Checklist for Getting a Job When You are Over 50

Checklist for job search success when you are over 50

Checklist for job search success when you are over 50

There are many things you have to remember in your job search. But I think the most important thing you have to remember is that your age doesn’t have to hold you back.  In fact, there are ways you can use your age as an asset.

With some simple tweaks to your job search, you will be able to show the hiring manager that you are the right one for the job.  You can make the hiring manager not even consider your age by emphasizing what you bring to the company. 

Here are a few ways you can make your age a non-issue.

  •  Age-proof your résumé—Removing dates from your résumé will only send up red flags.  But there are better ways to age-proof your résumé.  Fill it with honors and awards that show how you do your job better than anyone.  Use percentages and dollars to show how you have saved the company time and money, and made the company money.  Instead of listing the duties that you have done in the past, use PAR stories to prove your claims.    
  • You are as young as you feel—Taking care of you is vital.  Your health shouldn’t give your age away.  Exercise and do yoga or other stretching activities will keep you looking fit.  Yoga is especially good for keeping you flexible and able to move without showing signs of pain.  If you have health issues, follow the recommendations of your doctors.  Take your medication properly and on time.  Follow a diet that is healthy.  Get the amount of sleep that you need.
  • Age is just a number—Dress for your age but stay current.  Dressing younger isn’t dressing like teeny boppers. It means your clothes fit you properly, are clean, and in style today-not when you bought them 15 years ago.   Your hair needs to be flattering for you.  Keep it well maintained.  If you color your hair, take care of your roots.  You don’t have to color your hair if you have a style that is stylish and looks good on you.  If you glasses have huge frames and have little initials in the corner, it’s time to change them.
  • Stay up-to-date—Nothing says old like not knowing what an iPad is or an mp3 player.  You don’t have to go out and buy the latest technology, but talk to a teenager and learn what is available today.  Know what social media is and what it does, again a teenage will be a good resource.  Keep your skills updated.  Are there newer versions of programs you have used?  What are the changes?  Find out what the cloud means.   
  • Attitude—Be positive and confident you can do the job.  Be engaging and enthused about the opportunity.  Show you are forward thinking and not stuck in the past.  Saying things like, “in my day, we did it this way” won’t get you hired.  Let them know you are open to learning new things. 

Use your age to convince the hiring manager you the right person for the job.  Because of you skills and abilities you know what you are doing, and you are capable of learning.  If your first resume was typed on a typewriter and you are reading this on your computer, you have come a long way.  Don’t hate your age, celebrate it.  You have the skills the company needs.  Let your skills overshadow your age, and you will be hired.


How can I help you in your job search?

9 Comments to "Checklist for Getting a Job When You are Over 50"

  1. May 21, 2014 - 11:46 am | Permalink

    I recently interviewed for an account management position with master distributor of plumbing and electrical pipes in Ipswich, MA. I dressed in a sport coat and tie. I found myself over dressed. Unfortunately even being moderately over dressed at 50-year plus gives a different impress from someone younger. At fifty plus you look like a boss verses a professional. . . . Or even viewed as someone who does get their hands dirty so to speak. While at twenty and thirty the impression is the person is professional on a career path to do more. I really do not think dressing business causal like the interviewers would work either.

  2. May 13, 2014 - 11:36 am | Permalink

    Hello, Arleen. Thank you for sharing. I teach all school subjects at primary school online via skype: elikabg 🙂

  3. BennyBenjakmin's Gravatar BennyBenjakmin
    May 13, 2014 - 1:42 am | Permalink

    Complementing your points, one way of keeping current is to make sure you” talk the talk. ”
    What is the current lexicon and current issues of the field your are exploring? Try to make your potential employer perceive you as a colleague (in your resume and interview), so that you are seen as a forward-thinking (and doing) member of the staff and can integrate comfortably with them over coffee.

  4. May 12, 2014 - 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Great ideas, Arleen, especially staying vibrant, interesting, and healthy. It is a good idea to be familiar with LinkedIn–even my 83 year old mother uses it. Having a nice profile, preferably with the resume attached, gives you vital information at your fingertips and lets employers know that you are always learning. Get help if needed and let yourself shine!

  5. Brett Patron's Gravatar Brett Patron
    May 12, 2014 - 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Now how about the companion piece where you explain to 30-something hiring managers how to treat 50-plus year old talent with a bit of respect, instead of making them dance.

    “Age is not a number works” both ways. There’ a difference between understanding what’s going on in the world with “being hip”.

    A one-page resume just doesn’t capture 30-40 years of work experience. And playing the “you’re only worth 6 seconds of reading” game is pithy but not particularly respectful of talent with significant work history and background.

    Oh…and as an aside….it in poor taste for HR/Talent folks and hiring manager to tell folks with long work histories who are job-seeking that “you have to understand that we’re REALLY busy.” You know….can’t really care about that unless you’re looking for help to lift some of that load off your shoulders.

    My 2 cents…

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