Written by Heather Sadlier, Employment Specialist with Next-Steps Employment Centre – Riverdale
When you are a mature worker (over 45 years old) there are different job search strategies that you may not have considered earlier in your career. The nature of the labour market is constantly changing, and it’s important to stay competitive by learning emerging trends. Here are some strategies to follow to enhance your job search as an experienced worker:
Update your resume
- Remove dates that are over 10-15 years old, as this might make you look dated. Unless you are a new graduate, remove the date you earned your diploma / degree. Remove older work experience that may be out of date or give away your age. If you have older work experience (ie. from 20 years ago) that you want to include on your resume, get creative with a different resume format that will allow you the flexibility to include the content without the dates. Ask your Employment Advisor about Functional or Combination Resumes.
- Update your resume with an email address, mobile number and LinkedIn address to make it easy for employers to get in touch with you. This will also reflect that you are up to date in terms of technology.
- Resumes and job searching has changed over the years and your resume needs to change with the times. Your resume should reflect your skills and accomplishments at work rather than the daily tasks you performed.
Update your Skills
- Use resources such as the public library, night classes, employment resources centres (Next-Steps Employment Centres), and websites such a Lynda.com to update to the newest software and to learn new skills. This will show the employer that you are up to date and willing to learn.
- Ask our Employment Advisors about other skills training opportunities available to you. For experienced and laid-off workers, ask us about the Second Career Program. You can get new skills – those needed for jobs in demand now – and financial support when you qualify for Second Career.
Network with Your Contacts
- Reach out to former colleagues and supervisors, friends, neighbours, and former classmates to let them know what you are looking for and take an interest in what is happening at their workplace. The majority of job seekers today land opportunities through people they know.
- Put yourself out there: attend workshops, networking fairs and job fairs. You never know where or when an opportunity may present itself.
- Try networking online! Add your contacts to your LinkedIn profile. See if you have any contacts working with employers you are interested in. Read our recent post on ‘Networking On Line and In Person’ for more tips & info.
Present your Experience as an Asset:
- Most employers really want people who are dependable, reliable and motivated. Your experience in the workplace has taught you how to perform to workplace expectations. Emphasize your track record to meet the employer’s needs.
Update Your Look
- Now that your resume is updated, don’t let your haircut or clothes give away your age. Update your wardrobe with a few up to date pieces. Consider a more modern hairstyle. Not only will you make a positive impression on employers, you will feel better about yourself and it will boost your confidence.
- Ask your Employment Advisor about Dress for Success and Dress Your Best resources, and whether you qualify for client supports to purchase new interview clothing.