Are you over 50 and looking for a job? As a mature age worker you may feel that it's a real battle.
What do you need to consider when looking for a job? What are the most effective job search strategies you can use at this stage? What might be holding you back from success?
To be really honest, it’s tough not only for the over 50’s but for all job seekers. Success is a matter of attitude and determination and, never giving up! One of my clients in his early 40’s experienced great challenges securing a new role because of his seniority and also because of the limited opportunities in Sydney when he was in transition. In order to uncover more opportunities he had to open up his search to other cities and overseas. He became open to the idea of relocating. He found that the executive search firm consultants were of the opinion that it was a ‘tough market out there’ as they, too, were struggling to find suitable roles for him. He took matters into his own hands rather than using the common job search methods. He has now moved to Singapore having secured a role at the level he was seeking in the industry of his choice.
This might not be an option you want to consider however there are times when it might be a necessity.
Typically most job seekers register with recruiters and send out dozens upon dozens of resumes via online job boards when looking for a job. That used to work well when it was an employees’ market. Many of my clients have told me that it used to be so easy for them to get a job ‘back in the day’ however things have changed.
Even though it may be a challenging job market right now, companies are still hiring. They’re just not hiring as freely as they seemed to years ago. There is a natural attrition rate within organisations. Those roles need to be filled – sometimes by internal candidates, sometimes by external candidates. You must do what is most effective to be the external candidate who is the Chosen One. So, what could you do?
Consider what the hiring manager needs. His own job security may depend on his people making him look good. He’ll want to find a new team member who will make a significant contribution and fit in. This makes hiring a very personal matter. Therefore he might not want to leave it to the Human Resources Department to short-list the few people they believe would be the dream candidates. Also, he may prefer not to outsource the process to a recruiter and incur a hefty recruitment cost.
Doing the hard yards himself by placing the perfect job ad and screening online resumes is terribly time consuming.
So what is the hiring manager, to do? Unless it’s against company policy, he turns to people he already knows and trusts and asks for recommendations. His network very likely will understand the type of person who'd work well with him. The single most important thing to understand about job search is that people hire people they know will be a good fit.
There’s another option open to hiring managers. LinkedIn. LinkedIn has made it so easy for anyone to do a key word search to find candidates that match their requirements. They can choose the functional capabilities required, the industry, location and even filter current or past companies to find a suitable candidate with the right experience. LinkedIn will create a list of candidates matching the required criteria, saving a lot of time. In fact, a recent JobVite survey found that 93% of recruiters use LinkedIn to source for candidates.
What does this tell you? To get a foot in the door, rally your troops and gain a recommendation from a trusted contact. Make sure you can be found easily via LinkedIn. Combining these two methods will be your best bet in the current job market. Also use LinkedIn to research how you may be connected to those you wish to approach.
Focus on meeting and getting to know decision-makers.