Over 50 & Struggling to Find a Job? We Can help…

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Job hunters over-50 feel they’re being discriminated against with regards to finding a job because of their age.

Many people we speak to when recruiting feel they are being overlooked, sometimes because of a lack of online presence on social networking sites, which increases the chance of being spotted by headhunters and recruiters. Another issue that comes up is the sense that they are “out of the loop.” Especially for those who’ve lost a long term role and are feeling that they’ve been stuck, and that time has passed them by.

Just remember, some employers may discriminate, but many won’t. Don’t always assume this is the case – there are many good employers who do not judge. Don’t be put off if it’s your second or third rejection and don’t assume it’s your age; the jobs market is tough. If you fear your age – all they will see is your fear.

Rather than just discuss the negativity surrounding the age debate, we are going to look at what you can do to improve your chances of finding a job when you’re over 50!

Age on Your CV

  • Did you know you don’t have to put your date of birth on any application forms or CVs.
  • Avoid having a personal email address containing the year you were born or your age.
  • Did you know it is illegal for an employer or recruiter to ask for your age during a job interview or any stage during the recruitment process.
  • List previous experience only going back the last 10 years and summarise the rest briefly, without putting any dates for previous roles beyond 10 years.
  • Likewise, eliminate the education dates on your CV and LinkedIn profile beyond the last 10 years.
  • If you’re receiving numerous rejections and not even reaching the first interview, your CV may be too general. Try to make it specific to your skills and achievements.

Network: tell people what you offer!

  • Having a LinkedIn profile is a great way of telling industry experts, recruiters and potential employers about what you can offer.
  • It’s suggested that around 80% of jobs are not formally advertised, with many recruiters looking on LinkedIn for suitable candidates before they advertise a job.
  • Join groups, chats and forums on LinkedIn. This will keep you posted on what’s going on and help you get new contacts. Employers often post job roles in those groups in a specific sector.
  • Communicate your skills and leadership qualities, backed up with numbers demonstrating the impact you’ve had at work.
  • Be aware of how you come across online. If an employer finds your professional profile on LinkedIn and then “Googles” you, only to find you pictured at a party looking a bit worse for wear on another social media account you have, it could put the employer off.

Job-hunting advice

  • If you’ve been out of work for a while or there are gaps in your work history, include this in your CV. Don’t lie as it will come up in the interview anyway. Rather than just say you’ve been ‘unemployed’, try to list what you have been up to. Are you a member of any committees or groups – extra-curricular activities such as running a club, or have you done any volunteer work?
  • Never pay a fee to a recruitment agency as a candidate. At Aspire we work with both clients and candidates to truly understand what they are looking for and what jobs to target. We also provide feedback with every interview, successful or not.
  • In a job interview people are attracted to energy, enthusiasm, insight and experience. Be aware of your body language, your handshake, and how you present yourself. Smile.
  • Use your contacts. If you’ve got a broad personal network or have experience working with a range of companies, don’t be afraid to ask about opportunities.
  • Contracting, freelancing and consultancy is a route worth considering. You can place yourself as a specialist or expert without having to take a lower salary just to find work.
  • If you’ve been out of work for over 12 months and are unemployed, you should automatically be put on the Government’s new Work Programme, which promises to work with you to get you a job. You can also try the Government’s Next Step careers service. Its career section provides info on over 700 jobs, the skills needed and how to get jobs within that field.

Remember you have a lot to offer…

Two valuable things that job seekers over 50 possess are experience and achievements. If you highlight the depth and breadth of your experience and include the positive impacts your tenure has had on your employer’s profitability, sales, efficiency, cost containment, or productivity, you will automatically be proving the value of your experience.

Another point to consider is the older you are the more likely it is that you will be interviewed or managed by someone younger. Prepare by practicing your interview techniques with a younger person who communicates very differently from you. Remember to also use your interviewer’s first name and look for a genuine compliment you can pay them.

We have a whole array of jobs on our Job Vacancies page on our website, across a plethora of industries. At Aspire we’ve over 30 years recruitment experience in placing people, so please do get in touch if there is a role you’d like to discuss.

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