Getting Hired When Over 50
Seven Steps to Take
Ensuring that you’re employable after age 50 does not require any unusual tactics, just some special attention to the skillset you possess and how you market it to an employer. In this sense, getting hired after 50 does not mean any drastic changes to the strategies you used when getting your first job.
The key to getting hired is to show your employer what value you can bring to his or her organisation. Whether it’s your particular experience, your unique skills or your network, there has to be something that you can leverage to convince your future employer that their organisation will be better off with you in it.
We’ve put together seven tips to get you on the right track and kick your job search into high gear.
1. Get your CV/Resume right
Different industries have different expectations when it comes to the resume. You need to make sure that you’re presenting your experience in a way that makes sense to employers and recruiters alike. Recruiters have specialised systems for quickly assessing resumes and older style resumes simply won’t make the cut.
2. Understand what your employer is looking for
Don’t underestimate the importance of tailoring your resume for each company and position you apply for. The job market is competitive, and you need to be acutely aware of what employers are explicitly looking for and how your experience and education makes you the ideal fit. This will vary from job advertisement to job advertisement so make sure you edit and save a new resume for each position. Don’t try to edit the same resume over and over. Create a template resume for each industry and save a new version each time you apply for a position.
3. Fine tune your resume
If you’re in your 50s and looking for work, chances are you’ve got a pretty hefty career history. While employers value experience, managers and recruiters are often time poor and may receive hundreds of applications for each opening. Make their lives easier by highlighting your most recent and relevant experience. A good rule of thumb is detail for each job you’ve had in the last decade. Make details available for earlier jobs available upon request.
4. Highlight your contemporary knowledge
While you’ve got a lot to offer as someone with extensive experience in your field, you do need to remind your new employer that you’ve kept up to date with the latest trends in your industry. This might be related to sales techniques, project management methodologies, or general knowledge. Read up on the latest ideas or have a chat to people who have their finger on the pulse.
5. Network, network, network
Yes, networking may be the obvious suggestion, but when it comes to getting hired in your 50s, you need a slightly different approach. Managers these days are not necessarily your peers and may be substantially younger than you. Chat to individuals from Gen X to Z and get a feeling for where your industry is headed and what kind of opportunities are out there. This will also help you gauge current expectations for your dream role.
6. Shine a light on your tech skills
Following on from previous points, it is important to show that you’re adaptable and flexible when it comes to learning new technologies. Industries are rapidly being disrupted by digitisation and whether or not you are in a customer-facing industry, being on top of standard software applications is a non-negotiable these days. Brush up on your skills and make sure to draw attention to your knowledge in your job application.
7. Celebrate your experience
This is where you get to shine! You have substantial experience, and this is your key value proposition. Use the position description or job advertisement to find what the employer truly values in a new hire and sell your previous experience as the key to generating value for the organisation. This will help you stand out from the crowd and hopefully win you the job.
However, whether you’re 21 or 51, putting together a competitive job application can be time-consuming and overwhelming. Executive Agents can take the stress away and give you back your time with one of our specialised career packages. We will write and design a unique CV, cover letter and LinkedIn profile that perfectly fits your industry and employer expectations. Get in touch with us today and find out how we can help you get that dream job.