The bottom line is no matter what your age you have to be creative, bold and determined in the job search. And you have to do the things others aren’t to stand out. Go above and beyond to get results.
But there are also many little tricks to incorporate into your job search that are sure to help improve your results. Kent Johnson, area manager of the professional and technical staffing sectors for the Minneapolis branch of Kelly Services offers these tips to help any job seeker, especially those older job seekers looking for an advantage:
- Leverage your experience in the form of consulting to get your foot in the door of a company. All size companies use consulting and it’s also a way to earn some income while you job hunt.
- Limit your resume to 10-15 years back.
- Don’t use dates for education.
- Don’t mention or reference your age in any way in your resume or cover letter.
- Review sample resumes in your discipline to infuse fresh and up-to-date terms.
- If you’re applying to a specific job, review the job description and use you cover letter to describe how you’d fit the qualifications. Nothing turns a recruiter off more than candidates who apply to jobs that they don’t even remotely qualify for. The normal response is ‘What the heck was this person thinking when they applied to this job?!’ Being desperate doesn’t help your chances of getting an interview.
- For in-person interviews, don’t try to be someone you’re not. If you’re 55, don’t try to act 25. Do what everyone should do for an interview, be punctual, well groomed (don’t bath in perfume or cologne), be engaged with good energy and smile. You can’t change your age, but you can change a person’s perception of an age group.
- Regardless of a person’s age, ALWAYS send a hand-written thank you note after each interview. It really sets people apart from those who rely only on electronic thank you’s.