Old age. It’s a time to sit back, throw off your slippers and enjoy endless episodes of Countdown, mug of Horlicks and bag of Werther’s Originals by your side, right? Well, no, actually – not for many…
Whether it’s a necessity for income or simply a desire to carry on in a job they enjoy, more elderly people are in employment than ever before. It was recently revealed that the number of over-65s in work has passed the one million mark for the first time. Contrast that with the 479,000 back in 1992.
Regardless of the motive, what advice can we offer those seniors looking for work?
Network, network, network!
This actually applies to job seekers of all ages, be they 25 or 65. The old method of scanning the job advertisements in the local paper has gone, and job seekers are now adopting out-of-the-box ways of bagging that dream career. So discuss your situation with friends and family members, and ask that they keep their ears to the ground on potential opportunities.
If you don’t currently have a social media presence, hop on board! Using websites such as LinkedIn to obtain contacts and look for work is becoming more and more commonplace.
Get your CV up to scratch
That CV of yours may not have been changed in years, so it’s a good idea – a vital one, in fact – to get it updated by a professional CV writer.
Given that your employment history will likely be pretty extensive, it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to list each and every vacancy held in that time. Focus instead on the ones you consider to be of highest relevance, particularly to the type of job you are interested in.
Again, regardless of whether you’re younger or older, undertaking some unpaid voluntary work for a company or charity organisation can work wonders for your career chances. You acquire added experience and knowledge, display yourself as someone who isn’t afraid to get stuck in despite lack of financial incentive, and have something extra to add to your resume.
Job hunting technology training
It is an oft-held assumption that older people are uncomfortable with computers and modern technology. Regardless of whether that’s true or not (technophobes come in all ages, after all), with computers being a part of life (not to mention video interviewing growing in popularity), demonstrating adroitness here is a necessity to survive in the modern world. So it might be worthwhile to take part in computer- and Internet-related training courses to boost your tech skills.
Many employers are hostile to the idea, but taking on older workers boasts a number of benefits. A recent report by consultancy firm Talent Smoothie, in conjunction with HR Magazine, concluded that older workers could help the UK’s skills shortage, in which the number of future vacancies will greatly exceed the amount of college graduates looking for employment.
Older workers bring to the table comprehensive, life-earned experience, loyalty and knowledge. And as they don’t aspire to move up the ladder (a relief as far as their health and safety is concerned…), they won’t inhibit their younger colleagues from advancing their careers.
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. On the evidence of the advice we have set out in this blog, that clearly isn’t the case. Are you planning on using any of our tips?