Finding a new job can be tough at any age, but the over-50 crowd faces unique challenges in getting hired. Older applicants must compete with tech-savvy Millennials who often come at a cheaper price, and although age discrimination of job applicants is technically illegal, some hiring managers may still question whether an older worker's skills are sharp and if he or she can relate to younger workers. Of course, it is possible to land a great position after age 50 if you show that you're the best person for the job. If you're insecure about your age, keep in mind that older workers can offer employers many advantages.
"Older workers have experience and business and political savvy—they've seen a lot and know how organizations function," says career coach Susan Peppercorn, CEO of Positive Workplace Partners. "They also want to give back and mentor junior people, and they want to contribute to something larger than themselves."
If it's been a while since you were actively job searching, you'll likely find that certain aspects of the application and interview process have changed quite a bit. Not to worry: with help from career experts, we've compiled a list of 10 essential job-searching tips specifically for applicants over age 50. Read on for the details.
Tap Into Your Network
One huge benefit of having been in the workforce for many years is the network of contacts you've amassed. Don't be shy about reaching out to your contacts and letting them know that you're on the job hunt.
"The more experience you have, the bigger your network should be, and that will be a big asset in your job search," says Adam Ochstein, founder and CEO of StratEx, a human resources technology and consulting firm. "Make it known that you are looking for a new job to as many people as possible. Companies like referrals and it's easier to get an 'in' with a company from a referral."