Being interviewed for a job by someone half your age can be confronting; as can starting over in the job market. However, job search expert Rupert French has written a great book for anyone over the age of 50 who is debating a change of career, either as a wish or by necessity.
“Attitude is key,” he says. “Job seekers need to see themselves as self employed, and go about finding the best job for them with that level of focus. Too often, people employ a scatter approach – applying for many jobs at once. My advice is to focus on no more than two leads at a time and prepare well for those two leads.”
View yourself as a micro business and set out to look for clients. “Job seeking should be as full time as you can make it,” says Rupert. “Research; know as much as you can about the companies your are applying to work with. Use your network of contacts and make sure your resume is up to date and has impact.”
Recent research show that employers spend less than 10 seconds on average reading a resume, so it had better be good!
“The first point on every page of your resume should be speaking directly to that employer and grabbing their attention,” he says. Write you objective/summary last when putting together your resume, but put it first in the document. That way, all the research you have done on the position will help you form a strong objective.
Rupert believes that employers look for three things in a new employee: firstly the motivation to do the job well, the ability to fit into the existing team and the skills required to do the job. “Believe it or not, the skills are often the last things they are looking at,” he says. “ People over 50 can and will find employment if they set about the process in the right way.”
“A lot of the people whom I have worked with retired and then found themselves bored or lonely,” he says. “The retirement age is increasing around the world – there is often nothing stopping people from working into their 80’s if they so choose.”
While confidence is key, it is also lacking in many job seekers, who may have been made redundant, or who are looking to change direction and ‘get off the tools.’
Rupert’s book outlines practical strategies to help develop your confidence and create your own market niche. “When you are looking for a job, you need to be outlining the benefits you can bring to the employer, rather than focusing on what you want out of the job.” He has 20 years' practical experience in career development and has run successful training programmes for mature job seekers.
How To Get A Good Job After 50 is available in book stores now. If you are looking to change career, or find a job better suited to you – check it out!