There are a number of things that job seekers in their 50s and 60s can do to sideline concerns about their age and get work. Here are a few quick-and-dirty ideas…think of them as wrinkle cream for your job search:
Your Resume, Cover Letter & LinkedIn Profile
- Remove the following: Experience and activities that are more than 20 years old (give or take); dates of graduation, unless you graduated in the last 20 years; and any technical skills that are obviously outdated.
- Older workers, on average, tend to be less technically savvy than younger ones, but you should try to overcome that quirk. This means purchasing and/or getting comfortable with modern technical tools, such as smartphones, tablets, etc.
- Modernize the look of your resume and cover letter: Don’t use those Microsoft bullet points that look like 3D arrows…they are so ’80s! And don’t use Times New Roman, Palatino, Garamond, Bookman or any other font that was hip when you were in junior high.
- With no offense to the AARP, exclude any affiliation with associations that cater to the 50+ crowd.
- Write a cover letter that shows your professionally hip personality and that highlights your most impressive accomplishments over the last five or so years. For example, you can write about a project you’re currently working on and that includes up-to-date technologies and/or management techniques you’re using to get the job done.
At the interview:
- Emphasize your current experiences and accomplishments and what you’ve done most recently to help an employer succeed.
- Whip out your smart phone and tablet at the appropriate junctures (e.g., to take notes; to schedule a follow-up appointment; to show something from your portfolio). Let the interviewer see how comfortable you are manipulating today’s gizmos.
- When making chit-chat at the start of the interview, don’t blab about your grand kids (or your great-grand kids). Don’t inquire if the company health club has water aerobics classes. Instead, be prepared to discuss what’s happening in the contemporary world that has pertinence to a wider audience.