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Job Search Tips for Older Workers

Author: Laurie Knafo/Tuesday, December 17, 2013/Categories: SNI Companies, SNI Financial, SNI Certes, SNI Technology, Accounting Now, Staffing Now

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Because of the number of Baby Boomers and lower birth rates of younger people, job supply and demand will eventually favor mature workers. But for now, employment opportunities can be hard to find. In March 2013, 51% of job seekers 55 and older were unemployed for 27 weeks or longer, compared with 41.7% of those ages 25 to 54, according to the AARP Public Policy Institute. Over the last two years the trend has been clear: older workers are unemployed and remain unemployed for a longer period of time.

However, there are still promising employment opportunities for job candidates 55 years of age and older. It just takes a modern and social approach. The following are four tips that help older candidates enjoy success with their job hunt:

  • Use and Grow Your Network. Harness the power of your personal, community, and business network. Mature workers have the advantage of a developed network, both online–for example, through LinkedIn–and offline. Think about your connections and who can potentially refer you for an open position. If your employment application is marked as a referral, it triples your chances of securing an interview.
  • Promote Your Experience. Instead of trying to downplay your age with your attire or language, focus on how you can play up your strengths and assets. Your experience is an asset and you should express this to potential employers. Put it out there: you may look to be overqualified, but let the hiring manager know that this position is exactly what you are looking to do. Be sure to share how your experience lets you add unique value to the role.
  • Keep Current on Trends. Keep up with trends in your industry. Follow blogs, join relevant groups on LinkedIn, and participate in the discussion. Look for a local networking group for people in your profession, or start one if it doesn’t exist. The more people you meet and reach out to, the more you will learn and the more likely you are to find job opportunities.
  • Expand and Refresh Skills. Depending on your field, you may need to advance your skills to be competitive. This is especially true with new technology. Find out what skills potential employers value and take a class or a refresher course in your community or online. If you’re not already active in social media, develop a digital footprint.

Looking for employment can be a challenging process. Do your best to remain positive and do something active every day to get your interest in employment out to former colleagues, social contacts, and potential employers. With constant effort, and a little luck, you could find your ideal position sooner than you think.

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Laurie Knafo
Laurie Knafo

Laurie Knafo

Laurie Knafo is Regional Vice President for SNI. Her 30+ years in the recruiting business enable her to bring insightful counsel to companies and candidates looking to make the most out of their staffing relationships.

Other posts by Laurie Knafo
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Full biography

Laurie Knafo is Regional Vice President for SNI. Her 30+ years in the recruiting business enable her to bring insightful counsel to companies and candidates looking to make the most out of their staffing relationships.

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