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How older workers can improve their job search


How older workers can improve their job search

When looking for career advice, job seekers will generally find that it's often geared toward younger people who don't have much experience in their industries. But increasingly, older people may be looking for career changes as well after accumulating decades of experience. With that in mind, it's usually a good idea for people in their 40s or 50s to look for career search advice that's more specifically focused on their age group.

Perhaps the thing that older workers have that their younger counterparts do not is their decades of experience, according to The Balance Careers. Consequently, it's important for older workers - whether they're filling out their LinkedIn profiles or updating a resume - to make sure they're really stressing how much experience they have, or how many skills they've honed, in the decades they've spent in their chosen fields.

Indeed, there have been plenty of studies which show older workers have skills younger ones don't, especially revolving around leadership, so even if they're applying for positions that aren't necessarily higher-end management jobs, that kind of presence can be a boon to any organization, the report said. Finding ways to highlight that leadership in a cover letter, resume or profile can be a great idea as a consequence.

Getting it right
Because of these issues, it's perhaps wise for older workers to start their job searches by specifically looking for positions that require a lot of experience, or browse job sites that are specifically geared for people of a certain age, according to The Motley Fool. This will allow them to connect with companies who know the value of what older workers can bring to the table.

Meanwhile, it's also worth noting that companies might want to steer clear of older workers simply because of the kinds of salaries they can command based on their years of experience, the report said. To make themselves more attractive, it might be wiser for those would-be hires to let the people they interview with know that they're willing to take a lower base salary and make more of their overall pay contingent on performance, and therefore paid out in bonuses.

Avoid common mistakes
At the same time, older workers likely know full well that it's not always easy to make themselves the most attractive candidates, so they should also strive to reduce things that might be an impediment to their searches, according to the AARP. Things they may not consider - such as sending emails from AOL or Hotmail addresses, or not being easily "searchable" online or even via social networks - can hinder their chances of getting an interview.

Perhaps the best advice for people who have been in the same field for decades is to lean on their contacts for job opportunities, the report said. While some might not like the idea much, the fact is that networking is just as important for people over 40 as it is for young adults. And often, contacts they already know will be more than happy to hook old colleagues up with companies they may know to be hiring.

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