It’s every job seeker’s goal to find a new job as fast as possible. No one wants to spend one minute more on their job search than they have to, and I don’t blame them. I teach my clients a proven, three-step process that involves researching potential employers, making contact at your target companies and then applying as the last step.
Naturally, we’re all looking for a shortcut, though. The job search express lane, if you will. This causes a lot of people to skip the first two steps in the process and go right to applying for the job without any research or contact with someone at the company. And as a result, their search ends up taking longer and longer.
Now, factor in being a 50+ job seeker, and the process gets even harder. I primarily work with mid and late career job seekers, and this is a common concern.
Here are four tips to get you hired faster, regardless of your age.
Solve the employer’s problems. No matter how old you are, if you can demonstrate that you can solve the employer’s problems (i.e. boost sales, improve safety, write software), you will get hired. In order to know what these problems are and how to address them, you must research the companies. Find out who their customers are, who their competitors are and so on. Skipping this step will leave you less informed, and therefore less competitive, in the interview. Bonus Tip: Want to really demonstrate that you are a problem solver? Bring a 30/60/90 Day Plan to the interview and show them exactly what you’d accomplish in your first 90 days.
Stay on top of technology. No one can afford to look outdated in technology, but 50+ job seekers definitely cannot. Simple changes like updating your email address (sorry, no AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo!) can make a difference. Beyond that, make sure you are taking the necessary classes and getting certifications when appropriate, to prove that you are continuously learning and following trends.
Emphasis your longevity. One thing that baby boomers often have that millennials don’t is longevity. If you’ve been with one employer for a long time, use that to your advantage. A concern that some companies have in hiring older workers is that they’ll retire in a year or two. Get ahead of the conversation and assure them that that isn’t going to happen and that you are looking for a long-term career move.
Dig deep into your network. Knowing that you may face age discrimination, your network is going to be even more critical to your success. If you are given a positive recommendation from a current employee of your target company, you will shoot to the top of their pile, regardless of your age. This is how the best jobs are found. Make it a part of your strategy to apply at companies where you have a connection and get referred to your next role.
Having worked with hundreds of mid and late career clients, my average client finds a new job in 90 days or less. If you’ve been looking longer than 90 days, contact me and we’ll hop on a quick call to diagnose what’s wrong in your search and come up with a plan.