Job Search is a full time job



Finding a job for the more mature job seeker

Searching for a job once past 50 or older requires a different approach. 

  • Prepare mentally. It takes an average of 6 months for someone over 55 to secure an interview. Having the appropriate expectation level helps with maintaining your self-esteem, attitude and energy level.
  • Target niche recruiters. Let executive-search professionals who specialize in your industry or job function know you're on the market. Executive recruiters fill high-level positions and are skilled in working with experienced hires.
  • Make new connections. Broaden your networking circle to boost your odds of getting referrals and news about openings.
  • Get tech savvy. Familiarise yourself with instant messaging, social networking and other tech-related activities.

Curb age bias. If you don't believe your age and experience would be an assets to potential employers why should they believe it? You can address some of the common, unspoken predispositions that hiring managers may have about senior candidates. Be flexible and willing to keep up with new trends in your field and read trade magazines. Be computer savvy.

Work on your image, everything from your hair to your shoes should convey your status as a successful professional that is up-to-date.

Don't be put off if your interviewers are much younger. Show them respect. Keep your conversation on a professional level. You need to convince them that you will be an asset. Don't be reserved or over confident.

Radiate enthusiasm and passion for the work. Be friendly, smile, radiate confidence and competence. Look savvy and contemporary. Outdated haircuts and clothes reinforce stereotypes that older workers resist change. Sit or stand erect. Show you are in tune with industry trends and have the necessary skills and embrace continual training

The interviews often start with an overview of the company and the department. you then are asked about yourself. Stick with your professional accomplishments, your skills and relate them to how they fit into the organisation. Emphasize that you are hand-on and with a wealth of experience can hit the ground running. Demonstrate ability to mentor less experienced co-workers. Speak comfortably of your flexibility, tolerance for ambiguity and openness to new ideas. Emphasize patience and good health. Maintain optimism. Accentuate your ability to contribute. Believe you can continue to grown and produce.

Behaviour interviews have become popular. This involves asking the interviewee how they would respond to specific problems or situations, such as conflict with co-workers or customers. So arm yourself with examples or anecdotes to reinforce your strengths and show how judgment, experience and consistent achievements enable you to make significant contributions.

Finally don't leave without asking point-blank for the job!


Last updated 3rd March 2009