By Evelin De La Rosa
An AARP survey revealed 61% of job seekers have experienced or seen age discrimination, while another 74% of applicants have experienced it first hand. The study also found that women were more likely than men to have faced age employment bias.
It is estimated that 3 million workers over 50 are looking for full-time jobs. This is especially important because studies show more than 20 million older adults are at risk of not having enough income to meet their basic needs.
In a job market where competition is intense, it’s a challenge to find the right position. Older job seekers face the biggest uphill battle. According to an AARP report, when it comes to getting a job, people 40 and older do not get treated like preferred customers. What employers do not realize is that older workers are a great investment. That according to an AARP study. These seasoned job seekers are not only more reliable, but they’re more experienced too. They stay on the job longer and make fewer mistakes. They also have “soft” skills employers desperately need, while being open to learning new skills.
So what can a job seeker who is 50+ do when looking for a job? What can they do they are in need of employment?
1. Target your job search. Know your strengths, skills, and accomplishments and match them with current in-demand jobs.
2. Expose yourself. Customize your resume and cover letter for each job you plan to apply. Be sure to create an online presence.
3. Overcome the job application and interview process. Learn how to apply for jobs tailored to your skills by using keywords to make your resume stand out. Be sure to practice and polish your interview skills.
4. Get new work experience and skills. Make use of part-time work. Take advantage of volunteer opportunities. Continue your education and update your computer skills.
5. Network. Meet professionals who can help with your job search. Engage with your community and social media.
6. Connect with organizations that find job candidates for employers. Many organizations specialize in job search. Get in contact with one and get yourself exposed.
7. Take the time to focus on yourself and stay strong. Create a job search schedule. Find out if you qualify for income support. Manage your feelings and reactions to challenges on the job and in life.
Finding a job is not easy. With the right skills, connections, and strategies, anything is possible.
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