Sure, you’ve heard it before “nobody hires at age 50.” And, truth is that Baby Boomers and older, who are testing the job search waters for the first time in years, certainly face some unique challenges.

There are definitely niggling concerns that employers have such as: Are you going to play nice with younger workers (or bosses)? Are you tech savvy? And, do you still have the grit to bring energy and enthusiasm to the job?

However, although it may be daunting to find a job after 50, guess what? The presumption that no one’s hiring after 50 would be wrong. Hey, it’s tough to find a job for everyone, not just for those over 50! Although age discrimination is real, older workers do get jobs. Employers really aren’t out to shun workers over 50 and some companies are open to having “grown-ups” in the shop.  

So, how do you overcome the fact that you’re “over qualified” and “won’t fit into the company culture?” What is the magic formula for success?

  • Network, network, network. One advantage to job searching after 50 is that you’re more likely to have connections who can help you to find a job. Think former bosses, co-workers, colleagues and even people you’ve mentored in the past.
  • Embrace LinkedIn. This is the modern resume. 77% of recruiters are using social networks to recruit. Paper resumes still serve a purpose but keep it short. It should be no more than 2 pages. Focus on making 2 or 3 most recent jobs as impressive as possible by writing short descriptions or bullet points.
  • Get comfortable with modern workplace technology. Take a course. Video conferencing is often used, so sign up for Google Hangouts, Skype or Zoom, and practice connecting and chatting to friends and family to get the hang of it. Maybe start a blog to show off your skills?
  • Update your email address. Email addresses from AOL, Yahoo and even Hotmail can look, well, old. Create an email from Gmail or Microsoft Outlook, or your own personal domain.
  • Bring your “A” game to the interview. 23% of employers will dismiss a candidate who is not a good fit for their company culture. So, look the part. Get in shape. When you are physically fit, you have a positive energy and vibrancy that resonates. Make them see that you have the stamina to do the job. Turn your age into an asset, emphasize that you are a team player and enjoy working with those much younger than you. Show them that your knowledge and experience could be of great value to the company. Also, dress a little more informal.
  • Don’t ignore alternative ways to make money. Freelance in your field while you transition into your own gig. There’s the story of a man who, after being laid off in his 50s, cleaned out his garage and did such a great job that he now operates a garage-cleaning company that staffs 5 employees!

According to a 2015 Forbes article, it takes and average of 12 weeks longer for those ages 55-65 to land a job. So yes, even though it may be a challenging job market right now - especially for those over 50 - companies are still hiring. It’s all about determination and never giving up.

Good luck!

Source: michaelpage.com.au, carresidekick.com, forbes.com, cnbc.com, www.themuse.com, workandmoney.com, jobscan.co

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