The current job market is something of a scary place for anyone to navigate at the moment but especially for older workers, those who have already passed that half century mark. Of course legally an employer is not allowed to discriminate on the basis of age, but the unfortunate truth is that it does happen all the time. That does not mean however that being over 50 means that you will never work again, or have to settle for a position that is a long way from the one you wanted. Your age can in fact prove to be a big advantage over your younger competition; you just need to know how to go about your job search in the right way. Here are a few tips on how to find a job if you are over 50:
Stay Current - The Internet and technology in general are playing a larger and larger part in everyday business, no matter what the niche is. The perception that many hiring managers often have of older people is that they will not have the basic skills in this area that are needed to do the job properly. That is why it is important to remain current, at least when it comes to the basics like Internet navigation, smart phone usage and email etiquette. If your skills need brushing up a little you could consider taking a few classes as such things are usually offered at most community colleges and even at some libraries!
Edit Your Resume - Most people engaged in a job search later in life have an awful lot of experience that they can list on their resume. While this is a good thing, most hiring managers do not have the time or patience to wade through a five page document. Take the time to edit you resume and list only the past positions from the last decade or so. Another tip? Don't list your date of college graduation on your resume either, the temptation for an interviewer to begin doing the math in their head will be just too great!
Do Some Research - There are just some companies that are better suited to a more mature employee than others. Taking the time to research the demographics, ethics and position of a firm you are considering can go a long way to helping you decide if the position you are applying for would even be suitable for you at all. Better still, if you do decide the position might be a great fit then your interviewer will be impressed by your advance knowledge of their company.
Don't Try to Look Younger - For those looking for careers over 50 there is a temptation to try to change their appearance to look younger. While there is nothing wrong with investing in a great new interview outfit or with covering a few grays with hair dye, going overboard to appear younger than you are is never a good idea. Use your personality and experience to win over interviewers instead. If you present yourself as the experienced, energetic and passionate person you are it will make a far better first impression than any makeover ever could.
Be Prepared to Be a Little Flexible - One of the reasons that today's budget conscious hiring managers may choose to hire a younger person over an older, more experienced one is simply that they will work for less. While you should not agree to work for peanuts just to get the job you may have to be flexible enough to consider an offer that is 10-20% lower than your last position.