Advice for Older Job Seekers

By | April 18, 2007

Thanks to YourHRGuy for drawing my attention to this article in Forbes Magazine. It offers three rules for older (40 plus) job seekers:

  • Rule #1: Job seekers over 40 need a resume that looks forward, not backward.
  • Rule #2: Don’t be defensive, and don’t omit dates.
  • Rule #3: Don’t be afraid to sell yourself.

The writer suggests that younger job seekers need to emphasize work experience, but older job seekers need to change the perpective from “Look at everything I’ve done” to “Look at what I can do for you.” In other words, the resume becomes less about the candidate and more about the employer.

The author writes,

“Beware of writing a résumé that generates awe but not interviews. Your résumé should persuade a potential employer to grant you an interview, not your old employer to give you a gold watch.”

Older job seekers often have a hard time selling themselves for two keys reasons:

First, older workers tend to think that selling themselves is tantamount to bragging about their past accomplishments, and they consider bragging to be in bad form (rightfully so). Self-marketing, however, is not as much about past accomplishments as it is about future potential. True, there is a correlation between past accomplishments and future potential, but self-marketing should emphasize what you can do for someone else. Past accomplishments are merely the supporting evidence.

Second, many workers do not know what their real strengths, gifts, and passions are. For many years, they have defined themselved by their job description rather than their strengths and interests. Employers are less interested in your previous titles and job descriptions. They want to know that you have the skills and passion to do the job.

If your job serach has you looking to the past, you need to shift your thinking to the future. I believe that everyone has a unique purpose in life.

What were you created to do?

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  1. Pingback: 40 Tips for Job Seekers Over 40 » JobMob

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