Job-Hunting When You’re 50-Plus

If you haven’t done it for a while, you might find today’s job hunt more than a bit different from your first

By Matt Smith

If you’re looking for work and you’re 50 or older, you might surprised at how much has changed since the last time you went job searching. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the modern job hunt.

Get tech savvy
One of the biggest hurdles you’ll have to overcome is the perception of baby boomers as being out of touch with technology. Maintaining a strong social media presence is key to showing employers that you’re keeping up with the times. You’ll also need to research and familiarize yourself with the software that professionals in your industry are using.

Social media gives you all the tools you need to connect with professionals in your field, so make the most of it what’s available. On top of strengthening your current relationships, use websites such as LinkedIn and Facebook to reconnect with those with whom you’ve lost touch with and to make new contacts.

Use social networking to stay active in your industry, as well. Share relevant articles and follow the pages of companies that you’re interested in working for. Personally reaching out to hiring managers over LinkedIn may give you the personal introduction you need to get a foot in the door.

Spruce up your CV
Your resumé may get only a 30-second glance on a computer screen, so you’ll need to make sure it stands out from the pack. Summarize your career with a few well-chosen highlights instead of trying to tell your whole story. Stick to the past decade of your employment, and consider leaving out details that date you, such as the year you graduated university.

Focus on transferable skills
Don’t be intimidated by the technical side of today’s job market. Instead, focus on highlighting the transferrable skills you’ve developed throughout your career. Highlight your interpersonal and problem-solving skills, and underscore how your experience and insight can bring something fresh to the table that younger generations lack.

Don’t rule out part-time work
It’s easy to become discouraged if you’re holding out for your dream job later in your career. Securing fulfilling, full-time work with benefits can become more difficult as you approach retirement, so don’t ignore the alternatives. Consider the growing gig economy and its opportunities for part time or contract work. Even if it’s just a temporary measure, developing a “side hustle” will keep you active and earning during your job hunt, and could turn into a lucrative source of supplemental income when you find something more permanent.

Photo: iStock/Onzeg.