How Older Workers Can Stay Ahead In The Job Market

How Older Workers Can Stay Ahead In The Job Market

The job market is improving overall, but it's still a tough row to hoe for 50-somethings. According to AARP, the length of the median job hunt for workers age 55 or older is nearly a year. If this is you, consider these tips:

Rethink your resume. Does it list every job you've ever had? Don't bother. You should include only the most recent ones (nothing from more than 15 years ago unless it's huge). Remember that employers care much more about what you can do for them now than what you did in the '80s.

Look for industries in which age is an asset. In the burgeoning health-care field, for example, "customers" (candidates for assisted living, say) might prefer dealing with people closer to their age. Financial services is another industry in which clients value maturity.


Connect in person and online. Old-fashioned networking is your strong suit. The older you are, the more contacts you have; use them. In addition, get active on LinkedIn and any other social media pertinent to your field. This not only shows that you are familiar and comfortable with new technology, it also gives you a venue to showcase your deep knowledge of your field. Remember that an ability to write clearly puts you ahead of many younger applicants, who are notorious for their deficiency in this area.