Tips for job searching in your 50s and beyond

Tips for job searching in your 50s and beyond

Is there still such a thing as a job for life these days? More and more people in their 50s and beyond are active in the jobs market as changes in working circumstances force them to look for something new. And, there’s no doubt that people in their 50s and 60s can offer considerable spells of sterling service to a prospective employer.

Accentuate the positives

The key is to be sure of what your abilities and qualities are whilst being confident in how to demonstrate and present them to a prospective employer. It’s important to find areas where you can take advantage of the wealth of experience you have and build an image of someone who will be an asset to any business for whatever length of time.

Sometimes having been through changes in an industry puts you in formidable position, potentially arming you with knowledge that has a premium in any negotiations.

So, with so many people in the job market at any one time, how do you go about effectively marketing your skills and experience?

  • Highlight transferrable skills – Think about the skills you’ve developed in your roles and those which specifically could be seen as being transferrable and desirable.
  • Match your skills to the job – Tying your abilities to the specific needs of the job makes it harder to overlook your application whatever your age. Make sure that you are up to date with any advancements in the industry and keep any accreditations current. You might also want to identify if there are any gaps in your knowledge and attend a course or refresher to keep you ahead of the game.
  • Analyse communication skills – Display an appreciation and understanding of modern communication methods where possible by embracing Skype, conference calling, social media and other forms of getting your message across. You might not need to be an expert as long as you can show that you’re not a technophobe. It might also be a good idea to have an active presence on LinkedIn, making the most of highlighting your experience and connections.
  • Show other technological skills  – Technology hasn’t only advanced in communication alone, advancements have been seen in all areas. Showing an appreciation of what is new in your profession and an ability to make use of it will stand you in good stead.
  • Be ready to recall notable achievements – Being able to call immediately on a list of achievements in your chosen sector can often be as good as presenting relevant skills. Proving that you’ve already enjoyed success and are quite able to repeat it is undeniably impressive.
  • Don’t be afraid to adapt – With many industries and businesses modifying the way they work it may be that opportunities are available in a different form to what you’re used to. Don’t discount the idea of working on a fixed term contract or as an advisor or consultant. Many businesses now may not be ready to commit to a long-term appointment but would be open to a shorter-term arrangement. This gives you an opportunity to earn good rates whilst constantly building contacts and experience. The more contacts and exposure you have within in an industry, the more attractive you are to companies looking to utilise people in similar scenarios going forward.