4 Ways Older Workers Can Strengthen Their Job Search Campaigns

November 18, 2016 Steven Watson, PhD, CPRW Job Search Strategies

There has been a fair amount of attention paid to the difficulties older workers face in finding employment. Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2014 and 2015 indicate that older workers took up to 10 weeks longer to find employment than younger people.

This trend can be very disturbing to older workers who wish to find a great job, but who may be reluctant to enter the job market for fear of failing. These people can increase their chances of success by avoiding these issues.

Older Workers Can Maximize Their Employment Chances by Considering These Issues  

  • Avoid the assumption or fear that there are no jobs available for people over 50 years of age. There are many employers who actually prefer hiring older workers and many other employers who are very open to the idea. It may take longer and require more effort, but older people can achieve their job search goals through focus and tenacity.
  • Having a realistic view of what they have to offer can often be the key to success for older workers in finding a great job. Past accomplishments do not guarantee employment, so it is best not to place too much weight on earlier work achievements. Instead, the question should be “what skills and attributes do I have that this employer will value for this particular job. Assuming that accomplishments speak for themselves is a mistake. It is the things that you can do to help the employer succeed NOW that could win you the job.
  • Resistance to learning new skills and technologies will not work in today’s job market. Studies have shown that older people lag way behind younger people in the use to computer software applications and social media tools. While it is not necessary to become an expert with technology, having a basic understanding can easily make the difference between employment and unemployment. In this regard, seeking out formal training related to computer technology and use of social media can pay major benefits.
  • Assumptions are often made that older workers will not accept wage levels that may be more acceptable to younger people. Many people over 50 years of age have been accustomed to making good salaries with solid benefit packages. However, these older workers can actually increase the likelihood of finding great jobs by demonstrating flexibility during pay negotiations, even forgoing some benefits such as health care and retirement that are covered from other sources.

It is true that older workers face more significant challenges in finding gainful employment. However, those who do not assume the worst but, instead, are willing to achieve the best through hard work and perseverance will find great jobs.

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