Top Tips for a New Job when you’re Plus Fifty
The plus side of being Plus Fifty
Employers like people with experience and skills – graduates may have qualifications but no practical experience
You have life skills to offer, you are used to managing your time, family, deadlines etc.
Recent research concluded you’re unlikely to have so much time off sick as the young
You are more dedicated to the company you work for, you will not necessarily be looking to climb a career ladder and leave after a couple of years
You don’t have to be trained you can build on existing skills
You have skills which are transferrable; you’re redirecting your skills and knowledge base
Networking sounds dreadful but many a job has been gained by a recommendation from a friend or colleague
Many companies offer you a document to complete which you are required to write in. This method ensures you can spell and write legibly. Make sure you complete this with minimal mistakes. A good tip is to photocopy the document and complete it to check your answers do not become all squashed up or write out your answers prior to filling it in.
Have your CV printed in a conventional layout and not longer than three pages
Make sure you include every possible method you have available to contact you, phone, mobile and email.
Sell yourself – your achievements, courses you’ve attended employers want people who have made things happen, who get results.
Ensure the information is truthful, factual, concise and accurate
Customise your CV to suit the position you are applying for
Ensure you have the skills for the job
If asked, ensure your hobbies or interests include activities which are positive and not lethargic.
It is not advisable to mention salary
Do not mention why you left/or were made redundant
It is not necessary to mention any political, religious, race or disabilities information
Do not give your age it is not a legal requirement
These have to accompany your CV, ideally do not write more than 100 words as people who are looking at CV’s and letters often have hundreds to go through, make sure yours is short and to the point.
Use strong verbs like ‘managed’, ‘developed’, ‘achieved’, ‘initiated’ and ‘directed’. Describe your character and experience as a match with the job description in the advertisement.
Check your spelling and grammar in both your letter and CV if you can’t be bothered to do this you may as well not send it, as it will go straight in the bin when it is received.
Ask a friend or relative to read the cover letter. You may think your letter is friendly but it may be perceived as arrogant or aggressive.
This can be a bit scary as you may not have done this for quite some time. However there are positive things you can do which will make you feel better about yourself which in turn will give you confidence.
Find about the job you are being interviewed for
Find out about the company, their goals, history, and their mission statement.
Think about your strengths and weaknesses
If the opportunity arises during the interview ask the interviewer what they see as the main qualities they are looking for; and what challenges the person who will be filling the position will be facing. You can then tailor your answers to theirs.
What have you got to offer the company?
You need to think about this and have an answer if asked why they should employ you as opposed to anyone else
Make sure you don’t believe the job you are going for is beneath you as this will come across at interview. Be positive about the job role it may not be a position you previously held but it is a foot in the door.
You never get a second chance at making that first impression
Make sure you look good, that means you go out and buy an outfit that is appropriate for the job interview (preferably a suit) and that flatters you. Revamp your glasses, get a new haircut, and polish those shoes.
When asked questions don’t harp on about the “good old days” or “when I started years ago” or name drop. This is very different to a positive attitude of “projects I’ve worked on” or “I achieved”
Keep your answers brief if the interviewer wants to know more they will ask.
Don’t interrupt, allow the interviewers to finish their question
Make sure you don’t bad mouth your previous employer.
Have some relevant questions to ask at the end of the interview and make sure that it is not one about how much is the salary?
Finally thank the person for the interview by standing up and shaking their hand and say you look forward to working with them. This is a positive move providing confidence and closure; it’s rather like closing a deal.
Self-help for that New Job
Make sure you are current; ensure you are up to date with the use of computers and if appropriate bring yourself up to speed with the latest technology.
Attend evening classes; seek out your local colleges and councils to see if they are running any courses which can help you.
Volunteer to help at functions or groups as there may be an opening just right for you at least you will have your foot in the door.
Look at your hobbies and skills could you become self-employed?
If you want a job, there are many out there that a lot of the younger people do not want to do, make the most of this advantage as once you are in a company there are often more opportunities