Career Book Review: Job Searching After 50 by Carol Silvis – A Mature Worker’s Competitive Advantage

Lengthy-term unemployment is acknowledged as any particular person who has been jobless for six months or longer. At present, 5.8 million Individuals outline that class; and amongst them, are many individuals over the age of fifty. Older adults face distinctive challenges when in search of employment.

Course Know-how publishes a wide range of Skilled, Reference and Know-how titles. One in all its present releases is Job Searching After 50 by Carol A. Silvis.

Silvis has a grasp’s diploma in Grownup Schooling and is an assistant director and division chair at a Pennsylvania enterprise institute. She additionally presents workshops and seminars for faculties, companies {and professional} organizations.

Eight chapters comprise Silvis’s message. Following are highlights from every subject to assist jumpstart your job search as a mature employee:

Abilities and {Qualifications}

The job search course of begins by matching your distinctive talents with an organization that wants them. Outline your function for working. Whether or not it is full or part-time will information your employment pursuits. Shift the main focus out of your age to how your office, transferable and life expertise meet the wants of the employer. Contemplate too, your private traits, like energetic and ahead considering, vs. the old style methods of a mature employee. Share solely related talents vs. itemizing each responsibility you have performed over your 30-year profession span. An excessive amount of expertise can shun an employer. That is the age of lifelong studying. Preserve your expertise present by attending lessons, workshops, incomes a level or certification, taking part in on-line webinars, and many others.

Resumes and Cowl Letters

No profession evaluation could be full with out consideration to resumes and canopy letters. For older employees, key parts to a profitable strategy embrace:

  • Accomplishments vs. Duties. Spotlight your distinctive value-added accomplishments at firms you labored for, vs. mere duties.
  • Contact Data. Present any hyperlinks to your skilled on-line presence, together with blogs and/or web sites.
  • Digital Resumes. Write a focused resume for every desired place. Use industry-specific key phrases to assist with SEO (website positioning), to extend the chances of being learn by an individual.
  • Schooling and Coaching. For those who earned your diploma greater than 20 years in the past, omit your commencement date.
  • {Qualifications} Abstract vs. Goal. A {qualifications} abstract highlights your main accomplishments, expertise, training and private traits. It is a temporary paragraph or bulleted record that employers can simply scan; and offers extra perception than an goal.

All the time embrace a well-written cowl letter. It will increase your odds of grabbing an employer’s consideration; and offers a possibility to increase on data not resume acceptable, together with wage historical past.


At present, pc expertise are important, each within the office and through your job search. More and more, employers require such talents for rent; and plenty of out there jobs are actually posted completely on-line. Analysis an organization’s web site to find out its key gamers. Use industry-related key phrases in on-line purposes, cowl letters and resumes. “This isn’t the time to say you might be too outdated to make use of know-how or don’t have any use for it,” says Silvis.

Now, social networking is a needed part of your job search. Keep an expert presence on the large three platforms: Fb, LinkedIn and Twitter. Many employers use these websites as recruitment instruments; and mastering them can enhance your odds of being found for industry-related positions.


Networking is a ubiquitous phrase; and its want is usually downplayed, particularly concerning mature employees. “Making a stable help system is necessary for job seekers, particularly as they age,” says Silvis. It is difficult to conduct job searches in a wholesome economic system and even harder in an anemic one.

Construct and nurture long-term relationships; and also you’re networking. It is also a two-way course of. Earlier than developing a contact record, outline your networking objectives. Essentially the most profitable community contains a mixture of each private {and professional} contacts. Contemplate everybody you realize, together with your dentist, hair stylist, Put up Workplace clerk, and many others. Select enthusiastic, optimistic individuals. Discovering a job is usually a numbers recreation; and it is by no means too late to start or resume networking.

Angle, Look and Vitality

It is not straightforward to keep up a constructive perspective if you expertise a job loss earlier than you are able to retire; however you will need to, particularly as a mature employee.

It is onerous to listen to that your look wants up to date, however it could be a roadblock in your job search. Comb-overs on balding males, and outdated hairstyles can convey antiquated expertise as properly. Contemplate doing a makeover at a division retailer or salon. It is not going to solely improve your look however enhance your self-confidence too.

Employers search candidates who will slot in and convey constructive vitality to the office.

Errors Job Seekers Over 50 Make

  • Failing to Get Together with Different Generations. At present’s office is multi-generational, with as many as 4 completely different generations working collectively. As a mature employee, you will need to ask your self the way you’d really feel being interviewed by somebody your youngsters’s or grandchildren’s age? Might you work together as a colleague as an alternative of a mum or dad determine?
  • Unwillingness to Change. A youthful interviewer could also be involved that an older employee is caught of their consolation zone; and resists change. Increase and think about how your expertise may be industry-transcendent, in case your former subject is extinct.
  • Being Overqualified. “Having an excessive amount of baggage, even within the type of expertise, shouldn’t be talked about,” says Silvis. Deal with particular expertise and accomplishments, not your earlier titles, which may make you appear overqualified.”
  • Not Embracing Know-how. Ensure you’re present within the software program applications employers are requiring in need advertisements and job descriptions.
  • Lack of Enthusiasm. It’s essential to convey your enthusiasm and eagerness to land the job by means of your mannerisms and phrases. Specific your anticipation.

Who’s Hiring?

Job seekers over 50 could also be stunned on the variety of their seldom-considered employment choices. They embrace:

  • Adjunct or Full-Time Trainer/Tutor. Instructing is a superb alternative, for you as an older employee, to convey your experience to youthful generations.
  • Entrepreneurship. Launch a enterprise of your personal, using your area of interest expertise and experience.
  • Authorities. Suppose out of the field close to authorities jobs. Contemplate Homeland Safety, the IRS and U.S. and state transportation departments, parks and recreation, and many others.

As an alternative of making use of for conventional jobs, use your creativeness and artistic expertise to land an thrilling, satisfying job in a enjoyable surroundings, or create your personal. “Generally a whole change of venue affords essentially the most rewarding alternatives,” says Silvis.

Making a Success Plan

Statistically, mature employees endure an extended job search. Persevere. Be prepared to place the whole lot you have got into your employment search, till profitable. Set objectives, write them down; and take constant motion to attain these objectives. Break main objectives into secondary objectives that function benchmarks towards your progress. Tie every secondary objective to motion steps. Understand that setbacks are inevitable, however persist.

Look forward to finding the correct place for you. Reinvent your self, if needed; and adapt to out there jobs. Problem your self. Step out of your consolation zone; and take a look at new issues. Visualize success. Be continuously conscious of what you are aiming to perform, and what it’ll like when realized it is realized.

Nobody will ever care extra about your profession and job search than you. All through Job Searching Over 50, “Take Cost” abstract bins function indicators of your profession success accountability.

Discovering employment in mid-life does have its personal challenges; and Silvis reveals us it is doable. Preparation, persistence and positivity are key. Many libraries and applications funded on the federal, state and native stage, present workshops on subjects together with Habits-based interviewing and resumes. Ensure you’re using your neighborhood sources to realize a aggressive benefit; and notice your employment objectives.

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