With an aging American population staying active longer than any previous generation, many are still looking for jobs well into their “retirement years.”
Many also are looking to switch careers after decades spent in one profession.
Adding to the number of older workers is the fact many may not have saved enough during their career to retire comfortably and need to continue to work. For others, it might simply be more satisfying to work rather than completely retire.
However, some older workers find it difficult to prepare for reentering the workforce. Here are some tips to follow during job interviews to make landing a new job less difficult.
Don’t Let Your Age Be an Issue
The place to stop worrying about your age is with you. If you are overly concerned that you are too old to get a good job, that will affect how you present yourself and how others see you. Don’t allow the focus of what you saying during a job interview to be on your age, instead focus on your qualifications for the position and the experience you bring to the table.
Also, it’s important to let the hiring manager know that you are not adverse to change – a frequent criticism of older people. Let them know you are a flexible team player who understands that a changing world requires workers to change as well.
This goes hand-in-hand with letting potential employers know you are open to change. Presenting yourself as someone who is positive about the future – not someone focused on past accomplishments or past failures – is key to considering you as an employee.
Emphasize Relevant Skills, Not Past Accomplishments
It’s easy to want to sing your praises over past accomplishments in your former field – but that’s not what a hiring manager wants to hear (at least not in detail). If you are successful as an accountant in a big firm for 30 years, the details aren’t going to matter much to someone looking for a person to work in a retail establishment, for example. Tailor your resume and your interview responses to focus on skills you have that will actually help the company, not ones that show how good you were 10 years ago at doing something else.
Don’t Dress in Yesterday’s Fashions
While it’s advisable not to try being too trendy, it’s important that your attire is thoroughly modern and not out of date. In addition to your attitude, your clothes say a lot about the person you are and how you see yourself. Wearing outdated fashion signals to the hiring manager that you, yourself, might be outdated when it comes to being an employee.
Be Honest About Shortcomings
If you are applying for a job that requires, for example, technical skills, do not attempt to pass yourself off as being an expert in some area where you have no skills. Hiring managers will pick up on it, and even they don’t, you might find yourself in a job where you are over your head. Human resources departments are smart about how they are these days – even if you don’t have particular skills, they may still want you for what you do bring to the table, including experience and a positive, team-oriented attitude.
Stay Current on Training
If you find you are entering a field that requires education in certain skills, look into taking certification courses, many of which are available online. This will show employers that you are focused on getting the job and succeeding once you have one.
Whatever job you are applying for, remember that you bring a lot of skills and experience to the table that can help a company reach its goals. Keep that in mind and stay positive – the right job is out there for you.