by Jayne Mattson of Keystone Partners
Baby Boomers continue to be challenged with finding companies who will hire them for what they think they bring to the table. Too often Baby Boomers talk about what companies are not doing to hire them or complaining about how hard it is to find a job. They need to ask themselves “What do companies need today from their employees?”
A. Some of the first steps you need to take to see how you fit-in with what the market needs are:
- Write a solid accomplishment driven resume that shows how you overcame challenges with results.
- Research the job market by looking at advertised positions in your field of expertise to see what employers need from a skill perspective and attributes.
- Don’t look at jobs you can do, but ones you have already done.Honestly assess how you fit in with the market needs.
- Go back to your resume, if you were hiring yourself, would your resume tell you that you have done the job the employer is looking to do at their company?
- Make adjustments to your resume based on your research and make sure you update your LinkedIn profile.
- If you do not have the qualifications/experience employers are looking for, then you need to find out how you can learn the new skills and gain some experience.
At this point, many Baby Boomers are just applying for advertised jobs and wondering why no one is calling them back or if they get a phone interview, why aren’t they moving forward. After all, they have more experience than the company is really looking for, so they can bring so much more to the role.
However, the reality is the company does not NEED more, they are looking for what the advertised position outlines.
If Baby Boomers are not seeing matches for their backgrounds and experience, how ARE they going to find a job? Network… network and more network is the key to finding a job. Many Baby Boomers think networking is sending a resume to many people and saying “if you hear of a job, let me know.”
Networking is building and maintaining relationships with people who can give you advice, information and contacts that will eventually lead to the Hidden Job Market. Do not give up hope because there are employers who will find your experience valuable to their company
B. How do you find employers who will listen to you and give you a chance?
- Adjust your mindset that applying on-line is not working and you need to change the way you are looking for a job.
- Evaluate your LinkedIn profile, does it reflect a youthful person or mature? Since Recruiters and Hiring Managers use Linked In to recruit talent, make sure you have recommendations, groups you belong to and have many connections.
- List volunteer activities and interests that reflect youthfulness, recommendations particularly from younger co-workers to show you are able to work cross generational and make sure your profile picture is professional and SMILE!
- Find a place to volunteer to keep you motivated, to be around people and to practice using your newly acquired skill.
- Give yourself a makeover… hair color and style, wardrobe, eye glasses and find ways to boost your self-worth.
Asking good questions in your networking meetings will help you determine what companies might be a good fit, leave a good impression and help you to reach other contacts.
C. Suggested questions to ask are:
- What skills and experience are you looking for that will add the most value to your organization?
- How does your company find key talent?
- What does your company look for when interviewing mature workers?
- What do we need to do better in presenting ourselves more effectively?
- What should we do in-between the first and second round of interviews when we do not hear back from the employer?
- Do you know of companies that are targeting the more mature worker?
- What skills would you recommend for me to acquire to make me more marketable?
- Is there an internship at your company to show you what value I could bring to your organization?
- Do you know of a particular networking group that would be helpful for me to join?
- Is there someone else you could recommend I speak with that could help me in fine tuning how I present myself the most effective way in today’s challenging job market.
Finally, listen and take action with recommendations from your network, send a thank you note of appreciation and stay in touch with your contacts telling them about your progress. This job method of Networking will boost your self-esteem and eventually bring you closer to finding a job than continuing to apply on-line, which is a black hole. If you show employers that you are willing to do the hard work that is needed to find a job, then maybe someone will recognize it and be willing to give you a chance because you deserve it!