Some workers reach their 50s or 60s and suddenly realize that they are ready for a change in careers. Others retire for an initial period, and then realize they want or need to go back to work. But the job market can be a frightening place for some older workers, who feel intimidated by the young, energetic competition. Since many employers actually seek out those with wisdom and experience, all you really need to do is follow these steps to get yourself ready for the current job market.
Stay in touch. Whether you’re retired, unemployed, or simply looking for a career change, remember to stay involved in your industry. Blog about your field of work, do consulting work on the side, and join LinkedIn or professional organizations. Keep yourself on your peers’ minds, and you’ll be the first to know when they hear of a position opening up.
Get a new email address. If you want to keep up with the tech-savvy younger crowd, you will need to mimic some of their habits. Did you know that an email address ending in “yahoo” or “AOL” can make you appear dated and out of touch? Switch to a more professional-sounding email address instead.
Update your resume. When it comes to resumes, there really can be too much of a good thing. Naturally you want to highlight your lengthy experience, but keep in mind that recruiters mostly skim over resumes and make quick decisions. You want them to see the most important, relevant items. Limit your resume to two or three pages, and list specific accomplishments alongside your work history.
Be prepared to grow. Try to view your job change as a new adventure, not a continuation of the same position you have held for years. This is an opportunity to gain new skills and build unique experience.
Go for it. Sometimes you may read a lengthy list of job requirements, and feel as though you shouldn’t even bother applying. Try to view those requirements as a wish list rather than absolute must-haves. Apply for the position anyway, and trust that your years of experience and poise may impress the hiring manager once you reach the interview stage.
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