Friday, February 25, 2011

Job Search Over 55, How to Battle Back

Peter Macnab

Found yourself without a job after many years of service? Statistics continue to indicate that the job market remains tight. Reports of some positive movement on the job front are quickly tempered with specific stories of employers not wanting unemployed applicants or of extremely long job searches encountered by older workers.

Job Eliminations
A shocked economy forced many organizations to reduce their number one cost, payroll. Realizing the largest savings meant laying off those with the heftiest paychecks. Unfortunately in most cases these were the employees with the longest terms of service and older in age. Corporations strapped with large bank commitments and diminishing sales routinely reduced their payroll costs in this manner.

Job Search: Assessment of Qualifications
It is an emotional time after a lay off or position elimination. Frequently missed is the importance of the resources available for displaced workers. Many corporations will offer access to outplacement services. While helpful in assembling the documentation needed for a job search, these services offer little in the way of actual help finding employment. Further, they do not cover some key basics that will really help as you begin a search for a new position. While hiring is slow to recover, there are some tips that may help accelerate landing a replacement position.

Know what you have to offer
Start looking into positions on the many job sites. Find out what employers are asking for as requirements for applying. Experience alone is no longer a guarantee of resume acceptance. Additional requirements now usually require at least a bachelor’s degree. Once you know what the requirements are for application consideration, begin an assessment of your strengths and weaknesses.

1. Credentials: Compare your credentials against the requirements and make your list. If you are lacking in an area of education, training or certifications now is the time to find out. Do you have a required degree? Do you have certification in a certain process? Are you trained in a specific area? Knowledge is power here, if you need additional training to boost your qualifications, it is best to know right away.
2. Resume: refresh your resume as soon as possible. If you have been given access to outplacement services that include resume writing, use it. One note of importance is that a resume needs to be targeted to the position being applied for. If you can, choose several similar occupations and see if you can come away with several targeted “generic” resumes that can be modified as needed.
3. References & Recommendations: Collect as many recommendations as you can from associates, colleagues, business relationships, and friends. These are invaluable to have on file if needed, but are usually forgotten until much later on in the job search process.
4. Network: Catalog your personal and professional network of associates. Everyone you can think of that you have connected with throughout your career and personal associations. A great place to start is your address book and contacts. Fill in the gaps, these contacts are invaluable in ways you have not thought of yet.
Know Where to Go:

No comments:

Post a Comment