Waiting to be noticed by the job market?
Many employers are now recognising the benefit of the older worker - experienced, reliable, adaptable, loyal, consistent and often an untapped source of talent. However trying to find work when you are 45 years or older can be a struggle, so we have compiled a list of tips and advice to help you.
Older, wiser and more experienced:
1. Workplaces need you – NZ has a skills shortage & employers are looking for candidates with experience and a great work ethic!
2. Your attitude, enthusiasm and demeanour will go a long way. Be confident and genuine -if you think you can do the role, go ahead and apply!
3. You can also bring much more than just your experience to an employer – for instance, as a mentor to help others do better in certain roles or jobs they find challenging.
4. Employers generally find that older workers are loyal, dependable and responsible. Highlight these traits and show that this is, indeed, what they can expect from you.
5. In an interview, a positive attitude and energy will go a long way. Be proud of what you can do and what you can offer.
Skills, learning and training:
6. Lifelong learning is an important habit to have – talk about the skills you have but also mention the things you’ve learned, especially recent ones.
7. Learn how to write a CV - this may sound difficult, but there are plenty of resources available to help. Present your experience that is relevant and describe your transferrable skills. Read our blog on CV writing here.
8. Sometimes, it’s not about having all the latest skills. Your experience gives you softer skills that younger candidates may lack. Demonstrate your ability to relate to people, diffuse tricky customers or situations and be part of a team – which all highlight that you would be a good fit for any company!
9. Technology plays an increasing role in all organisations but don’t be discouraged by this. New technology is new to everyone!
10. Develop an interest in technology. It doesn’t have to be intimidating. Ask family or friends for help and guidance. There are also vast amounts of information online and most reviews and YouTube videos are easy to understand and step by step. Understanding technology will give you confidence both during an interview and once you are in a new role. Read our blog on Technology here.
11. Create and maintain social media accounts – Facebook and LinkedIn can both be useful to create networks and search for job opportunities. It is also a great way to stay connected to friends, family and previous colleagues.
12. Evaluate yourself by assessing your experience and skills. It’s always a good idea to get other people’s opinions on your abilities, strengths and what you can offer an employer. Consider talking to a trusted friend or even a career coach to get some support.
13. How you present for an interview is very important. You want to look professional, tidy and “modern” because what you wear says a lot about you. But this doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot. Read our blog on Interview Prep here.
14. Never stop learning! If you have been unemployed for a while, complete some technical courses online. Improving your IT skills, Microsoft Word & Excel, Outlook and other common software programs all show your willingness to upskill.
Think outside the square:
15. Keep your options open for opportunities that may be different from what you’ve done previously. A new Industry may provide a refreshing challenge.
16. You may have worked for one company in the past but would consider working part-time (or contracting) for a range of employers. Especially if you have skills that are unique but often required only on a project basis.
17. If financially you can afford to work part-time, you may find you want to help out in the community and volunteer for a charity.
18. Look for work that motivates you - when you are provided with the opportunity to show your skills and contribute in a meaningful way it can be very inspiring.
19. Consider the benefits of roles that offer flexibility – like working from home. This will allow you time to pursue other hobbies and interests and avoid the commute through traffic.
How about benefits?
20. Make sure you are paid fairly for the work you do. Your pay level should compare well with people who are younger – pay is not about age but is it about experience, skill, responsibility and the job being done.
21. Just like any other role you’ve ever had, plan to take holidays to re-charge and relax.
22. Consider the other benefits on offer besides pay. Do they offer extended leave, health insurance, free parking, compressed work weeks, flexible hours, work from home, staff discounts – all of these things add up!
A few other useful hints and tips:
23. Be patient while looking for a job – there is evidence that it takes longer for people over the age of 45 to secure a job, especially if you have been self-employed or made redundant.
24. Don’t be afraid to use your connections - opportunities often come from old colleagues and friends so use your personal network. Always continue growing your network.
25. Don't be disheartened by rejection – there are always more jobs and opportunities out there. Never give up and when you are successful, celebrate!
Register with Wise Ones to search for opportunities and create job alerts. Wise Ones is the only job board dedicated to candidates 45 years and above, with proven experience. The employers featured on our site offer inclusive organisations and are aiming to attract, support and retain older workers. Wise Ones has a variety of roles across NZ: including full time, part time, contract and volunteer opportunities.