Job searching at any age is grueling. Sending resumes in response to online postings is like sending them into a deep dark hole—never to be seen or read again. It is hard to get generic rejections without useful feedback, and even harder to hear “nothing”. Yes, there is age discrimination, and you can’t give up. So what can you do?
- Check for any “chips on your shoulder” and flick them off.
- Update your clothing and hair style if necessary. (ask your kids if you need to)
- Don’t assume that the hiring manager will dismiss you due to age.
- Be a self-starter- set job search goals every day and be accountable to someone.
- Keep up with technology, take classes.
- Learn about social media- use linkedin and twitter in your job search.
- Learn about applicant tracking systems.
- Get help writing your resume and introduction letters.
- Show energy, enthusiasm, and a sense of humor.
- Exercise every day.
- Volunteer if you aren’t working. Do something daily where you get positive feedback and make a contribution towards someone else.
- Get involved in community activities.
- Check out Workforce50.com and Jobs4.0 but only spend 10% of your time responding to job posts.
- Have your adult children or friend’s adult children role play interviewing with you.
- Get a career coach.
- Network constantly- with grocery clerks, folks at the gym, people in the park, old acquaintances etc. Statistically your next job will come through second degree connections—people who know people you know.
Set weekly goals doing the things listed above and set aside specific hours each day for the job search. Then take occasional breaks to do something totally different and get your mind away from it all—at the beach or in the mountains, some place in Nature. Recognize that this job search experience is part of your personal career development, as important as getting the job.