Job Search After 50: Make Your Job Hunt Work!

Posted on April 1, 2011

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Make your job hunt work and help you find the right job as quickly as possible.

With the economy struggling, the working and tax environment going forward covered in fog; there is no doubt the employers are more reluctant than ever to take on new hires. And the recent drop in unemployment numbers turns out to probably be a government accounting gimmick.

Overall with this hiring backdrop looking for a new job or new career will not be easy. But searching for a job after 50 has never been the easiest thing in the world.

Hunting for a new job after 50 can be a significant challenge but it’s no reason to panic or give up looking for employment without giving it your best effort.

There are still some evergreen tactics that never go out of style. A well written resume spotlighting your accomplishments, one of kind focused resume cover letters, total preparation for all interviews, positive follow-up on all contacts and a robust system of keeping track of all your job search efforts will always pay proper dividends.

With the current shrinking job market your competition for prospective open positions will increase so in addition to working full-time at finding the right job you will have to use your experience to work smarter. Another important factor in the success of your job search after 50 is to frequently access what is working and discarding what is not. Flexibility will keep your job search fresh and focused and keep you from spending too much time in unprofitable activities.

Don’t make the job search alone, get help along the way. Use the expertise of friends and members of your network to analyze your overall job hunt and to guide you in specific aspects of your job search.

Here are five ideas to help you in your job search after 50:

1. Get out and about: You can’t make your best impression through the phone or emails. Go to networking events, take people to lunch, and have short meetings after working hours. Do what you can to personally interact with as many people as possible.

2. Work your job search plan: If you expect your ship to come in, you have to put a lot of ships on a stormy ocean. Build your job hunting plan, with daily and weekly activity. Work smart and constantly look for ways to do it better and faster with more job hunting activity. Eliminate just sitting in front of you computer, when you could be doing some other job search activity that could be more productive.

3. Consider all offers: Don’t reject an offer for work just because it may be part-time, or work as a contractor on a specific project or maybe at a lower salary. Carefully consider where you might be in a month or two. Is it experience that will add to your resume? Or qualify you for a wider universe of possible jobs? Or if part-time will it allow you to continue your job hunt? Is it possible it might lead to a full-time position?

4. Network your way to job openings: Today with so many chasing so few announced job openings employers are overrun with resumes and job applications. This adds to the overall cost of recruiting, adds additional time to the process and with the possibility of missing an otherwise qualified candidate.

So it’s even more important to get your resume in front of a hiring official along with a referral or introduction from someone in your network. Also, in your job and career research you’ll uncover possible jobs with employers and with some digging will find someone who can introduce you to an official with the company.

5. Use geography to your advantage: Even though you have no interest in leaving you current area, why restrict your job hunting universe? Many good things can happen if you expand your job hunting area.

You’ll get more interviews. More experience in this stressful activity will only make you better prepared for the next interview. Interview preparation for one interview is transferable to future interviews.

You will meet more people, and if you ask for referrals you expand your network.

If offered a job outside your area you can then consider all the facts before you say “no.” Further, you are in a great negotiating position: maybe working at home one day a week or a week a month, the new employer paying some of your additional expenses, maybe your employer is considering expansion into your home area and you could move back home after a temporary move, or the new job requires travel which you could return home on the weekends at company expense. The list is almost endless-stay flexible and don’t turn down a job until one is offered.

These five tips should get you moving into a well thought out, flexible job search plan after 50. Remember when you do get a job, keep working and building your network. You’ll now be in a great position to help someone else in their job search after 50.

John Groth has changed careers seven times during his working life. Learn more about changing careers and career planning at http://careersafter50.com. Discover how others over age 50, built winning career plans and found the right careers by career planning after 50.

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