How to get a job when you’re over 50

AFTER six years of living in recession, employment is finally starting to rise

On the whole, this is great news, but for those people now aged over 50 and unemployed, looking for a new job can be nothing short of terrifying

Although age discrimination is illegal, older job seekers are being pipped at the post by younger candidates who appear to have current technological experience and demonstrate a strong cultural fit

This can be off-putting, but if you’re an older job seeker and follow these six key steps, you can get back in the recruitment race and secure rewarding employment:

1. Age-proof your CV

Employers are only concerned with your experience over the last 10 to 15 years, so only include roles that date back this far, and highlight skills and experience on the first page along with significant achievements. Delete your date of birth for a start and get rid of dates of qualifications, they’re unnecessary

2. Write a confident cover letter

All applications should be accompanied by a cover letter and all cover letters should promote the strengths and opportunities you will bring to the company. Don’t highlight your age and use phrases such as “seasoned professional” as it gives an impression that you may be out of touch. Be confident in your style and ensure you highlight how your experience and skills matches the requirements of the job

3. Change your mind set and get technically up to date

Being able to use current computer software programmes is essential – there are a number of low-cost online courses that can be accessed as well as local courses run by job centres

4. Get up to date with job hunting

The techniques have drastically changed over recent years. A huge emphasis is now placed on social media and having an online profile. If nothing else, get yourself registered on LinkedIn and use it to promote your experience and connect with your network

5. Network extensively

It’s most definitely about who you know, not what you know. Take your time to connect with people you’ve worked and socialised with and use them to help put you in contact with opportunities. Remember 70 per cent of jobs are never advertised and are secured through this ‘hidden job market’

6. Attitude is everything

Don’t be ashamed of your age. You bring a great deal of knowledge and experience with you but be open to the new and dynamic approach of business today - change is constant and you’ll need to demonstrate that you can keep up

Best of luck with your job search

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