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Top 5 Job Seeker Tips for Boomers

by David Rawles

Large numbers of mature workers, often referred to as the “Boomers,” are staying in the workforce longer or re-entering the world of work. And there are very specific challenges for this segment of the labor market. Age discrimination is still alive, but the Boomers (50+ years old) can still compete for good jobs.

To remain relevant and competitive Boomers should remember a few key things they can control. As the economy is slowly, but surely rebounding, jobs are plentiful in most labor markets, but the competition is keen. Below are the Top 5 Things that Boomers can do to stay relevant and be effective job seekers:

Remember Your Strengths
As a mature, experienced candidate, you have tangible results to offer an employer. Take an inventory of your results, not your responsibilities. What sells candidates today? Results! Employers care less about what your assignments were, and much more about how well you did them. Cost reductions, improved customer service, reduction in errors, improved work processes, efficiencies gained, problems solved, systems developed, or higher levels of productivity. The more specific the results, the better.

Prepare Your Story
Those strengths and accomplishments that help you stand-out need to be crafted into a good story which can be presented crisply, directly and without embellishment. Craft a good two-minute elevator speech, something I call he Two-Minute Drill. Like the last two minutes in a football game, when the game is on the line, the offence has prepared and practiced their Two-Minute Drill. It is executed powerfully – aimed at moving to the goal line quickly and without hesitation.

Prepare Yourself
Get yourself ready to “sell.” If you were going to sell a pre-owned car, you’d get it ready. So do the same for you: Get a haircut and or a perm, update your wardrobe, and shine those shoes. Practice smiling, introducing yourself, and answering the questions you are likely to get. Get some exercise and change your diet. Look good; feel good. Remember to even practice a positive, enthusiastic attitude!

Get Outside Coaching
The job search process has turned up-side down over the past 10+ years. Several things have changed and what worked years ago doesn’t today. Resumes have not just gone through stylized changes, they are delivered differently, with different content requirements. Interviews have changed; both how one best gets an interview and how one successfully answers the questions asked. There are internet techniques, Skype interviews, and new networking regimens to consider. Get some coaching, It’ll make a difference.

Consider Your Targets Carefully
Everyone needs to have, regardless of age or experience, a definite target in today’s job transition. That target includes what to you desire to do and for whom. Mature workers often find more success with smaller, leaner companies, where the new employee ramp-up is often short. Results and experience is valued at smaller, less bureaucratic organizations. And remember, firms that have mature managers often are more likely to hire mature employees.

It is a new world and many older workers (boomers) are struggling. But don’t buy into the excuse that you can’t find employment. That is just not true. Get prepared, get coached, and get excited, There are lots of positions for you, if you go about it purposely ... And a prayer never hurts!

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