Job hunting for older workers

Older workers need to approach job searches a little differently.

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From the April 2014 issue of the magazine.

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Here are some tips for job hunting for older workers:

Use flexibility to your advantage. Making it clear you’re happy with part-time, contract or temporary work can give you an advantage over career-minded younger workers.

Embrace technology. Your capabilities with mobile devices and social media help show you’re up to date.

Be clear about pay expectations. If you’re interested in a job that pays less than you earned in your former career, say so. Don’t scare off employers who may think you’re out of their pay range.

Demonstrate adaptability. Employers want people who can learn new skills and adapt to change, so highlight your accomplishments in different roles.

Be selective with your experience. Don’t overwhelm an employer by providing a long résumé work history. Better to highlight selective accomplishments that are relevant to the role you’re seeking.

Show you’re active. Identify on your résumé activities likes sports and community volunteering so employers know you’re in good health.

Appearances matter. Make sure your haircut, glasses, and clothes are fashionably up to date.

Think broadly about skills. If your specific job skills aren’t opening any doors, it’s time to emphasize life skills. Well-developed general skills with problem-solving, working with people, sales, and communication can help you get jobs outside your area of technical or industry expertise.

Demonstrate you’re keen. Showing enthusiasm is critical if you’re going for a position with less pay or prestige compared to previous jobs. An employer won’t hire you if you give the impression you think the job is beneath you.

(Illustration by Ping Zhu)

(Illustration by Ping Zhu)

For more on this topic, read “Working past retirement age: What, why and how” by David Aston.

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