Job searching over age 50 can be a wonderful opportunity to find your calling and renew your passions. It also can come with some unique challenges. Although age discrimination is illegal, mature job hunters know that it’s difficult to compete with younger professionals at times. What can you do to overcome these challenges?
Successful job searching means promoting your personal brand. You want words like expert, experienced, driven, and connected to come to mind when someone sees your resume and interviews you. You don’t want words like dated or change-resistant to ever enter the hiring manager’s mind.
The problem is, mature job hunters make common mistakes that age them without even realizing it. To showcase your best self and promote your professional image successfully, avoid these common blunders.
Dated email addresses: Still hanging onto your AOL address? It’s time to let that one go. Your best bet is to create a free Gmail account that is specifically dedicated to all of your job search activities.
Opting out of LinkedIn:
Not a fan of social media? You can skip Twitter and even Facebook, but if you’re job hunting, you must get on LinkedIn. Recruiters scour the site for candidates and it’s a fantastic networking tool.
Using an old or bad head shot:
A photo helps boost LinkedIn views, but you want to make sure that photo is current and professional. Don’t use a decade-old photo and expect interviewers not to notice when they meet you in person. Also, it’s worthwhile to get professional head shots done. These expert photographers are skilled at making you look your best at any age.
Listing a home phone:
Do your grown kids have a home phone? There’s a good chance they don’t. Don’t age yourself by listing yours on your resume and other job outreach efforts. Use your cell phone instead.
Of course you’ll list dates for the positions you held on your resume, but you don’t need to note that you graduated from college in 1987. However, if you recently completed a degree or certification, list the date! It shows how you are keeping your skills sharp and staying current.
Replace dated phrases:
Terms like “veteran” or “seasoned” can be replaced with words and phrases that better represent who you are and your accomplishments. Be sure to have your resume, LinkedIn, and other job search copy critiqued by multiple people who will provide helpful insight on these types of concerns.
Cut the length:
But you have so much experience, how are you ever going to fit it into two pages? No one wants to read a four- or five-page resume, no matter how impressive your accomplishments. Trim it to a couple of pages of the most important achievements and responsibilities. During the interview is when you can go into all the dazzling details.
Want help making sure your energy and experience aren’t overlooked due to age-related mistakes? A GetFive career coach is a great resource that can position you for success.