Whether you’re hoping to earn a few dollars in retirement or you are searching for work out necessity, it can feel like an uphill battle when you’re over 50
However, making a few changes to your resume can increase your chances of finding work.
Looking for Work Over 50
Although the unemployment rate for people over 50 tends to be lower than the national average, it takes workers over 50 longer to find a job. Often, it can take over a year for people over the age of 55 to find employment, according the AARP Policy Institute.
Workers over 50 often have to take jobs outside of their area of expertise. This can cause them to face pay cuts or to accept jobs that they aren’t well suited for.
Take a Proactive Approach
Take a proactive approach to finding work if you want to become gainfully employed sooner rather than later.
Simply completing online applications over and over again isn’t likely to be effective. Instead, it’s important to create a resume that will highlight your strengths and make it clear that you’ve still got plenty of energy to devote to your career.
Create an Attention Grabbing Cover Letter
Create a cover letter that will grab the attention of your potential employer. Don’t use cover letter templates and generic statements.
Instead, briefly state why you’re interested in the job and summarize why you think you’re a good candidate.
Sometimes it’s best to be upfront about the elephant in the room. Ageism exists and potential employers may think you’re not capable of keeping up with younger employees or that your knowledge isn’t relevant to today’s market.
Acknowledge that you’re a mature worker but make it clear that you’re ready to work. For example, if you’ve decided you want to earn some extra money during your retirement, explain to an employer that you’re committed to returning to work during your golden years.
Highlight Your Accomplishments
Your resume should highlight your accomplishments and show off the knowledge that you’ve gained over the years. You don’t need to include every accomplishment you’ve ever had, however.
Leave out things that are outdated and no longer relevant. For example, if you’re applying to be a computer technician and you won an award in 1975 for repairing typewriters, don’t include it.
It could hurt your chances by making it look like you’re not up-to-date with technology.
Instead, highlight your more recent accomplishments and include skills that show you’re prepared to work in today’s world.
If you’ve worked at a lot of different jobs, don’t list each one individually all the way back to the first job you’ve ever held. Instead, only go back about 10 to 15 years and then summarize your jobs before that time.
If you have a long history in the workforce, it’s likely you possess a lot of skills. Highlight those skills in your resume so a potential employer will view you as a valuable asset to the team.
Lastly, don’t attempt to make yourself appear younger.
Instead, turn your age into a strength by showing how your years of experience can give you a leg up on the competition.
About the Author: Amy Morin writes about psychology and business-related topics such as life insurance for seniors.