5 Resume and Interviewing Tips for People Over 55
There’s no such thing as an ideal age for retirement.
Just look at today’s workforce. In the next decade, over 71 million Americans will be 65 years of age and older, and many don’t plan to retire anytime soon. In fact, employment among those over 55 has increased significantly in recent years.
So what exactly does this mean for those of you who are over 55 and actively looking for employment? Well, it's good news. It means it’s not too late to land your ideal job. The following resume and interviewing tips can help, in addition to the many resources from Easterseals for Baby Boomers looking for jobs:
Hard Work Pays Off
Employers seek candidates who love what they do and will keep at it until they solve the problem and get the job done. So it’s not hard to believe that someone with a history of strong work ethic makes for an ideal candidate for the job. Recent studies show that employees over the age of 49 scored higher in being a vital part of organizations (69%), “hardworking” (73%) and a “team player” (56%), as opposed to their younger counterparts. Keep in mind that organizations have a void that they are looking to fill, so be sure to show that you possess all of the above qualities on your resume and during the interview. And if you find that you need help putting together a great resume, Easterseals has plenty of job-hunting resources to help you along the way.
Adaptability Is Key
Hiring managers are looking for candidates who are open to new ideas and concepts. Unfortunately, seasoned employees over the age of 55 have developed a reputation for being the total opposite. An Ernst and Young survey shows that employees over the age of 50 are "not viewed as the 'best' generation in areas such as being adaptable." But, don’t worry. You can change that. During the interview, let the employer know that you are willing to think outside the box. Besides, this job could be totally different than any other position you’ve ever held throughout your career, and you never know where the role might lead.
Loyalty Goes a Long Way
Who doesn’t love a loyal worker? Employers look for candidates with a strong devotion to the company. A great way to show that you possess this quality is through your employment history. Emphasize the length of time you’ve spent with previous organizations on your resume. Many people don’t realize how costly turnover is. In fact, the Society for Human Resource Management estimates that it can cost as much as 50% of an employee's annual salary to replace them. Workers older than 55 remain at the same organization THREE times longer than 25 to 34-year-olds. You certainly don’t have to include anything that reveals your age, but seeing history of longevity in the workplace is certainly not a bad thing. Besides, showing a sense of loyalty to an organization lets the employer know that you aren’t a liability in the long-run.
Self-Confidence Looks Great on You
Look at it this way: if you don’t believe in yourself, in your unique mix of skills, education, and abilities, why should a prospective employer? Be confident in yourself and what you can offer employers. Allow your age to work in your favor. Did you know that by 2019 29% of the population will be 55? Employers need older workers who can relate to their clientele. There’s a good possibility that there are younger candidates applying for the same position, but they may not have the experience. In fact, you should always remember that your work experience is actually an asset. The interview is no time to be modest. Be willing to share your work experiences and accomplishments with the employer.
Learning Is Thriving
If you remember nothing else, keep in mind that no matter how old you are, you should always be willing to learn a new skill or technique. Organizations are constantly changing and evolving, so it's wise to show an openness to grow and learn with that change. During the interview, go out of your way to show that you are open to new ideas and practices. Acquiring a new job is a great way to push your personal limits.
More importantly, keep in mind that everyone brings a unique set of skills and experience to the workplace. As a seasoned employee, younger coworkers could benefit from your knowledge and experience, but there is still plenty for you to learn from your younger counterparts as well.
You can find a new job, and we're here to help!
Explore Easterseals Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) for additional employment resources.