Apr 15 2016
In this current economic environment, finding a job is a challenge – and even more so for 50+ executives, who are dealing both with the “pyramid effect” (fewer jobs toward the top) and a youth-oriented culture. Yet giving up should never be an option. If you’re savvy and persistent, you can increase your odds of landing a good position. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Don’t Let Your Resume/CV “Age” You Out of Consideration
You might be 55, 65, or even 75 but still ready and eager for a new professional challenge. Make certain your resume/CV showcases your strengths and your value without overemphasizing your age. Because you’re targeting senior roles, it’s fine to show 15 or 20 years of experience – after all, companies are not going to hire a 25-year-old to be CEO. But neither do you want to convey that you’re old, out of date, or overly focused on ancient career history.
To achieve just the right balance between appropriate experience and “too old,” you can eliminate your earliest positions or summarize them without specific dates. It’s perfectly all right to leave off your university graduation dates. For US/multinational resumes, standard practice is to omit such personal details as date of birth, photo, and status of marriage/children that are common on many European and Asian CVs.
For the material that you do include, focus on the challenges and results of each position and devote the most space to the most recent experiences. Make sure you have the appropriate file formats for electronic job search (text file for uploading, Microsoft Word file for emailing), and write a resume/CV that can be read in short "bites" of information when viewed on a smart phone or in any quick glance. Include up-to-date information about the technologies, practices, and methodologies that are appropriate to your profession.
RESOURCE: Contact our professional resume/CV writers for a complimentary consultation to learn some expert tips for your specific circumstances. Also consider having your resume/CV rewritten to be certain that you’re positioning yourself advantageously in today’s competitive job market.
Bring Your Networking Style Into the 21st Century
If you’re not already on a social networking site, it’s time to put yourself where the action is! Many positions these days aren’t found by traditional means, but by meeting people through social networking. Because more and more recruiting firms use LinkedIn as a primary source for identifying and connecting with candidates, establishing your profile on LinkedIn is no longer optional.
As you move into online networking, you’ll find other online profiles and social media sites that can help you build your visibility and establish your brand. What’s more, traditional networking has moved online and the new tools make it easy for you to connect with individuals who can help you gain access to decision makers and influential business leaders.
For the 50+ executive, having a social networking presence, a blog, and other online visibility shows that you are keeping up with the latest technological trends – an important consideration when you are concerned about potential age discrimination.
RESOURCE: If building and managing your online identity seems like an enormous and confusing task, we can help! Contact a BlueSteps advisor who can teach you what to do or do it for you.
Revitalize Your Look
Put on your interview clothes and take a good look in the mirror. Is this what you want a potential employer to see when you walk in the door?
You’re already at a disadvantage because you’re not an eager 30 or 40-something. So what can you do to instantly convey that you’re just as vital, current, and energetic as your more youthful counterpart? A quick way is to overhaul your professional look. Let me just say right now that people DO judge a book by its cover – even if we learn we’re not supposed to do that. An employer may take one look at you and see an "older" person, therefore triggering an instant bias.
Giving yourself a mini-makeover will make you feel good and appear more youthful. If you’ve been wearing the same old style of haircut forever, go to the salon and get something that looks fabulous on you. Buy a new interview suit and make sure it’s tailored to fit properly. Get your teeth whitened and learn to walk with your shoulders up straight. Practice smiling in the mirror and greeting your interviewer. First impressions are everything and these small changes can make a big difference in how you’re perceived before you even say one word.
RESOURCE: Our interview coaching services can help you make sure your interview message is as fresh and energized as your physical image. Get in touch today to learn more.
In summary, you can move forward with confidence when you have the right image – on paper and in person, the right tools, and the best strategies for career management today.