Job hunting is a challenging task — but if you’re 55 or older, the challenges seem to multiply. Fortunately, there are resources to help you build your skills, sharpen your resume and get a foot in the door with potential employers. Here are five tips to making sure your search is successful.
1. Upgrading your skills is essential — and easier than you think
If you’ve never used a Mac, it might be time to learn. Many companies are looking for employees with up-to-date computer skills, or people who understand social media terminology. But this shouldn’t intimidate job seeking seniors — you can even get paid to learn. The Senior Community Service Employment Program, or SCSEP, provides paid job training for Ohio seniors. So you’ll be able to gain valuable, practical experience while earning a wage.
2. Get out in front of concerns during the interview process
If you think it’s possible a hiring manager might hold your age against you, be prepared to address his or her concerns immediately. Be upfront, ask if your age is a concern and come armed with a variety of reasons your experience is a huge plus. Older workers are often more reliable and loyal than their younger counterparts. Talk up those strengths to win over potential employers.
3. Focus on your last 15-20 years of work history
Getting your resume in great shape is often your ticket into an initial interview. To do that, focus on your most recent — and relevant — experience. Employment history from 30 years ago won’t matter to today’s employers. Instead, make sure your resume highlights recent achievements and career successes. If you’re looking for someone to help polish that resume, Vantage offers a number of resume tips and other resources.
4. Do your research, and learn who’s hiring
You might be surprised by which companies and organizations are actively hiring seniors in Ohio. Instead of papering the town with your resume, take a more targeted approach by learning which employers are most likely to hire you based on your experience. Many of these companies are already working with SCSEP, which can help make connections.
5. Share more on social media — and have fun doing it!
It’s a common practice for employers to do a quick social media search of people applying for their open positions. If you’re a private person who isn’t keen on posting on Facebook or other social sites, consider sharing a few fun photos. It shows you’re comfortable using social media, and understand its value. You don’t have to post a photo of every meal you eat.
Ready to hit the job market? The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) provides paid job training for Ohio seniors at nonprofit and governmental agencies to low-income individuals age 55 and older. Our program participants find experience and success working part-time at any one of our Host Agencies located across the state of Ohio. Get started at vantageaging.org or by calling 330-253-4597.
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