Get ready for your next great gig!
Are you ready to find your next job over 40? People are working later in life because they are healthier and enjoy longer life expectancy, are better educated, and are in need of retirement savings. So whether you’re employed and searching for something new, or unemployed and just searching, now is your chance to pursue a career you’ve always wanted, like teaching, working for a sports team, or consulting. And you’re in good company: Employment participation rates are rising for mature workers, with the highest gains in the 65+ tiers.
So how can you plan for a career later in life, especially if that means changing positions or fields?
Tips for finding your next job over 40
Reach out to your network
You should always be feeding your professional network, but never is this more important than when you’re searching for a new job. So ramp up that networking! Check in with dormant contacts, schedule coffee dates, and catch up. Let your network know that you’re looking for work and what type of work you’re looking for. Even a simple Facebook or LinkedIn update can spark a conversation. You never know who might offer up a lead.
Update your LinkedIn profile
If you’ve avoided using LinkedIn in the past, now’s the time to create a profile that promotes you and your experience and skills. Ensure you have a current, ideally professionally photographed picture that flatters you and really looks like you now (no fudging this!). You’ll also want a comprehensive list of your skills, professional affiliations, accomplishments, and education—conversationally presented and infused with your winning personality. If employers find that your skills match what they are looking for, they may reach out to you!
Update your resume
Your resume should be a constantly changing document, especially while you are employed. But if you’ve been out of the workforce for a while, or if you’re looking to change fields, you may need more of an overhaul than most. Tailor your resume around your achievements and relevant work experience for the job you want. Focus on what’s recent; you don’t need to include your first fast-food job, the date you graduated college, or those entry-level positions you held thirty years ago. (You can lump the relevant ones under “prior experience” with no dates or duties.) Include your cell phone number and a professional-sounding email address at a popular host like Gmail—AOL, Hotmail, or Earthlink addresses will date you to the early days of webmail! Ask someone you trust to review your final draft, or you can always go for the gusto and hire a professional resume writer.
You’ve taken the steps to start your job search. When it comes to your best professional image, you can take steps to increase your confidence, visibility, and value as a mature worker. But you may not know where to start looking for your next great gig. AARP’s website features an Employer Pledge Program filled with employers, large and small, who have pledged to value the experience of mature workers during their hiring processes. It’s a great place to get started!
I’m Kay Hunter, Orange County image consultant for men and women over 40. I transform mature professionals, active adults, and seniors into more successful and confident versions of themselves. By expressing yourself through style and fashion, you’ll get that boost of confidence, visibility, and value you need to get to the next level. Enhance the joy of living—because great style is ageless!