Jobseeking WOOFers: Your Time is NOW!
WOOF is proud to have Mary Eileen Williams, guest blog contributor:
In addition to being a proud member of the Feisty Side of Fifty, I’ve been a career counselor/job search specialist for more then 20 years. Because so many boomers have been laid off after years of employment and don’t have the skills to successfully navigate today’s job market, I’ve created a book/workbook so that readers could compete with confidence.
Land the Job You Love: 10 Surefire Strategies for JobseekersOver 50 walks jobseekers through each phase of the process, provides detailed actions steps, and guides older applicants in techniques that will distinguish them as the valuable candidate they are. Thanks to top dogs, Mary Cunningham and Diana Black, I’ve been given this opportunity to spread the word about this very special time of year…
Many jobseekers don’t realize that opportunities for finding work do not rest on national economic figures alone—there is a seasonal aspect to the job hunt. Early fall is one of the two strongest hiring periods of the year. Just like the school year begins afresh, organizations gear up after the summer slowdown. Companies need employees and contract workers to carry out new projects and initiatives. Therefore, they begin to interview more actively.
So now is the time to be certain you’re doing all you can to be one of those selected:
Approach the market with confidence. Realize much of the doom and gloom about older applicants is not borne out by real statistics. US News and World Report stated in a recent article that from 1/1/10 to 4/1/11 (a period of 15 months), most new jobs went to applicants 55 and older. And this number was huge! You’ll want to be certain to check out the great news here.
Get your resume in tip-top shape. Read up on the critical keys to marketing your skills and experience in a way that will highlight your strengths, distinguish you from the competition, and arouse the reader’s interest. Also be sure to take a look at the brief 5-minute video that explains how best to format your resume.
Network like crazy. Use online tools such as Linked-In, Twitter, and Facebook to best advantage. But, whenever you can, nothing beats a face-to-face meeting. Create a list of target companies where you’d like to work and network your way through the door.
Ace the interview. Prepare well and study the current trends in your industry. Read up on the company—pay particular attention to recent developments: management changes, new products and marketing initiatives, and any news about the competition. You’ll need to sound like a knowledgeable insider.
Be able to name your key skills and be certain to back them up with examples of you performing your work at its best. Examples prove (as much as possible within an interview setting) that you own these skills and have used them successfully in the past. Prior accomplishments are considered the best predictor of future success—so you'll want to wow your interviewer with what you've already achieved. Check out how to do this and nail 5 key questions here.
Understand the rules of the game today. If you’re an older applicant, chances are you’re wasting a lot of time and effort going about your job search using less than effective means. By understanding a few techniques and strategies to present yourself well in the modern job market, you’ll shave weeks—maybe months—off of your search. The dog days of summer are over, but your opportunities for finding work are just now gearing up—so go out there and show ‘em just how doggone feisty a jobseeker over 50 can be. And, as a savvy WOOFer, you’ll be leading the pack for sure!