Tip for Senior Job Seekers! | Articles & Tips | WNYJobs.com | Buffalo

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 Tip for Senior Job Seekers!

By Joe Stein

With our current troubled economy, the labor market has seen an influx of Job Seekers who are over 60 years of age. These “senior” Job Seekers have been faced with drastically reduced savings as our Stock Market has tumbled over the last year, forcing an unexpected return to the workforce. For this group, facing a job search can be a very stressful experience, because so much has changed over the years regarding how a person does a job search. 
 
If you are a member of this class of “seniors” re-entering the job market and struggling with how to get your job search started or how to land the position you desire, the following tips are for you:
 
·         Don’t Get Discouraged – Your discouragement will instantly be recognizable to a Recruiter or Hiring Manager. It may be very tempting to be cynical, thinking that any job worth working will go to someone younger. While there are some companies that will have this short-sighted point-of-view, many others will treasure your experience, maturity, and expertise.
 
·         Stay Positive – You may be in a position, looking for a job that you never thought would happen when you retired. It is important, however, to stay away from the “woe is me” attitude. There is no benefit to going into detail regarding why you need to work, nor should you allow much time to be spent on the subject, if asked. Quickly answer the question and redirect to why you are the best person for the job.
 
·         Play to Your Strengths – Beyond just your experience and skills, you have other key attributes. Business maturity is a tremendous trait that should be emphasized. You will prove to be reliable and professional which, to many Hiring Managers, is a trait in short-supply with most job seekers.
 
·         Lose the Ego – The reality is: this is a difficult economic climate and you may not land the level of position you had prior to retirement. For many, you do not even desire that level of commitment. There may be some need to “reprove” yourself. If that is the case, then accept the challenge and impress your new employer. 
 
·         Update Your Skills – Determine what will be needed to land the job you desire. If you are seeking an office position, then make sure your keyboarding and computer skills are up-to-date.   Do not provide the Hiring Manager with any material that will make him or her feel you have not stayed current with the marketplace. If there is a need to learn something new in the position, embrace the ability to know more and work hard to absorb whatever has been taught.
 
·         Check Your Appearance – While it would be a mistake to look and dress like a teenager, you will want to have a current look to your appearance. Make sure you are “up-to-date” in both your dress and appearance to avoid concerns that you are “out of the loop”. You do not want your appearance to feed any concerns that you may be “too old” for the position. First impressions are very important; you will want to present an energetic, modern, active, and eager image.
 
·         Consider a Temporary Employment Agency – Temping can be a great way to place your foot in the door with a company you are interested in. A temporary assignment allows you time to “prove yourself” and break down any existing stereotypes regarding your age.
 
·         Use All Methods for Leads – For many “seniors”, a job search consisted of driving to a company and applying. Or, it may have been simply knowing someone who worked there and could “get you in”.   Networking and pounding pavement still has a place in a modern job search, but it is complemented with new avenues - most of them involving the Internet. Use a variety of methods for sourcing leads in your job search. Research those organizations that have a reputation for being “friendly” to senior workers. These employers can allow you to concentrate on your match to the position and not on your age.
 
·         Watch Your Dates – Be careful with the dates on your resume. There is usually no need to go back more than 15 years on a resume. Likewise, dates are generally not need for documenting a college or High School graduation.
 
 
It is easy to become down regarding the unfortunate circumstances that caused a re-entry into the workforce. Coupled with the limited employment options and the stereotypical perception held by some, it may appear to be an impossible mission. The task is difficult, but hardly impossible. Many companies highly value the unique skills that a seasoned senior employee has to offer. The key is to present yourself as truly the best of both worlds…an energetic, passionate person who brings experience, skill and maturity.
 
 
As always, best of luck in your job search.