I heard a statistic last week that was both surprising and disturbing.

The average amount of time that it takes for someone over 55 to find a job in Australia is 75 weeks.

Wow!

In our career development business, Karen and I come across a lot of older job seekers, many who are frustrated and at their wit’s end with their attempts to land a job.

Here are the top tips that I share with them to bring that average of 75 weeks down to something more acceptable:

Don’t put your date of birth on your resume – You may be older than the average candidate, but you don’t need to tell recruiters.  In reality, no job hunter should have their date of birth on their resume, but this is especially important if you’re over 50.

Don’t mention every job you’ve ever had - There are three main reasons for this:

  • It can make your resume too long.  It shouldn’t be more than three pages in length.
  • Roles from the early part of your career may no longer be relevant or even be in existence.
  • Recruiters can use this information to work out your age through simple arithmetic.  If you’re not going to put in your date of birth, don’t make it easy for them to work it out themselves.

Be enthusiastic and energetic – One of the false impressions of older job seekers is that they don’t have the energy to do a great job.  Create a great and lasting impression by maintaining a positive attitude and enthusiastic demeanour in every interaction during your job hunting process.

Don’t be afraid of technology – If you’re unfamiliar and lacking in confidence with the use of computers, you significantly diminish your job opportunities.  Most jobs are advertised online and it goes without saying that many jobs require you to use computers on a regular basis.  There are also a lot of helpful networking opportunities online, like LinkedIn, that can help your job seeking efforts.

It’s never too late to learn and there are a lot of courses that can help you to feel more comfortable using computers.  If you’re lucky enough to have grandchildren, why not get them to show you a few things.  Technology is intuitive to younger generations and they often love to share their knowledge.

Don’t assume that your age is a negative - I understand that some employers are prejudiced against older candidates.  It’s wrong, I don’t like it, but it’s reality.

However, I am also very aware that not everyone feels that way.

There are some recruiters who prize more experienced candidates and may truly value your attributes, so don’t feel that you’re a second-class job-hunter because you’re older.

Never give up – When you’ve been rejected on multiple occasions, it can be easy to lose confidence and apply for fewer jobs.  Don’t let it get to you.

Remember, the only guarantee in job hunting is that if you don’t apply for a job, you won’t get it.

If you’re a job seeker who is over 50, I hope that these tips are helpful.

And if you’re an employer, please don’t discount those who have more experience and wisdom than the average job hunter.

Do you have any other tips that you would like to share?

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