For the silver-haired in Britain this is shaping up to be something of a golden age, where employers are more likely than ever to welcome older employees back into the workforce.
Recent statistics show that the number of over-65s currently employed in the UK is now over a million for the first time in history. It may be a little intimidating to go for that interview but remember you have lots to offer.
British businesses are increasingly turning towards older workers, with businesses in industries from manufacturing to healthcare realizing how much older workers have to offer, including:
- A more flexible approach to working hours;
- A wealth of experience and training behind them;
- Increased company loyalty over their younger counterparts;
- More developed social skills and ease in communication;
- A more grounded and less self-centered approach to their work.
Focus on ExperienceOlder workers may have had quite a varied career, or perhaps have been out of work for some time. When it comes to finding a job, it can be easy to let valuable skills and experience get lost in a long CV. Older workers looking for a job would do well to sit down and do a review of their career to date, and the range of experience they’ve gained from it. From excellent customer service to a management position or taking on a range of responsibilities, older workers often have a fantastic range of skills and experience to back up their applications. The important thing is to examine and create a clear list of those skills in order to put them across in a CV and talk about them eloquently during an interview.
Get NetworkingNetworking is a key part of any job-hunting strategy, and that’s no less true for the older generation. Networking can include talking to friends and family, and getting back in touch with previous colleagues or bosses with whom they had a good rapport. Many jobs are found through word of mouth. Older employees can also increase their chances of finding a job by embracing social media. With the 55 – 64 age bracket becoming the fastest growing demographic on Twitter, it’s clear that older people today are much more connected than ever before. Job seekers can take advantage of social networks by creating professional, informative profiles and using them to start conversations with employers.
Update SkillsA willingness to keep skills up to date and embrace learning new things will stand an older employee in good stead with potential employers. There’s a common misconception that older workers are harder to teach. Senior job seekers can lay that rumor to rest by showing their commitment to keeping their skills fresh. Simply making it clear to a potential employer that they are interested in further training can go a long way. Voluntarily going on training courses can help too – even taking up a new hobby shows an appreciation for learning new things. Older job hunters might consider voluntary work to show that they’re still active and enjoy taking on new responsibilities.
Embrace a New LookWhen it comes to job hunting, appearances matter. A smart, professional appearance that is in sync with the culture of the potential new company can go a long way to showing employers that a job hunter is professional and will fit in well in the workforce. For older people, it’s important to ditch an old fashioned look in favor of something a little more modern. There’s no need for an extreme makeover, but a modern, presentable interview outfit and neat appearance will speak volumes. First impressions matter in job hunting, so whether it’s time for an interview or simply an on-spec visit to ask about job openings, a tidy up to date appearance is vital.
Craft a Great CVAn excellent cover letter is one of the most important tools in a job-seeker’s arsenal. A CV is often an employer’s first introduction to a potential employee, so taking the time to get it right is important. For older workers, squeezing all their experience into one CV can be a challenge. With careful organization and a clear focus on the experiences and skills they bring to the table, older workers can present a succinct and coherent CV that shows their experience off to its best advantage. For those who want or need to keep working rather than retire, now is a good time to start networking and filling out those applications. Employers are more open than ever to the benefits of hiring older workers, which is good news for older generations who want to show how much they still have to offer.
Author Bio: Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on subjects as diverse as health, marketing, Reputation.com, and SEO.