Middle-aged workers have recently found themselves applying for jobs again. An increasingly ageing population coupled with the financial crisis, has led to more people who are over 50 finding themselves out of work. These so-called ‘baby-boomers’, those born in the post-World War II years, make up a significant percentage of the working population.
It is never easy to lose a job. Particularly for those in their 40s and 50s, many of whom have dedicated more than two decades to their careers and may have been out of touch with job hunting for just as long. Added to the current situation on the labour market and unfair presumptions, middle-aged jobseekers sometimes face more challenges than younger jobseekers.
Try and look beyond the negatives and try these job search tips.
If you feel you are overqualified, sell to the employers needs. Once you’ve found out as much as you can about the company and the position, you’ve got to imagine how your qualifications mesh perfectly with the job requirements:
· Ensure you market your extra qualifications effectively, by matching each point listed in the job description with one of your skills.
· Promote your past as an asset to your future at the company.
· Emphasise that the company is getting someone with years of experience under their belt and promote the following skills: problem solving, working as a team, interpersonal skills, and good client relationships.
A perception exists that middle-aged workers are not as tech-savvy as their younger colleagues. There are many ways to show that you are on top of things, such as by using social media and keeping a blog. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are both handy ways to raise your profile and connect with employers and recruiters.
Many employers nowadays ask questions in interviews that focus on how candidates handled specific situations. For example, ‘in your past job did you have a conflict with a co-worker and how did you handle it?’ You should give a brief and specific answer, instead of highlighting all your previous experiences, as this might overwhelm the interviewer.
The interviewer may be younger than you, and as such could be too embarrassed to ask you a pivotal and important question: ‘won’t it be humiliating for you to take a job where your superiors are younger than you and that many people would consider beneath you?’ You should be prepared to answer this question whether or not the interviewer asks it. You can address this issue indirectly through the positive attitude you convey in everything you say about the available position and your suitability for it.
Furthermore, EURES Advisers can give you information on getting back to work and job opportunities that will match your profile. EURES Advisers also give information on job mobility and Living and Working Conditions across the European Economic Area. Your perfect job could be waiting for you in Europe!