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Five Job Search Tips for Older Workers
April 12th, 2010 by Tatiana Varenik  Posted in Career Advice, Job Search, Most Popular, Networking

Job Search Tips for Older WorkersThe older you are, the longer it may take to get a job. According to the recent information from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics an average unemployed person over age 65 has been out of work about 70% longer than an average teenager.

There is age discrimination out there, but the good news is that more and more employers are recognizing the value of hiring experienced workers. There are benefits to being older, like having wisdom and common sense, a long work record of accomplishments, more experience and a perceived higher level of work ethic.

If you’re over 55 and unemployed, don’t despair. Here are a few tips that help you to get a job:

Modify Your Resume

When updating your resume include only the most recent experience (10 - 12 years). If you attended college don’t list your graduation dates. The date will draw attention to your age and away from your experience. Some experts even advise omitting dates from the listings of your jobs, instead just list the number of years you were in each job.

Consider downplaying titles. Unfortunately, many hiring managers see titles like “vice president” and assume that you’re out of their price range. Depending on how anxious you are to secure a job, you may want to consider softening the job titles you list on your resume so you won’t seem overqualified. For example, “Senior Manager” instead of “Vice President.”

You also need to show your potential employer that you know the current terms and buzz words used in your industry/position.  These words also make your resume more visible for employers. Most companies use applicant tracking software, which scans resumes for keywords relating to experience, job titles, skills, training, and degrees.

Well-Chosen Keywords Can Turn Your Resume Into a Powerful Marketing Tool: Recommended Keywords for Your Resume

Keep Your Skills Current

Computer skills are especially important. Most employers expect you to feel comfortable with a computer and accessing the Internet. If you’re a computer novice, and if you don’t have one at home, you could benefit from a visit to your local library. You also should consider taking a computer class. There are classes offered, free or low-cost, by continuing education centers, libraries and schools. Microsoft offers training programs though organizations such as the AARP. Be sure to list all courses and professional-development activities that illustrate your willingness to learn and keep your skills updated. The more current your skills, the better your chances of finding a job.


It is still one of the best ways to find a job. Many job leads come from friends, family or colleagues. Older workers probably have a broader network of professional contacts. Get in touch with people you haven’t spoken for a while, call your friends and family members, tell everybody that you are looking for a job. In addition to your personal network find job opportunities on employment websites, corporate websites, temporary agencies, job boards and career fairs.

If you are not on the most popular social websites like LinkedIn, Ecademy, Facebook and Twitter, you might want to consider joining them.

You can find informative job search articles and job leads by following us on Twitter (@twittin4job) and by joining our LinkedIn group JOB 2.0 - Job Search & Networking where 35,000+ professionals can help you answer questions. Also become our fans on Facebook

If you’re new to networking we recommend you to read: Job Hunting - 10 Tips to Build Your Network

Experience is Your Greatest Asset

Don’t be afraid to sell yourself. Focus on your knowledge and real-world experience. Employers today are looking for results, not years. Show them your accomplishments at previous jobs. What you are capable of, how you achieved your capability, in what different ways do you apply your skills and how the skills you have will be beneficial to the employer.

Stay Positive

Finding a job can be hard work at any age. Don’t give up, stay positive!  A recent study at the University of Missouri concluded that putting together a plan at the start of your job search, and having positive emotions while looking for a job, has a significant impact on success.

Positive attitude may help you find a job quicker

Yes, it might take a while to find a job, but, there are employers who understand the value of an older worker with maturity, life experience, and skills.

There are some advices all job seekers should follow:

On-line Job Search Mistakes Every Job Seeker Should Avoid

What do Employers look for in Resumes?

Why Your Job Search Isn’t Getting the Results You Want?
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  • This is really a informative post, these days getting a job is very difficult specially for old people that’s why I appreciate every piece of good content that helps people to get a job.

  • Like any other Job Seeker; they MUST stop searching and start networking. That is really the hidden secret to being successful in the job hunt. Check out a snippet of my presentation on this at >>>

  • Great advice especially about staying positive, although in this economy that is really hard to do.

  • Great article full of information and encouragement. Thanks for the tips. Online Job Search can open an opportunity for those of aged but able to work. You may experience lay off, you have some place to find jobs that are still appropriate with all your acquired skills, knowledge or profession on the Job Search Websites available online.

  • nice post. thanks.

  • Nice job, and you're right about the importance of keeping a positive attitude. During each of my two-year layoffs, I learned to minimize my exposure to the news, whether it was radio, TV, newspaper or online. The more I paid attention to the "gloom & doom, end-times" coverage, the more depressed I became until I decided to look for the weather forecast & that's about it. Being told about the latest unemployment figures doesn't help anyone.

    What people who are laid off need to remember - what is critical for their emotional/psychological survival to remember - is that they are still valuable human beings. They haven't lost their skills, abilities, brains, problem-solving abilities ... they've just lost their jobs, probably through no fault of their own.

    It is absolutely possible to experience joy, peace, passion and purpose in spite of a layoff ... I speak from two, 2-year layoff experiences all as a single mother!

    In fact, being laid off could be and often is one of the best things that ever happens to people. Families draw closer together and get to know each other for the first time, perhaps. Siblings and parents can be reconciled one to another during hard times. Children learn the value of a freaking dollar, for a change, as well as how to create/maintain a budget.

    People would be surprised to learn the freedom of letting go of "stuff" and how they'll soon be soaring with unparalled peace in their lives as a result.

    Hang in there, people. You WILL get through this!

  • Lubam

    What a great post! You are truly an inspriation Mary, thank you so much.

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