Years ago I interviewed for a job in my field - journalism. The paper was well known in the region. It would be a step up in the reporting hierarchy. I was thrilled to get an interview.
When I got there, my nerves were on high alert. Eight people interviewed me, firing questions at me almost nonstop for a couple of hours. It was draining.
I took a writing test.
And they made me an offer on the spot.
But something just didn't feel right. An offer? So fast? What was going on?
I asked for a day to consider it, went home, and called a friend who worked there. She warned me away. It was a toxic work environment, she said. People were leaving almost weekly.
I turned the job down. I was so glad I called her!
You can do the same thing. Do not take a job just because it's offered. Do your due diligence. Make friends with employees. Ask them about the company and the role. Read about the employer. Trust your gut!
They are shopping for you - but you are also shopping for them!
Need a pep talk about your search? Email me at email@example.com.
You need a job.
You’ve got lots of experience. You’ve been in your field for over 25 years.
But on the other hand, you’ve got lots of experience and have been in your field for over 25 years.
These young HR interviewers will take one look at you and see only one thing: AN OLD PERSON.
This is what a lot of mid- and late-career job searchers feel when they embark on a job hunt after working for a while. They’ve been told that middle-aged workers will not be hired.
I’m here to tell you that despite what you may hear from your friends in the workplace, and what you might read online, YOU ARE HIREABLE. Now let me tell you why:
Reason No. 1: You understand what it means to have a job and be part of a larger organization.
You’ve been doing this for a while. You have the wisdom to work through problems and set priorities. You have learned many things on the job, and you’re still learning.
Reason No. 2: You are a professional. You have proven you have a solid work ethic. You are loyal to your team and your employer. You respect the organization, and you think twice before calling off sick. In fact, you’re in better shape than younger colleagues, because you know how to balance your life better. You get enough sleep. You know the importance of health.
Reason No. 3: You are more settled in your life. Studies have shown that older workers actually have fewer crises and miss less work. Their children are grown. Their parents may also be gone, so they aren’t taking care of anyone but themselves.
Reason No. 4: You are not a newbie. You know how to learn. You already have a considerable number of “wins” to prove that you have skills that can help your new employer.
So how do you show an employer that all of this is true?
Well, for starters, brush off your attitude. Trust me, it will show when you go into that interview! Come to terms with any grudges or bitterness you’ve collected. Let it go!
Then, update your look. Get some newer business clothes. Ask a personal shopper to help, or a trusted friend. Look online and see what people are wearing. Get a fresh haircut. Maybe some fresh color. Women: You might hate this, but freshen your makeup look. I know it's a double standard. But it's also THE standard in an office setting.
Get on social media. Opinions aside, you need to be there. It shows you can work with technology. At minimum, get a LinkedIn profile. Look around and see what others are doing with theirs. It should talk about your accomplishments with your past positions and contain a modern, fresh statement about your value.
Get help if you need it. Recruiters and employers will look to see if you have one. They will read it. They will share it.
And get a fresh, professional photo! Show yourself to best advantage. Photos are essential. Employers are known to pass you right by if your profile doesn’t have a photo.
When you get into the interview, be ready to answer the objections that might arise. Here is how to respond to just a few:
"You seem a bit overqualified."
“I know it might appear that way, but actually, I’m already experienced at solving some of the challenges of this position.” Give an example. It’s really a bargain for them. They will save a lot of training dollars.
"Do you know how to use social media?"
I actually use my LinkedIn almost daily to find out trends in the market and share ideas. And I’ve got about 500 Facebook friends. In fact, just last week, I connected with someone from this great organization…” etc.
"How do you feel about working for someone younger?"
“I’ve worked for many different bosses, of all ages. I enjoy all kinds of people and find great value in their insights.”
Remember, there are only two reasons that an employer will hire you: To make money. Or To save money. Come prepared to talk about how you’ve done these things and you will overcome many objections. You have a great advantage here! A recent graduate cannot say this. Neither can someone who has been working only a short time. You could write a book on the greatness you’ve imparted upon the broken world.
Feel better now?
You are not old. You are experienced. You offer great value. You have a great work ethic. You have the time to devote to the job. You are loyal. You have accomplished a lot. And here’s one more validating fact: A survey by Addecco revealed that employers overwhelmingly prefer to hire people who are middle-aged, because they know their professions well.
If you’d like to learn more about how overcome ageism and get hired, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Getting downsized is a shock to the system. Even if you knew the news was coming, it can throw you into a tailspin. Looking for a new job is not super-comfortable, either. It requires research, connections with people you may not have talked to recently, and the finesse to present yourself as The Standout Solution to an employer’s problems.
It takes quite a bit of work.
That’s why it is important to ease into your search with a few steps that can cushion your reentry into the fray.
I was just talking with a client about her job search. She worked for her company for about eight years, and everything seemed to be going perfectly. She had been promoted once, and her reviews were good.
And then the axe fell: She got called into the conference room and told her position was being eliminated. Profits were down. Business just wasn’t as good anymore.
For a week or so, she was in shock. She has a teenaged daughter. What would happen to them?
Fortunately, she contacted me, and we are working on her plan. But I offer this story as a cautionary tale. In today’s climate, you never know when you will find yourself unemployed. You may have great credentials and you may even have helped the company earn money. But you can’t take that job for granted.
This is why you must always be prepared so that you if you lose your job, you can hit the ground running.
Here is a checklist you can implement immediately:
Call me at 614-746-4587 for a free assessment, and let’s see what you need to be prepared.
“Just write me a general résumé.”
I get this request frequently. There’s a feeling that having one great document can you get you into many doors.
It used to be somewhat true.
But it’s not anymore.
These days, employers are sophisticated. They want to know they are hiring the exact right person, so they don’t waste a lot of capital on rehiring. Large companies (and some smaller ones) employ computer methods to screen the candidates. It’s much harder to stand out.
Employers also are wary of being contacted, often don’t provide phone numbers, and well, they generally don’t make life very easy for job seekers who just want to find out more about the position and make themselves known.
It is these circumstances that create a complicated situation. It’s also why trying to correct for all of these situations is stress-inducing – and may require professional assistance.
Today’s effective résumé does these main things:
One size does not fit all. You need documents that are optimized to address each employer you are contacting. It is not an easy task. But I can help.
That's why I do this work. I want you to succeed.
Talk to me about your résumé challenges. Contact me at email@example.com. You may also call me at 614-746-4587. The conversation is free. Your career is gold.
A job search can create panic.
Many job seekers whip up a résumé and start slinging it into the portals of any job that looks suitable. They spend days and weeks doing this.
Not much happens.
And besides wasted time, they may also have burned a few opportunities. This is because the unsuitable résumé is now in the applicant tracking systems of those companies. Going back and applying again, with a better document may not be possible now. And even if it is, it may create confusion.
One of my clients decided on a different approach. He would carefully examine each opportunity and vet it. Was it truly a company he wanted to work for? Was this really a job that looked interesting?
He took some time to research the company. He worked with me to do some résumé tweaks so that what he offered matched what the company needed.
He then took two extra steps:
1. He reached out to connect with a recruiter for that company, to let her know that he was applying for the position online.
2. He did some research to find out who the hiring manager was, so he could write a brief, targeted letter to submit as well.
The recruiter asked for his materials. He provided them. Then he hopped online to complete the application.
Guess what happened? In less than one hour, he had an initial interview scheduled.
He could have spent all that time submitting a blind application, or perhaps two or three of them. But instead, he decided to be more deliberate. After all, he’s a professional! He knows his field. He wants to make sure his next job is the right fit, for him and the employer.
Need some guidance for your job search? Contact me now. A job search is about more than a résumé.