According to reports by the Telegraph workers aged 50+ have made up nearly 80% of the total employment growth over the past decade. That’s a big demographic and one employers can’t afford to ignore. With many contemplating another 15-20 years of work, many are changing careers in the search for increasingly fulfilling jobs.
The reality of an ever-ageing population means that many of us will be working well into our 60s. According to reports by the Centre for Social Justice, the current state pension is set to increase to 67 for men and women by 2028, and to 68 between 2044 and 2046. So, if you’re 50 plus, have been out of the job market for a while, are facing redundancy, feeling a little lost, or simply want to take another direction, your career is far from over! Read on to find out how to overcome barriers in the job market with our top 5 tips to make the best possible impression to employers (and possibly land your next job!)
- Brush up your CV
No matter what your age, a great stand out CV is essential to get noticed by employers, and by this point in your career, you will most likely have at thirty years plus experience – it’s time to showcase it! By all means, emphasise your skills and key achievements, however, it’s best to focus specifically on the last 10 years of experience. This will then highlight your value to companies and organisations that are relevant. Focus the attention on your most recent 2-3 jobs, write concise but impressive descriptions to grab the attention of hiring managers.
Ensure you use updated terminology and avoid mentioning out of date systems and programs. Using similar language included in the job description will score you extra brownie points.
Remove age indicators from your CV such date of birth, dates of graduation and other things that might allow for unconscious age discrimination.*
- Stay current and be tech savvy
You will need to align your tech skills with the industry and role you are aiming for, so do what you can to embrace new technologies. This might mean attending conferences, subscribing to relevant industry newsletters, learning about new trends and hot topics as well as taking up courses either through college or via distance learning. Consider other software or programs you can learn or familiarise yourself with. Demonstrate to future employers you haven’t stopped learning and are keen to keep doing so.
- Get social
Do you have a social media presence? Don’t be fooled into thinking social media is just for the young. Did you know 77% of employers are now using social network sites as part of their recruitment process? According to studies by the Society for Human Resource Management, a whopping 94% of recruiters are reported using LinkedIn as the primary social tool. So, if you haven’t already, set up or revise your LinkedIn profile account now. We recommend checking out how others in your industry demonstrate their experience and expertise and get involved in discussion and groups. A top tip is to pay careful attention to your professional headline, as this is often the first thing future employers will look for. Also, choose a sharp, professional looking photo that’s up to date.
- Don’t rule out temporary or contract roles
If you are struggling to find that perfect role, it can be hugely beneficial to consider part time or temporary work in your desired field. By doing so, you will boost your confidence, earn some money and be more attractive to employers. Many organisations are open minded when it comes to hiring over 50’s on a part time, temporary or contract basis, and this can be an effective strategy for getting a job as a mature job seeker. Once you’ve demonstrated your capabilities, it can open the door to a full-time role.
- Fine tune those interview skills
In order to make the most of every interview opportunity you get, don’t just showcase your individual skills – talk about the business challenges you’ve encountered and how you’ve solved problems. Demonstrate your eagerness to work collaboratively, share your knowledge and drawn upon how you can help mentor younger employees. Often hiring managers can feel a little threatened by the idea of managing a colleague with more experience than them. Reassure them you are happy to follow their leadership and are not looking to take any of their responsibilities!
Starting your job search as on over 50 can be scary, especially when you are competing against the more tech savvy millennials and Gen Z of today’s workforce. But with age comes experience, confidence and accomplishments! We hope this article will help you in your future job search and good luck!
*If you feel you’re having problems with Age Discrimination, whether it’s in the workplace or during the recruitment process, your local Citizens Advice Bureau will be able to offer further advice on what action you can take. Please find full details on protected characteristics in regards to Age Discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.
Could you use some help with your job search? At MARS Recruitment we get to know our candidates and make it our business to help them achieve their ambitions. We look forward to building a long-term relationship with you, but why don’t we start with a coffee? Get in touch here.