university was a long time ago, but if it’s still standing, it can still help you

Almost all colleges and universities have career centers that provide free career services to their students for life after graduation. Keep them to their promise.

“Now is a great time to reach out to your college and/or graduate school alumni associations and find out what free alumni resources they offer,” Zimmerman said. “Many universities, for example, offer free career coaching and recovery support to alumni. Reach out and ask for help. Also, if you already have a job, company, or industry in mind, ask your alumni association if they will connect you with other alumni who work for said company. Remember that your tuition pays their salaries, so don’t be shy.

Be deliberate about the language of your CV and during the interview

Most career experts recommend that older job seekers avoid creating a chronological resume with bulleted lists of positions held in past decades. They also caution against bringing up the subject of age in the interview. Instead of listing or discussing jobs from a long time ago, highlight the accomplishments you’ve made, the challenges you’ve overcome, the technical skills you’ve learned, and the value you’ve added.

“Extract Your Core Strengths From Your Notable Successes,” Says a Career and Life Coach Marissa Fernandez. “Consider your main professional achievements. These results tell a good story, but are likely specific to your current career and industry. Zoom out on each of these achievements. Ask yourself, “What skills did I use to achieve each of them?” Which of my unique skills have contributed disproportionately to my past professional success? From there, you can determine which other roles or industries are leveraging those same skills. This exercise will help you expand the opening of potential pathways that tap into your greatest strengths.

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About the Author

Andrew Lisa has been writing professionally since 2001. An award-winning writer, Andrew was previously one of the youngest nationally distributed columnists for the nation’s largest newspaper syndicate, the Gannett News Service. He worked as a business editor for amNewYork, the most widely distributed newspaper in Manhattan, and worked as an editor for, a financial publication at the heart of New York’s Wall Street investment community. .