Seeking a job after 50

August 14, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Seeking a job after 50? Learn how to turn your age into an advantage.

TIPS: IT'S NOT HOW OLD YOU ARE, IT'S HOW YOU PREPARE!

1) It's all in the attitude:

  • Be ready to interview with a range of generations: baby boomers, Gen X's, and Gen Y's.
  • Stress your relevance to the needs of the organization and the interviewer without intimidating him or her, or acting overqualified for the position by virtue of your age.
  • Express your enthusiasm for the position and the organization

2) Show you have a youthful outlook:

  • Keep up on any technology required for the job
  • Use technology tools for the job search (Linked In, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) as these are currently reviewed by potential employers
  • Personal appearance: Dress in a modern, attractive style that conveys a youthful outlook while remaining age appropriate.
  • Show energy: Use good posture, give a firm handshake, smile and respond to questions with confidence

3) Go with your strengths-there are numerous advantages to being an older job seeker:

  • You have market knowledge gained over years of experience
  • You have an extensive network developed over a lifetime career
  • You are flexible and can come in as a full time employee or as a consultant
  • You are not necessarily aggressively climbing the corporate ladder so you won't pose a threat
  • You have the knowledge and ability to mentor younger workers

4) Know and be able to articulate your skills:

  • Knowledge based, technical skills-how can your background and specific technical skills benefit the organization?
  • Personal traits and skill sets-how does your personal style, work ethic, ability to get along with others, etc. create added value?
  • Transferable skills-how can the skills you've learned in previous positions help you achieve in the new organization?

5) Stress Accomplishments:

  • On your resume, when networking, and during the job interview-past performance is the best predictor of future performance.
  • Use well thought out examples to describe how you use your skill set to best advantage, prove what you claim about yourself, and highlight your contributions.
  • People remember stories and your accomplishments will distinguish you from the competition.

6) Websites for older workers:

About Bill Torchiana:
Bill Torchiana co-founded Torchiana, Mastrov & Sapiro in 1980 as an executive search firm after holding senior-level Human Resources management roles at Hexcel Corporation and Litton Industries. The company is now the largest independently owned career management consulting firm in Northern California, serving more than 300 client organizations through offices in San Francisco, San Ramon and Silicon Valley.

Bill has personally assisted a large number of employees in all functional areas from industries including financial services, consumer products, biotechnology, legal, and management consulting. He is is particularly effective in providing insightful and positive feedback as he encourages and assists individuals in achieving desired outcomes.

Bill is a past president of the Northern California Human Resources Association and is a founding member of Career Partners International, the global leader in talent management consulting services, with more than 160 offices in over 20 countries. He earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Widener University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Drexel University in Philadelphia.

About Eilieen Williams:
M. Eileen Williams, MA, NCC has appeared three times on View From the Bay. She has over twenty years combined experience as a career and life transition counselor, workshop facilitator, university instructor, and writer. As a Nationally Board Certified Counselor with a Master's Degree in Career Development, she specializes in working with individuals facing career and life planning issues. Over her career, she's helped hundreds of midlife women and men deal with concerns that surface during this life stage, and assisted them to make informed, successful, and rewarding life choices.

Eileen has the Google #1 ranking "Baby Boomer Women Blog," Feisty Side of Fifty and a top rated radio show "Feisty Side of Fifty Radio" where she's interviewed celebrities including Mary Higgins Clark (the "Queen of Suspense"), Suzanne Braun Levine (founding editor of Ms. Magazine), Dr. Pepper Schwarz (renowned relationship expert) Gigi Grazer (author and screenplay writer), Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor (author and speaker), and many others. She is also a contributing author to Chicken Soup for the Soul in Menopause.

With the recently released statistics that the jobless rate in California is the highest since 1941, many displaced workers are worried about finding new employment. Workers who are past the age of fifty are hit especially hard. Although unspoken and generally hidden, ageism remains a major factor in hiring. Age can be a drawback, but armed with the right attitude and information, older workers can turn their age and experience around to their advantage.

Bill Torchiana, founder of the Torchiana, Mastrov & Sapiro, Northern California's largest full-service, independent career-management consulting firm, and Eileen Williams, founder of the top-ranking blog, Feisty Side of Fifty, and radio show, Feisty Side of Fifty Radio, will present proven and effective methods older workers can use to make themselves attractive and appealing to potential employers-even in today's competitive market.


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