Evaluate your situation
First things first. This is not as bad as it seems. Losing a job when you are over 50 has been a huge blessing to so many people. Let’s face it, there were some things about that old job you didn’t like. Remember Jim? He was the guy who would stand in your office and talk even when you told him to leave. Don’t forget about the smell of that one room. Ugh! What did they do in there? The point is, this is an opportunity for you to find a better job, for more money, better benefits, no Jim and air fresheners! You aren’t asking for a promotion or writing a resume with no experience here. This is a completely different animal. So let’s get started.
Evaluate your skills
You are a wealth of knowledge and experience. Time to re-evaluate that pile of value you are sitting on. That experience and knowledge is so valuable to so many companies, they would love to have you if you can present your experience to them as value.
This new job market isn’t the one you were used to. Job losses aren’t the huge negative they used to be. So shake off that feeling that this is a negative thing, lead with all of the value and skills you have and charge into this. By the end of this article, you’ll be turning down job offers! (Okay maybe a little later than that.)
Take a look at your options
You actually have an advantage.
When someone is trying to get a promotion, it’s a little bit tricky. Every mistake you’ve made at work can stick out in the recruiters mind. You, on the other hand haven’t made these mistakes in front of them.
Job searchers often start their search by looking on jobs boards, classified ads and sites like Craigslist. That is the wrong way to search for a job online. The jobs posted there are jobs nobody wants to fill. You need to start looking for jobs you want, not the pile of jobs no one is interested in. Start with a map and identify 10-20 great companies close to you, or if you work remotely, 10-20 companies where you want to be.
Good companies are always looking for great people. The best jobs never make it to Craigslist because the friends and family of the people who work there grab them before they get announced. You are about to be one of those people.
Also go where there is not people lining up to get hired. Don’t give up and take the first job you find, but take a look at the smaller businesses with a little less competition. This isn’t just advice for people over 50, it’s good advice for anyone. The less completion the better, and you would be surprised what some small businesses will pay someone with your experience.
So plot out the places you want to work and stop looking for help wanted signs!
Create a great resume
Your resume has three important parts. These are the must-haves for resumes.
1. Have a cover letter
This is mandatory. Hiring managers will literally throw out all the resumes that don’t have cover letters because the applicant, “wasn’t willing to put in the work” and add a cover letter.
Don’t let a small detail stop you from your dream job. Imagine the next 10 years being right where you are now because you didn’t spend some time writing a cover letter.
Do your best and you’ll have the best.
2. Design matters
After the hiring recruiter throws out the resumes with no cover letters, you have to grab their attention.
Did you know the color blue expresses reliability, trust and integrity? Blue is a great color to put in front of the hiring manager, but not too much. Don’t overdo it.
Our free cover letter/resume template incorporates the right amount of design and psychology to make your resume stand out.
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3. You have skills, highlight them
Throw away the ancient, old resume your parents used to get hired at boring jobs for 40 years.
Those jobs are gone.
You don’t need to have your address at the top, followed by your objective, then chronology of your work history followed by a crumbled up flight to the trash can because it’s so boring.
Explain that you are honest because you handled all the money for your local minnow gathering fundraiser, (I’m just guessing.) Talk about the times you created memes that went viral for your local coffee grinder club called Jitters.
You have done valuable things. They just may not have happened at a job or for a company. Show people your value, regardless of where you learned it.
Connect with the right people
Don’t be annoying but, a resume printed on a doughnut box gets peoples attention!
Find a creative, un-annoying way to have a conversation with the right people. After all, thats all an interview is.
Nail the interview
The average person pays around $95,000 on a college degree and then gets beat (interviews are competitions, make no mistake) by someone who prepares better than they did! Your age isn’t something that will stop you from a great interview, it’s an asset because you know how to prepare, and the way to win a job interview is through preparation.
You should know what questions they will ask and how you will answer them. Don’t get floored by the dreaded, “Tell us a little about yourself” question. You need to know what your body language is saying. Coming from a generation that cared about it, you should understand how to speak well. These are the things that get you hired, not Economics 101. You can do this on your own or check out this job interview course. It’s a whole lot cheaper than $95,000!
Don’t be intimidated by your competition. Youth is another word for lack of experience. You know that many hiring managers want knowledge and leadership in their organization. Your perspective and ideas are really valuable.
It’s time to put them to use.
You aren’t an age, you are a bundle of experience
Remember from the beginning, you are not a number, an age or a limitation. Being over 50 gives you the perspective and experience that many companies need right now. You may have to learn a few new things and you will probably love what you learn, but the value you bring into a room just by the way of what you have done is something companies want. So show it to them and get ready to have your pick of great jobs.