If you are a mature worker entering or re-entering the workforce, we have compiled some helpful tips for succeeding in your employment search. Here are some valuable suggestions for levering your experience and maturity as you look for new employment opportunities.
(1) GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY: if you are continuously telling yourself and others that you are struggling to find work because of your age, you may be throwing up your own barriers to success. Experiencing ageism in the workplace isn’t completely unheard of, but more and more employers are embracing hiring mature workers, for some of the reasons that you can read about here.
(2) AGE PROOF YOUR RESUME: One of the most prevalent reason individuals struggle to find employment is their resume. If you’re using a resume from many years ago, stop by your local WorkBC office and let them update your most important marketing tool.
Be aware of not dating yourself by putting down your graduation date, or going too far back in your work history. Instead of stating the dates you held the position, you can state the number of years you held the position for. The Resource Centre Specialists at WorkBC are there to help you with your resume and more tips like this.
(3) EMPHASIZE THE POSITIVE: Once upon a time in a galaxy far far way, there was no social media or texting. If you are from this galaxy, you very likely have communication skills that younger people may not. This is a soft skill that is valued by many employers, as it often goes hand in hand with, for example, the ability to make customers feel welcome and valued, resulting in repeat clientele and great word of mouth.
What have you accomplished in past employment? What were you often praised for? Think of conversations you’ve had with employers and customers. Maybe send an email asking past employers what some of your strengths wore. Put your energy and focus into these attributes, instead of your age.
(4) NETWORKING: As a mature worker, you most likely know a lot of people in your community! Make sure everyone knows that you are looking for work, and what type of work you would like. Finding work through networking and word of mouth is one of the most successful ways of securing employment, so start spreading the good news…you!
(5) COMPUTER SKILLS: There is no excuse any more not to have basic computer skills, and like it or not, they are more often than not necessary in the workplace. These entry level courses are consistently offered, and your WorkBC office can help you find listings as well as take to you about potential funding.
(6) GET AN EMAIL ADDRESS: An email address is an important tool when you’re looking for work. If you have a joint email with your spouse or partner, you may want to consider opening your own account. Again, we can help you with this in the Resource Centre of your local WorkBC office.
(7) PASSION TIME: Perhaps now is the time to start entertaining the possibility of working in a field that always enticed you, but you deemed impractical for whatever reasons. Maybe a hardware store? A pet store? Grocery store?
(8) KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN: Pay attention to the businesses in your area that have employed mature workers. Even if this employer has no jobs posted at the time, you can still drop off a resume and have a chat with them. Doing this shows motivation and a genuine interest in being part of their team, which employers value.
This can be an exciting time; be positive and be prepared, and be sure to stop by your local WorkBC office for any support you may require.