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Job Hunting After 50

Job Hunting After 50

It can be a hard going to find a job in your later years, but author Jeanette Woodward lays out practical strategies for “reinventing yourself for the 21st century”.

Know thyself

Woodward starts with you getting really clear about what you want out of life. What would an ideal day look like? Are you full of hostility, anxiety, and fear, or have you cultivated mature, positive thinking?

Do you project health and vitality, and carry yourself with good posture? For goodness sake, don’t talk about your health. Review your hairstyle and wardrobe, and aim for an up-to-date, conservative look.

Cover letter

Tailor each cover letter to the particular position you’re applying for. Use some of the language in the advertisement or job description.

Focus attention on relevant knowledge and skills that might be missed in a resume. Show how you’ve been updating your skills and identify positive reasons for why you want this job. Use good quality stationery and printer.

Job ApplicationJob application form

Take your time and carefully consider your answers. Use positive and assertive words. Make it look neat and tidy.

Resume for the job you want

Keep it short – 2 pages maximum – and focus it completely on your strengths for that job. You can put a “Selected Accomplishments” section near the top of your first page that shows your suitability.

Focus on the last 15 or 20 years of experience, or include a “Skills” section if your employment history is short or spotty (and omit dates of employment). It’s okay to omit dates of academic degrees.

Avoid using the term, “self-employed” and instead state the name of your business and you as owner or partner.

Before you submit your job package

Ask someone to look over your cover letter, application form, and resume to check for clarity, punch, proper spelling, and good grammar. If the option is available, send in everything through snail mail, so that people on the receiving end get the best-looking application possible.

If you have to submit everything electronically, use e-mail rather than fax, so that you have more control over the look of the final product. As well, save your items as pdf’s, so that there is no risk of the receiver getting a document that has lost its formatting.

Keep on!

As Woodward explains, it can take a while to find a suitable job. Tailor each cover letter and resume to show how suitable you are for each particular job, and keep on applying! Tell your friends and acquaintances about the kind of work you’re looking for, and research newspaper and online job postings.

Good luck!

Reference: Jeanette Woodward. 2007. Finding A Job After 50: Reinventing yourself for the 21st century. Career Press, Franklin Lakes, NJ. 179 pp.

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