If you’re over 40 and unemployed, you may already know how difficult it can be to land a new job. Don’t get discouraged. Focus first on getting your resume in tip top shape.
When you put together your resume, list your accomplishments first, whether it’s a big project you spearheaded or a successful campaign you launched.
You might want to consider omitting the date you graduated from high school or college and listing the last four to five jobs in your history only – if they can give a clear picture of your skills and accomplishments.
You can find examples of good resumes here.
Your goal is to showcase your experience and avoid leaving any gaps in the timeline of your work experience.
After you’ve got your resume in excellent shape, here are five steps you can take to position yourself for re-employment so that you help potential employers focus on the expertise they will be getting by hiring you.
Job hunting is highly competitive. Know that you will be competing with younger candidates who may be willing to accept less pay than you.
You need to be on top of your game and focus on your experience relating to a wide variety of people, maturity in making good decisions, ability to make a long-term commitment and broader perspectives on life and business matters.
Don’t defend your age; use it to position yourself as a professional who knows how to handle difficult people and challenges in the workplace.
Take pride in everything life has taught you, and you’ll be ready to compete for and land that dream job.
In practical terms, during an interview mention specific instances in which you have made valuable contributions to the success of a company, offered solutions to vexing problems, demonstrated loyalty, trained others to perform at peak productivity, and so on.
In that way you can demonstrate that you’ve got a lot to offer an employer
Nothing impresses a potential employer more than interviewing a candidate who has done the research—not only on his/her company, but also on the industry.
If your computer skills are lacking, brush up on searching for information online.
You want to gather enough information so that you can figure out how your skills will help you contribute to the workplace.
Candidates in their 20s and 30s might depend on their enthusiasm and eagerness to learn to make an impression on an interviewer.
Employers expect a mature employee to save them job learning time.
You’ve likely had experience with this, so focus on your ability to be productive immediately on the job.
You’ll increase your chances of receiving an offer if you provide specific examples of how you have excelled in the performance of your duties and helped others do their jobs better.
Talk about how much you are prepared to make a solid contribution — but also mention how eager you are to learn from those with whom you will be working.
You want to leave the impression that you are flexible, adaptable, and open to new approaches to improving your performance.
Practice talking about yourself in this way so that even if the first employer doesn’t hire you, the next one will.
Employers look for longevity in terms of employees. You want to look your best and healthiest to increase your hire-ability.
If you are physically active (in sports or other recreation), note it on your resume or mention it in your cover letter. If you aren’t proactively engaged in regular physical activity, strive to look your best.
How you dress and present yourself is completely within your control. Updating your interview wardrobe is a good investment.
You want well-fitting clothing (not too snug) in contemporary fabrics, colors and styles.
If you’re uncertain about wardrobe, ask a friend who is in the workforce to give you their opinion on your wardrobe choices.
Finding a new job after age 40 isn’t impossible. It just takes time and effort, so don’t give up.