Older and out of work? Here are tips just for you. We’ve all heard of the glass ceiling, but there’s another insidious workplace phenomenon that can be particularly galling for older job seekers: the “gray ceiling.” According to the AARP, it often takes considerably longer for people to find jobs if they’re over age 55. To combat this trend, consider these tips.
1 Turn your resume into a date-free zone. So you graduated from college in the ’60s? Really got going in your field in the ’70s? As impressive as your history is, those dates don’t need to show up in your resume. Neither does a detailed listing of every single position you’ve ever held. Focus on your most impressive career successes and highlights from the past 10 to 20 years, and don’t spell out the year you graduated.
2 Network, network, network. It’s always easier to find a job if you know someone on the inside. Think about all the friends, colleagues and contacts you’ve ever made in your industry and start reaching out to them. Let them know you’re looking for work and ask whether they know of any openings.
3 Tap every possible resource. Another way to network is to get career and job-search assistance through One-Stop Career Centers (www.careeronestop.org) and through programs offered at many public libraries. If you’re a college graduate, contact your school’s career services department; many colleges and universities provide their alumni with lifelong assistance. Local offices of any professional associations for your field also could be helpful.
4 Use your experience to your advantage. True, potential employers may send you packing with lines like, “You’re overqualified for this position,” but you may be able to counter such quick dismissals with a few one-liners of your own. Tory Johnson, founder of Women for Hire, suggests these responses: “I thought about that very issue before I applied. I realized that because I’m committed to this line of work, my experience would be a tremendous asset.” Or: “I have 20 years of experience in this industry. I’d love to apply that insight to solving problems and creating successes for this company and mentoring other people.”
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source:AARP: Job Hunting- for more over 50 job hunting articles and videos.