Over 50? 4 Things You Must Do To Get A Job

Address employers' biggest concerns and you'll have a fighting chance.

Over 50 worker looking thoughtful Ageism grips many in the job hunt. No one doubts it can be more difficult for more experienced workers to land new opportunities and you feel stuck in a job search rut. Some overlook your application because you are deemed "overqualified," and others discriminate because they believe older workers will demand too much money. Still others worry that you are not technologically savvy and many employers are concerned workers over 50 are not flexible enough to keep up with their quickly changing priorities.

The best way to get a job when you're over 50 is to address and overcome all of these concerns in the job search and application process. If you are concerned your age may be preventing you from landing a job take the following steps to stay relevant in a fast-changing workforce:

1. Apply for Appropriate Jobs
When you apply for jobs you are clearly overqualified for, you encourage employers to wonder how long you will be willing to stay in the position before bolting for something better. They don't consider you relevant for these positions, even if you would be thrilled to take the job. If you want to be considered for positions, apply for jobs you're not overqualified to do.

Consider shifting your focus to a new industry if your field is not hiring, but do not send hundreds of resumes for entry-level positions if you have 20 years of experience if you want to hear back.
2. Be Upfront About Salary Needs
In order to successfully stay relevant regarding strategy, you need to stay in-the-know about expected salaries for the positions that interest you. Research sites such as Glassdoor.com and Salary.com and talk to people in your field to assess target salaries for each organization where you'd like to work. Most applications will ask for target salary, and if you can comfortably answer with a relevant range, it may help hiring managers feel more comfortable calling you for an interview with the understanding that they could afford your asking price.

3. Demonstrate You Understand and Use Technology
If you think LinkedIn is the latest video game craze and you've stayed off of social media because it's "not for people like you," you may as well be holding up a sign that says "too old for today's workplace." Embrace technology, get a Smartphone and learn how to use social media tools to get a job. Employers are turning in greater numbers to social media because they are finding better candidates there and the technology saves them time and money.

Think of these tools as an extension of your in-person networking activities and as an opportunity to grow the number of people who know, like and trust you enough to refer you to speak to someone they know for an information meeting or a job.

4. Be Flexible
A stereotype about older workers is that they are more likely to want to do things how they've always done them in the past and may not be open to change. One way to overcome this stereotype is to incorporate and highlight problem solving, creativity and ability to learn new skills in your application materials. Describe your recent accomplishments and how you used current techniques and approaches to overcome obstacles. Incorporate keywords in your application materials to indicate you are up-to-date on the latest thinking in your field.

If you are having trouble fulfilling this suggestion, it may be time to take a class to help you pick up the newest information you need to know. An added benefit: when you engage in continuing education related to your field, you demonstrate your interest in learning new things, which will help you overcome stereotypes and help you land a job faster.

More from Miriam Salpeter
10 Reasons You Aren't Getting the Job
Remarkably Easy Ways to Expand Your Network
Things You Should Never Say in a Job Interview

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Ken Kelley

Over 50 and looking for a job. Come to the conclusion I will find a job in about a year making considerably less money. Being overqualified is another word for too old. Many employers will look and talk to you but dollar for dollar your work expectancy is less of a return on investment than the younger workers.

November 25 2014 at 2:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Al Tinsley

Funny, Nobody knows about this article so nobody comments on it except for 2 people besides myself. I guess AOL is a nobody job site.

May 12 2014 at 3:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Al Tinsley

How do you find a job without a social network or if your social network is limited by the amount of friends or previous coworkers you've maintain contact with. Or even worse, you moved to a new area and don't really know anyone in the new location and the area you are in is less appropriate for your skill sets.

May 12 2014 at 3:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And overqualified is BULLSHIT!!!!!

It's just safe for them to say that so you can't sue their asses for age discrimination.

August 28 2013 at 9:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Over 50? Employers want you to have a facelift, hairplugs, tummytuck, and buttlift.

If they see a wrinkle, gray hair, or hear you knees groan...you're outta here!

August 28 2013 at 9:40 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Brenda Hickman

thank you.,but I don't like being bullied

August 26 2013 at 7:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brenda Hickman

I need'ed to read,this. I have been looking for work, I get called right back for an interview,but,when I looked,the man in the eye's I could see. OH good golly;she's old!!, when you are young,it's you have not enough ,miles,on you. Then when you get miles,and then some,"you got much".

August 26 2013 at 7:44 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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