Looking for a job is always hard. Looking for — and finding — a job over the age of 40 can be even harder. But if you use these tips you just might find that getting a new job after years in a particular field may not be as difficult as you think.
If you've researched job searching tips online, you've certainly come across scores of pages that describe exactly how a recent graduate can find a job in this economy. Well, you, being an experienced professional, don't need these tips. In fact, according to Business2Community, applying the tips designed for a job seeker who just graduated from college can worsen "age discrimination," which has been attributed to job search ruts, anxiety and depression.
Here's an example. A twenty-something has much more reason to "sell" their experience to a recruiter on their cover letter, resume and in an interview. However, if you've got more than 15 years under your belt, this may not apply as much to you as much of your experience can "sell itself." Along those lines, you have little reason to list every work experience, in detail, chronologically on your resume, as recent grads are directed to.
The average requested experience level on most online job boards speaks to this. You'll most likely find that as many as 90 percent want experience ranging between 3 and 8 years, not more than 10.
Without further adieu, here's what you can do to boost your chances of getting a job over 40.
Focus on what's important
Moreso than younger candidates, it's critical for you to narrow down your resume and cover letter to showcase any experience you have that is relevant to the potential position. Your experience is evident. The trick for you is to make your resume specific and to-the-point, something that less experienced candidates may need to do by default.
With years of experience behind you, it may be tempting to talk about how you can tackle anything the company needs because you've seen it all. Rather, focus on the demand of the job you are applying for, and talk about how you've succeeded in a similar role with a previous employer.
Watch your language
Be careful about boasting your decades of experience. If you're apt to discuss how you have 20 years of experience in your cover letter, try eliminating this if you aren't having luck. There's a chance that you could be intimidating a potential employer by leading off with such a bold statement.
Corey Harlock of Business2Community may have described it best, when he wrote that an over-40 job seeker shouldn't strive to brag about their experience, which suggests an attempt to push a current employee out of their position, but to convey to the company that you'd like to help the company, as a whole, rise to a new level.
According to CareerBuilder, several jobs are emerging in the workforce that may be better for a job seeker over 40. These include positions that don't have much tenure yet, and are still somewhat malleable — the perfect position for an experienced new hire.
No matter your position, there's plenty of time — and options — to make a career switch later in life.