Are you an older adult who is looking for work? According to a recent article by vocational psychologist and career coach Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Ph.D., success comes when you shift emphasis away from your age and towards your years of experience. Civitelli suggests,“If you are an older job seeker and you are concerned that your age is working against you in your job search, find ways to shift the emphasis away from your age and toward your ability to make tangible contributions.”
How to craft an online-worthy resume.
Marcelle Yeager of U.S. News & World Report advises older job seekers that the Internet has changed what they may be used to in terms of how to find a job. Unless job seekers acquaint themselves with new job search rules, they put themselves in danger of rejection before an interview takes place.
Human resource programs scan each resume that comes into a company. It’s imperative that you craft your resume with keywords – nouns and phrases that spell out the desired qualifications of the job in which you are interested. You may think your resume perfectly spells out your experience, but computer decides which resume makes it to the desk of the hiring manager. For tips on what keywords to include in your resume, visit resume-help.org.
Be transparent about employment gaps.
If your resume has employment gaps, use a format that lists your experience in a functional manner rather than in chronological order. It’s also important to be prepared to answer questions about why you weren’t working. Did you take time off to care for a loved one? That’s admirable! Has it taken you longer to find a job than you would have liked? Don’t fret! The average unemployed American job hunts for close to 40 weeks before landing a job. Answer questions about employment gaps in an authentic and professional manner and include what you learned during your time off if it applies.
Emphasize your computer skills.
You ability to keep up with technology is a plus to a potential employer. List your technical skills including any computer programs you have mastered. Lagging behind in technical skills? Most communities offer continuing education classes that teach popular computer programs such as Microsoft Word and Excel.
Network. Network. Network.
Gone are the days of mailing out a resume and waiting for a call. Today, you must seek out connections with professionals in your field. Volunteer, join an online group on LinkedIn, attend job fairs in your community and ask your friends and former coworkers if they have an inside track on a job listing that matches your skills.
Rehearse for your interview.
Practice makes perfect when it comes to interviewing for a job. Ask a friend to conduct a mock interview with you and critique your performance. Practice answering questions about your work experience, what you know about the company, and what you desire in a job. Use online tools, like Glassdoor, to research what questions are asked in interviews at different companies.