You are never too old to set another goal or to get a new job. If you think about it, by the age of 50, you have at least 17 more years of your career to blossom and grow. According to the Office of National Statistics in the UK, there are more women in work aged 60-64 than not, and the number of women in midlife and in work has increased to 51% since 2010. However, we know that because of the pandemic, things are pretty tough out there in the job market right now and so I want to help you to stand out from the crowd.
Leverage Your Experience
Over the years I have interviewed a whole lot of people. I always think I have seen it all, but every interview is different, and I keep being surprised (that’s why I love what I do!); some people make a lasting impression and others are memorable for all the wrong reasons. Whether you are ready to make your next career move or simply searching for new opportunities, keep in mind that job hunting begins and ends with you and it all comes down to some key interventions that you make at the start of the process and then how you nail it in the end.
Getting Ready To Return To Work
In the beginning, you need to be the most proactive version of yourself that you have ever been. It takes energy and TIME to apply for jobs. But to save you wasting any more of your valuable time, I’m going to help you by streamlining the key steps you need to take at the start.
- Make your presence known by updating your online profile and commenting and interacting in the right way on professional social media platforms such as LinkedIn.
- Consider your skills and abilities. Take a long hard look at yourself and think about where the intersection of your experience, talents and passion lies. The questions you need to ask yourself are; What are my natural talents? What is my experience at this point? What am I passionate about?
- Connect with your family, friends and any wider contacts and let them know you are on the look-out for your next job. Ask them to help you and to tell others they know that you are keen to find a job. This will widen your circle and is known to be the most successful method for job seekers.
- Think about any new skills that you might need and find a way to retrain. Colleges and Universities and recruiters provide a lot of guidance to prospective students and applicants of any age and they are keen to help. Have a look on-line and search out the skills and experience for the sort of role you think you’d like.
- Do your research and have a look at the job roles in the sector you prefer or the types of organisations you’d like to work for.
Dust Off Your CV and Resume
The next thing you need is a very good Curriculum Vitae. This is your story. It’s all about you and needs to be the best version of yourself you have ever presented. I have seen a great deal of CV’s over the years and many of them are quickly rejected. Only the best survive to the shortlist stage.
What does the best CV look like?
As a recruiter and leadership mentor, I know I have a clear preference for a straightforward, clean, and clear version of your career and your skills. I like to have a short and sensible CV with everything covered over 2 pages. I’m not a fan of gimmicks and gizmos so keep it simple. I’m not alone. I have recruited alongside managers for many years and we all agree, the simpler the better.
I want to see your email and telephone contact details at the top of the page for easy reference. I want to quickly note your last job role and I want you to tell me the level of responsibility you have and the impact you have made in your current and previous roles. Describe in short sentences how you have initiated, coordinated, advised, produced, and partnered to deliver work.
The font should be professional, preferably size 10-12 and the headers should be defined. I am keen to know about your education and a bit about your social interests but don’t go overboard!
I have something to say about cover letters too. I like them, but they must not be too long and drawn out. Pack a punch with your letter and make sure that it is tailored to the job role and the organisation you are applying to.
My other bugbear is proofreading. Please ask someone you trust to check your CV and your cover letter for any errors or spelling mistakes and if you are making an on-line application, save it and check it again before you press submit.
Nail the interview
The interview is the place where you connect with the employer, sell yourself and show that you have the energy, passion, and excitement necessary to do the job. View the interview as an opportunity to show your new boss you are a team player and demonstrate you’re comfortable working collaboratively with those much younger than you as well as that you enjoy transferring your knowledge to those around you. It’s also crucial to indicate that you can navigate technology and you are also trainable and can learn; show the ways you’ve adopted new ideas and helped manage or execute change recently in your career. Organizations always seek professionals who are able to embrace teamwork, regardless of their age.
Resources for Job Seekers
AARP, the American largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people over 50 provides a variety of practical tips for the job seekers and identifies opportunities with employers committed to a diverse-age workforce.
The Centre For Ageing Better works with the UK government and employers to create the right conditions for more people over 50 to be in fulfilling work. Through their research and partnerships, they’re helping employers create workplaces and environments that support workers of all ages.
If you’re keen to find out more about how you can nail your next job in your 50s, check out the CrunchyTales Facebook Live Webinar with Vanessa Rhodes on 20th October at 5.30 pm ( UK time) where she’ll be talking about the interview stage and how you can succeed!