Job hunting over 50
Posted on November 25, 2013 by Mrs PF — No Comments ↓
I met up with an ex work colleague on Saturday. She was made redundant in the summer – at 49, with 25 years working for the same employer, things were not looking to be in her favour. Whatever the law may say there is ageism in recruitment and many people over the age of 50 will find it hard to find another job. In my view much of this ageism is because the people recruiting make assumptions about those they are interviewing. For example they might think that someone aged 55 is not going to work for very long, or they might assume that they won’t be very savvy with the technology they will have to use.
This isn’t just about recruiters being unfair, there is some good reasoning behind these assumptions – a lot of recruiters, who might be in their late 30′s or 40′s, will have parents who retired at 55 – that was 10 years ago when final salary pension schemes were still commonplace. Times have changed and today when I speak to my friends, most are planning to work until they are 60 or 65 – just to be able to afford a reasonable retirement. And of course these ages will increase as life expectancy go up and pensions go down! Similarly the recruiters might have worked with older people who have struggled to move with the times and grasp new technology, but people aged 50 now will have been working with computers for around 20 years. I remember coming back from maternity leave in 1994 and finding that everyone had an email address and PC on their desks – it was a bit of a shock but I soon got the hang of it and now 19 years later I am typing this blog very proficiently using two fingers!
Anyway back to my chum – she got a job – and she loves it. She lives in London and it took her 3 months to find something – so perhaps a bit longer than someone younger but in the end all came good.
So have a look at our job search page – but here are some special tips for those over 50:
Don’t put your date of birth on your CV (to be honest no-one needs to do this now anyway)
Think about how much work experience you log – anything beyond 15 years back is probably not that relevant anyway so leave it out. This is not being dishonest – you could write “recent work experience” if you want to be more explicit
Don’t put in your school or education dates – just say what key qualifications you have which are relevant to the types of role you are applying for
Make sure you show off your PC skills etc – outline any training you have and what areas you are proficient in
If you think your PC skills are a bit rusty then see if you can update them by doing an evening class or similar
If you have been in the same company for a long time try and show progression in your CV – perhaps different roles you have done or different responsibilities in the same role etc
When you get an interview find out as much as you can about the company and particularly their culture – showing how you fit into their culture may be difference between getting a job and not
Be prepared that your job hunt might take longer than some others – don’t be put off – and also think about where you might be able to compromise
Despite this list of special tips for over 50′s, don’t be ashamed of your age – you bring experience and you should be proud of that! Good luck!