Common Job Hunt Mistakes Seniors Make

Common Job Hunt Mistakes Seniors Make

If you’re past traditional retirement age but unwilling to give up the 9-to-5, you’re not alone. According to a study from Merrill Lynch and Age Wave, 72 percent of pre-retirees over the age of 50 say their “ideal retirement” picture will include a job. Forty-seven percent of current retirees have worked or plan to seek employment during their golden years.

Interestingly, the study also found that 52 percent of working seniors took a break between their pre-retirement job and post-retirement work. These sabbaticals averaged 2.5 years, and usually required the retiree to conduct a new job search—a process often fraught with mistakes no matter one’s age. Consider the following errors common among those over the age of 50—and how to avoid making them.

Losing connections – You held a career for multiple decades and now you want to relax for a while. No one says you can’t, but if you intend to seek part or full time work after some time off, you’ll want to stay visible and connected in your industry while you do so. Keep in touch with former colleagues and use social media to build new relationships. You might even want to take on a little consulting work; it could lead to a new job when you’re ready.

Avoiding the Internet – These days you need an online presence if you want to land almost any job. While this doesn’t mean you have to spend all your free time writing Facebook posts or Tweets about your day, a LinkedIn profile is a valuable job search tool every senior should have. In fact, in one survey, 94 percent of the HR professionals questioned said LinkedIn was their number one source for recruiting candidates.

Writing a book instead of a resume – In most professions, a resume more than one page in length is going to overwhelm (or worse, turn off) the people doing the hiring. Experts have said that recruiters spend only 20 to 30 seconds scanning the resumes they receive, so limit yourself to the last ten years, make ample use of bullet points, and use data-based examples (such as “lowered department overhead 45 percent”) to illustrate your accomplishments.

Using an old email account – If you’re still sending out resumes from an AOL or Yahoo email address, potential employers are going to assume you’re behind the times. Create a new account using Gmail or Outlook. You can name it whatever you want as long as it’s not already taken—just keep it professional. To get you started, consider an email address that contains your name and profession, such as “robertwhitesales” for example.

Being a salary stickler – Sure, it might feel insulting to be offered less than you were making before you retired, but there are negotiating tactics you can use to beef up your compensation without demanding a specific dollar amount. For example, ask for the work schedule you want, flex time, more personal days and other benefits that will enable you to continue enjoying more of your retirement after going back to work.

 

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