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5 Tips Job Seekers Over 50 Can Use to Make the Job Search Easier

If you're over the age of 50 and finding it difficult to land the right job, here are five tips that can aid you in making your job search productive.

By Dean DellingerPublished 2 years ago 4 min read
5 Tips Job Seekers Over 50 Can Use to Make the Job Search Easier
Photo by TheStandingDesk on Unsplash

There are a lot of misconceptions about employees over a certain age – they are technically impaired, have frequent absences due to illness, want too much money or they’re just looking for a job to tide them over until they can retire. Regardless of what others think, in fact, in spite of what some people believe, older workers have a lot to offer an employer.

As the Jul 21, 2019 Forbes article “10 Reasons To Hire and Retain Workers 50+” suggests, a big issue that occurs when aging workers leave is that they take “knowledge and training that will never be replaced.”

However, researchers suggest that older workers are guilty of their own misconceptions as well. In the Met Life study, “Buddy, Can You Spare a Job? The Met Life Study of the New Realities of the Job Market for Aging Baby Boomers,” researchers noted seven false conclusions made by baby boomers:

  1. "I’ll just do what I was doing before";
  2. "My experience speaks for itself";
  3. "I don’t have time for this touchy-feely stuff about what work means to me";
  4. "I know! I’ll become a consultant";
  5. "Of course I’m good with computers";
  6. "I’ll just use a recruiter for some career coaching"; or
  7. "I’ve always been successful, so why should things be different now?"

Before you let your age become a barrier to finding a new job, put your best foot forward by incorporating these five job-hunting tips into your repertoire. Go out and find those employers who are happy to put your years of experience to good use.

Stop Thinking of Yourself as Old

Probably one of the most damning mistakes job seekers over the age of 50 make is to buy into the lie that they are too old. When you look in the mirror, if all you see is gray hair, crow’s feet and laugh lines, and a growing mid-section, that is how others see you as well.

You are not old. You are seasoned, mature or experienced. You offer wisdom, loyalty and knowledge. You have the ability to change your outlook and your image. Whether you choose to color your hair, lose weight or wear clothes that better fit your body-type, make a conscious choice to look and act your best.

According to Bellamy Dewalt, head of training and employment at Essaypay, age discrimination does exist. It’s just a matter of “how you present yourself, what you say and how you say it.”

Stay in the Know on All the Latest Trends

Are you up on the latest news and fads? This doesn’t mean you need to act like a teenager. However, it does mean you should do your best to stay in touch with what is happening in the world around you.

If you have adult children, be sure to talk with them. A 50-something friend recently revealed over lunch that her 20-something daughters keep her apprised of the latest music and hit artists by sharing their favorite songs. It’s one way she keeps her finger on the pulse of contemporary life.

Technology Isn’t the Exclusive Right of the Young

In the article “6 Lessons We Could Learn from Steve Jobs,” writer Margaret Hefferman writes, “In the age of fast companies, built not to last, Apple offered ample proof that you can be innovative and cool after the age of 25.” She added, “That Jobs continued to be as innovative in his 50s as he had been in his 20s is something most companies should take time to consider at length.”

Even if you’re not a technological genius like Jobs, you should stay abreast of changes to the world of technology. That includes training on the latest software programs and learning about the tools available to simplify work.

Be Open-Minded and Flexible

One of toughest hurdles for older workers to overcome is having an open mind when those around them may not. Be willing to consider all options. If your boss is 30-something, look at it as an opportunity to learn. If you joined the workforce before your coworker was born, realize there are sage words of advice you have to offer as well.

The younger generation may be great when it comes to finding the right app, sending text messages or operating a new computer program. However, dealing with a real life emergency, handling themselves maturely in pressure situations or talking one-on-one with the CEO may be outside their comfort zone. Translate your past work experience into future value for a potential employer.

Accept that Not Everyone is Enlightened

There are just going to be times when no matter what you do those in charge aren’t going to hire you. Can you turn up your nose and go wild? Sure. You might even want to sue for discrimination. In the end, it’s not worth all the aggravation.

Instead, find tools to help you look for the right employment opportunity, like the government-subsidized programs available in your state (check out Career One Stop) or join a job club for moral and job search support.

It isn’t easy. However, according to the latest figures cited by AARP, unemployment among those 55 and older is lower (2.6%) than unemployment for the general population (3.6%). That means that along with these five tips people looking for work after the age of 50 have a good chance of finding a new job.


About the Creator

Dean Dellinger

I have always written as a hobby. Now I'm affiliated with My writing interests include education, career, business, and advertising/marketing strategy.

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Dean DellingerWritten by Dean Dellinger

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