Important Job Search Tactics For Older Workers
Baby boomers faced with the prospect of job searching—in some cases for the first time in years—need to employ more sophisticated tactics in an overall job searching strategy.
The days of relying strictly on a resume are long gone. A well-written resume is still important. However it’s only one tool in a job search strategy. To really compete with younger job candidates, baby boomers need to update their job search tactics. This often means incorporating social media, boosting their education and increasing networking activity for an effective job search strategy.
Social Media Skills
A lot of older workers haven’t jumped on the social media bandwagon. That’s understandable. But learning to use social media properly is a necessary job search tactic if you want to boost your chances of getting a new job quickly.
The good news is that it’s actually fairly simple. The first step should be establishing a LinkedIn profile. The best way to think about LinkedIn is that it should complement your resume, not replace it. One of the LinkedIn features that baby boomers can really use to their advantage is the ability to post recommendations.
Previous co-workers and managers can write glowing recommendations about your work performance in previous jobs. This is great because it lets someone else brag about you, but it also gives a baby boomer an upper hand. Recently graduated job searchers may be younger than you, but when it comes to work experience, they can’t compete.
A mature worker can really capitalize on the recommendations feature and prospective employers will be sure to notice those recommendations. That’s a good way to turn age to your advantage.
Get Back On the Education Train
One of the issues that baby boomers face can be lack of education. In the 60’s and 70’s it was common for capable individuals to get great jobs with just a high school education. Many of those people proved to be exceptionally competent and went on to rise into corporate ranks and often managed people who had tertiary qualifications.
But when baby boomers have to go back into a highly competitive job market without formal qualifications, they face a serious disadvantage.
To become more competitive you could seek recognition for prior learning. You could complete a short but highly regarded course specifically in your area of expertise. Your experience can enable you to do post-graduate study or take part in senior management courses in business or management. Starting a full degree may not be especially attractive, but there are so many options available to you. These offer flexibility and can augment a resume that features a lot of experience but little post-secondary education.
Networking is another tactic that tends to produce results when searching for a new job. If you’re just back in the job market after years of employment and no networking experience, it’s an important step. It can even be enjoyable.
Are you using your LinkedIn profile to leverage new contacts within your desired industry? What about some good old-fashioned person-to-person networking?
It’s important to reach out to professional contacts and arrange lunch meetings and occasional dinners. Getting to know people within a company is important. Leveraging friendships works. Knowing someone within an organization who will recommend you is still one of the best ways into a company because a highly placed employee giving your resume to HR is always going to be more.
If you integrate social media with continuing education and good networking practices, you’ll be a lot better positioned to find a good job than many of your contemporaries.
[Updated and republished April 20, 2019]
- Boomer Job Search (boomersnextstep.com)
- Jobs For People Over 50 – On The Road To Where? (boomersnextstep.com)
- Baby Boomers: Will there be enough gold for the “Golden Years”? (bearclausepublications.com)
Are you an older worker searching for a job? Renovate your job search with a career coach, contact me at Career Reno.