Here are some tips to help you if you find yourself unemployed during your 50s and 60s
1. Don’t wait to start looking. According to a 2015 survey conducted by the AARP Public Policy Institute, jobseekers who start their job search immediately tend to be more successful in landing a new job than those who wait.
2. Know what’s important to you. Before starting your job search, conduct a self-examination. How many hours a week do you want to work? Where do you want to work (do you want to be able to telecommute part of the time)? Do you want a full-time permanent position or are you open to project work, consulting, or contract work? This can help you find the right role.
3. Skills can set you apart. The value you have to offer a prospective employer is critical to your re-employment chances. Part of your a self-examination should be figuring out what sets you apart from other candidates.
4. Make sure your résumé doesn’t age you. Résumé strategy is different for older jobseekers. The résumé is not an “obituary,” listing everything you’ve ever done. Instead, include only the last 10-15 years of experience. And make sure all the experience is relevant for where you’re going next, not just where you’ve been.
5. Money matters. Research salaries for the positions you’re seeking. You may need to take a pay cut, but not always.
6. It’s often about who you know. Compared to younger jobseekers, your personal network of contacts is 3-10 times larger than a 25-year-old! Instead of simply sitting down and applying for positions online, talk to people!
7. Your attention to detail can set you apart. The research you conduct on a prospective employer can help you identify the specific problems that the company needs solved.
8. Practice and prepare for the job interview. Today’s job interviews may be structured differently than what you’re used to. You may meet with multiple people during the interview — either simultaneously in a group interview or in a series of interviews in a single day. Your initial interview may be conducted via Skype or as a video interview. You need to be able to handle the technology piece of a virtual interview well in order to progress to an in-person interview.
9. Dress for success. Personal grooming can be especially important for older jobseekers. The right haircut and attire can cut 10 years off your appearance. On the other hand, the wrong makeup and apparel can add prematurely age you.
10. Remember what makes you special. Why shouldn’t companies hire someone younger or cheaper? Because baby boomers have earned a reputation for having a stronger work ethic and more knowledge than younger workers. Remember, you’re worth it!