Job Searching Over 50

Job searching typically isn’t easy, regardless of how old you are. However, older Job applicants sometimes have to overcome barriers they did not face when they were younger. This may prolong the job search and might make it more difficult to get hired. However, there are strategies that older job applicants can implement to help find gainful, meaningful employment.

Understand the employer’s concerns.
If an employer is worried about a mature job applicant, they may be concerned that the job seeker will expect higher salary and benefits, be less flexible, be less likely to accept change, have less energy and focus, and may not know the latest knowledge and techniques in their field. These concerns are important to know when starting a job search so you can thoughtfully consider how to respond to questions surrounding these topics.

Avoid common resume mistakes.
Job applicants should avoid getting pre-screened out of interview opportunities. One way to do this is to age-proof and edit your resume. Limit your resume to two pages, and restrict your work history to the past 10 years. This way, it is more difficult for an employer to estimate your exact age, and you don’t seem overqualified.

Establish an online presence.
If you are lacking a digital presence, you may be missing out on one of the most effective ways to tap into your network and find job opportunities. Consider creating a LinkedIn profile as a means to expand your network, apply for jobs, and follow companies you want to work for.

Bring your “A” game to the interview.
Do your research and come prepared. Start a discussion about the latest trends and happenings in your industry. Mention publications, websites, blogs that you follow to stay on top of developments. And last, but not least, sharpen your interviewing skills when it is convenient for you; practice when you can using video interviewing technology such as InterviewStream and Quinncia. After using these tools, share your recorded interviews with others to gather feedback and insight into your interview responses and tendencies.

Job searching can be tough at any age, but when you are in a competitive field with many applicants, experienced applicants may need to be more tactful about catching the attention of recruiters. By following these strategies, you may increase your chances of landing an interview and a new role.

UMUC’s Office of Career Services is available to help you in every stage of your career. Contact Career Services at 240-684-2720 or, or visit CareerQuest.

Rhoda Smackum is a career services advisor at University of Maryland University College. She in an associate certified career coach and global career development facilitator. Her areas of expertise include career coaching, career transition, career exploration, working with special populations, job search strategizing, and supervision