Build a Portfolio Career

Building a Portfolio Career

Friday, May 20, 2011

Job Hunting Tips For The Midlife Job Seeker

Guest post by Nicole Rodgers

We all know that the economy is down and unemployment is a very real and serious problem in our society right now. Finding work has arguably never been more difficult. This statement holds especially for midlife job seekers. Despite having years of experience, their age works against them. There is more incentive for most employers to hire younger workers who, either just out of college or otherwise new to the workplace, will be willing to work for a lower salary.

While the employment situation is bleak, that doesn’t mean that there are not steps that mature job seekers can take in order to make themselves more competitive when looking for work.

First, older job seekers must remember that many things have changed since they last likely looked for work. In particular, it is imperative to keep abreast of the latest breakthroughs in technology. If their technological skills are lacking, there is no need to fret, as they can easily get them up to speed. Taking a course in basic or intermediate computer skills will go far in making seasoned job seekers more appealing to potential employers; as will being up to date with the latest developments in business technology. Remember, being tech savvy is not just about being able to open an email, but also about being well-versed in the wide array of productivity software that is now on the market as well as social networking. Again, this is something that can easily be learned by taking a class or by buying a few books and is in no way a daunting or overly demanding task. It can be completed quite easily with a bit of hard work and determination.

Of course no amount of technological know-how will do much good if a resume never gets read. Therefore is it of the utmost importance to create a resume that will truly stand out and make a powerful impression. A resume should convey not merely that a person is qualified for a position, but instead that the employer would be remiss in not hiring an individual for a given job.

While this is where a person’s years of experience are going to shine the most, it is important to job seekers with years in the workforce to limit themselves in what they put down. Ultimately, only the last 10 to 15 years should be listed.

Here some more general guidelines to follow: Do not include personal details on your resume such as marital status or date of birth. The details that employers want are name, address, and contact information. A job seeker should make sure to highlight the skills that are relevant to the job they are applying to. Finally, if a degree was finished more than 10 to 15 years ago, it’s better to leave the date of completion off altogether.
In today’s job market, it is important for people to stay flexible and make the most of their natural personal networks. That means, if full-time work is not panning out, then part-time work should be considered as either a stop-gap measure or as part of the new economic reality. It also means that jobs may come from sources that people are already familiar with, such as contacts made in professional or civic organizations. Volunteering is also a great way to make professional contacts.

Finally, a key part of the job hunt is remaining optimistic. While optimism may not guarantee finding work, pessimism will likely ensure continued unemployment.

Nicole Rodgers has been blogging for three years; she is also blogging about budgeting techniques and finds sites to get deals on such as


  1. Excellent advice, Nicole!

    Regardless of one's age, finding a job nowadays is the next thing to impossible. I know. I've been "pounding the pavement" for over two years.

    I have to say even with a stellar work history, talent and skills galore, years of experience, and an impressive resume ...

    Companies and HR recruiters tend to discount those of us in our midlife years. You're right. They're leaning more toward hiring younger candidates for all the obvious reasons.

    Wonderful post!

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