Job Hunting For Older Adults: A Quick And Essential Guide

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In recent years, the number of older adults re-entering or staying in the workforce has increased significantly. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics projections, the American workforce will grow to164 million by 2024 with 13 million of them likely to be over 65.

Economic challenges often compel older adults to rejoin the workforce. With the rising living costs, many people find their retirement savings and pensions no longer enough. As stated in CNBC survey conducted in 2022, 68% of retired participants would like to find a job, citing financial concerns. Others seek employment because they’re not ready to retire.

Regardless of the reason, job hunting can be challenging for those over the age of fifty. Despite their experience and skills, mature applicants might encounter age discrimination from companies that have yet to embrace inclusivity.

If this resonates with you, consider the following tips to increase your chances of getting hired.

1) Enhance Your Employability

The job market can be highly competitive. Companies around the globe are experiencing staffing issues and the challenges they’re currently facing in recruiting the right person for the job.

To address the gap, some government-run and private institutions offer employability skills training to provide job hunters with the most in-demand skills in their chosen fields. Sometimes, these agencies might be able to connect you with their employers’ pool for an easier job-hunting journey.

Organizations seek specific skill sets in a candidate. While this varies by company, hiring firms generally want to know whether applicants have great communication, time management, teamwork, problem-solving, and stress management skills. In some positions, technical skills are necessary, including marketing, people management, or project management experience.

2) Review And Tweak Your Resumé

Your resume must be good enough to persuade prospective employers to hire you. Find out what the most important qualifications are when hiring new employees.

While it can be tempting to include all the work-related details in your resumés, such as employment history and training or certificates, it’s best to streamline by aligning your qualifications with the role. Discuss how you can add value to the company, whether it be your expertise, knowledge, and skills that can be transferred to younger staff.

Additionally, create an online account on any digital career platform and expand your network there. Having one is advantageous since most headhunters and employers use these platforms for recruitment and applicant screening. Remember to prepare thoroughly for your interview.

3) Be Tech-Savvy

In some situations, age discrimination still exists. Companies might hesitate to hire middle-aged job seekers because of their misplaced beliefs about older people or question their adeptness in operating technological tools. With almost all workflows and tasks being automated these days, basic computer skills are required.

In most cases, employers will appreciate knowing that you’re not the one who avoids using digital devices. Look for short courses that offer basic computer operations, especially those relevant to the field. For example, you might want to take computer-aided design (CAD) training if you’re an engineer.

4) Identify Companies That Accept Middle-aged Workers

Search online and offline sources for a list of businesses that don’t have strict age requirements.

Below are some of the ways for gathering such helpful information:

  • Browse through career sites online
  • Keep updated on social media and other platforms
  • Be vigilant when exploring the neighborhood; establishments and offices might have printed job announcements posted outside their premises
  • Don’t forget to read the newspaper’s jobs section or classified ads
  • Ask your friends, family members, or former colleagues for referrals
  • Join or stay active in your professional or trade groups
  • Participate in job fairs
  • Contact employment agencies and speak with hiring managers

When you find an interesting job opening, ask for specific details, especially the qualifications and responsibilities attributed to the position. Conversely, you can be proactive and call the companies you want to work for to see if they’re hiring. If not, ask if you can send your resume to be considered for future opportunities.

5) Find Out If Employment Assistance Exists In Your Area

Government and non-government organizations worldwide have various programs to support older adults hoping to regain employment. For instance, some Americans age 55 and up may be eligible for programs that pay them a certain amount for part-time community service work. This can be a valuable experience for seniors looking to re-enter the workforce, especially those with gaps in their employment history.

Meanwhile, to encourage businesses to hire mature-age workers, Australia’s Department of Employment and Workers Relations has downloadable and printable announcements for workplaces accepting mature-age workers. In Queensland, some employers may be eligible for support payment and wage subsidies if they hire unemployed seniors or let them keep their positions.

Conclusion

Despite programs and initiatives for boosting employment among older adults, it can still be challenging for them to secure a specific job.

To increase the chances of getting hired, it pays to upskill and adapt to the demands of your chosen niche. Combining traditional and modern job-hunting practices can also be useful in determining potential employers. Using the tips above helps make the job-hunting experience less difficult for middle-aged job seekers.

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