05 Mar 2019

Supporting the over 40's back into work

By Guest Blogger, Victoria Sterman, CEO of Resource, an organisation specialising in helping the community back into employment.  All services are free.

Age discrimination still exists and is going strong. Despite laws that have long been in place, the experience of many of our older clients both in looking for work and within companies they work for shows there is often an inherent bias against them simply because of their age. At Resource, we wanted to offer practical help and support for older job seekers to overcome these age barriers, which is why we launched the Age-less Job Search programme.   Here are some practical tips that will help you rise above discrimination and show exactly what you have to offer.

  1. Network at any age

70% of jobs come through the non-advertised jobs market and this figure is likely to increase the older and more senior you are, so networking is very important. But networking isn’t about just asking for a job. It’s about making connections and having conversations. Focus on the three I’s: Information, Introductions, Identifying opportunities. Once you have made a connection, don’t ask for a job straight away as the answer will probably be no. Instead use it as a way to a) gain information on a specific industry or role b) be introduced to other contacts to widen your own network c) identify opportunities by someone you connect with who knows someone in their network who is looking for your skillset.

  1. The Age-less CV

If you are revisiting your CV after a long time, here are some key rules. It should be a maximum of 2 pages, any more and an employer will not read it. Make it attractive and easy to read with a modern font e.g. Calibri and no less than 11 or 12 pts. Allow plenty of white space and ensure there are no typos. Now let’s focus on how not to draw attention to your age. Don’t include your date of birth, titles and dates of education, qualifications and jobs. It is best to use an achievement focused CV style rather than a chronological one. And think about the terminology you use. For example, if you are listing IT skills use up-to-date language. And it is always a bonus to show you use social media.

  1. The Age-less Interview

Here are some tips to show off your assets and get away from focusing on your age, starting with some urban myths

Older people are:​

  • Uncomfortable with change​
  • Behind the times with IT​
  • Have little idea about social media​
  • Unfit and lacking in stamina​
  • Slow to learn new systems and techniques​

So during your interview, assure the interviewer that this is certainly not the case.

  • Give examples of how you’ve been involved with change
  • Demonstrate how you are comfortable with computers and give examples
  • Show how you are at ease with social media and give examples
  • Talk about exercise and diet
  • Provide examples of learning new things…​
  1. Social Media

Gone are the days when you could look at the jobs section in papers. Now 93% of recruiters and hiring managers are trawling through social media to find the best people. LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter are all great places to find jobs. LinkedIn is essential when job searching. Firstly create a personal brand, ensure you use a professional photo and a punchy headline showing what you have to offer. Then build your network. Connect with ex-colleagues, old friends, people in companies you would like to work for. Remember people want to connect with you, so don’t be embarrassed. And then look for jobs. You can use the LinkedIn job search app or search for jobs in the search bar. If you find a contact who works at a company with an opportunity, reach out to them and see if they can introduce you to the hiring manager.

Enlightened employers know the many attributes older employees can bring to a company, such as experience, knowledge and loyalty. So, address the four points above and you’ll be able to show employers exactly what you have to offer.

If you are looking for some support in finding a job, you can contact Resource here:


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