Essential tips for older job seekers

It's not always easy finding a suitable job as a more experienced job seeker. (StockSnap)

Ageism is real, but instead of focusing on trying to change the hiring managers’ state of mind, focus on showing them why you are different from other candidates and why you would be perfect for a job.

Ageism is real. When searching for a new job as a more experienced job seeker, you will encounter recruiters who are much younger than yourself and they may believe all kinds of stereotypes about jobseekers with a certain age.

But don’t let this bring you down. Instead of focusing on trying to change the hiring managers’ state of mind, focus on showing them why you are different from other candidates and why you would be perfect for a job.

Think about where you’re valued

When applying for jobs, try to focus on jobs where your maturity will be valued. This could be because the companies often prefer more experienced workers or perhaps a business with a lot of young employees needs your guidance to teach and help manage younger employees. Don’t underestimate the value that your age offers, and avoid settling for jobs that won’t bring you any kind of satisfaction.

Read: How to tell if your boss still wants you to work for her

Embrace your diversity

Every company needs a diverse range of employees to be able to look at every part of the job in different ways in order to find the right way forward. Use your age to your advantage and show, for example in the marketing industry, that you know exactly how to target and serve the needs of older generations in our society.

Stay up to date

When applying for a job, regardless of your age, you need to be digitally literate. You need to be able to work with certain programmes and various messaging applications. You want to show that you are eager to learn and keep up, and are perfectly able to work with all sorts of digital media and tools, and may even be better at it than the young applicants.

If you’re rusty or lack some of these skills, take classes and do some research and register yourself on the more popular social networks. Show you are adaptable to anything and can speak to the modern market realities. Don’t be afraid of change - after all, you’ve got nothing to lose.

Improve your skills and knowledge by completing an online course through Udemy. 

Draw attention to your accomplishments

Don’t make a long list of all the jobs you have ever had on your CV, and don’t mention your graduation dates. Only put in your most important, relevant and recent positions, and put the focus on your accomplishments and skills.

Show that you can produce results and are capable of helping the company reach higher heights. Show that your age is an asset and directly speaks to what you can bring to the table.

Learn how to market yourself

In today’s tough job market, you might need to toot your own horn. You are the product you want to sell, so market yourself and your qualities to the recruiters. Put everything in a positive light, for instance, avoid saying you are not old, and rather say you are wise and experienced.

Since you can’t control your age, take control of your actions and attitude and others’ perception of you.

Read: The secret to effectively promote yourself with confidence

Activate your network

You’ve been around for a while now, so you’ve had more opportunities than younger applicants to build yourself a strong network. Use this network to your advantage to find a new job. Research has shown that, depending on the region you live in, 50-85% of today’s jobs are landed through networking – it’s all about who you know. Some jobs won’t be on available on regular job classified pages and others are given to family and friends of people who (have) work(ed) in the company or have good contacts with someone in the company.

Be sure to provide your network with a short list of accomplishments or talking points. The easier you make it for them, the more likely they’ll help you in your pursuit for a job.

Remember how far you’ve come

You’ve come a long way and gained more experience than any other applicant. Be confident in what you are capable of and transfer this excitement onto the recruiters. Even when the job hunt can be discouraging at times, stand up straight, reach out with enthusiasm, make sure your voice is vibrant and come off energetic.

Think positively, and eventually you will find a new job that suits you perfectly