Older Americans are increasingly finding themselves in the job search process. They may have lost their job to downsizing or reorganization, or they may have retired early but want a supplementary income. However, the current job market is tough on older Americans. If you are over age 50 and looking for a job, be prepared for a tough road. There are, however, some key things to remember as you embark on the process.


Your connections and your experience are all important. You should be networking throughout your career. If you have not been keeping up, now is the time to get out and meet with others. Take your ex co-workers to lunch, meet with peers and former bosses, and join other job searchers either online or in-person. You must let people know you are available for work and you are able to contribute. Hiding at home and searching online job sites is not the path towards your new job. You must create synergy.


You must always be ready to talk about your skills and about how you can contribute to a company’s success. You should be able to describe your skills and experiences to someone in a succinct manner. Practice talking about yourself. Be prepared when your new acquaintance asks, “What can you do for me?”


Know who in your geographical area is working in your field. Research those companies. Make sure you are researching and contacting those companies that fit your skill sets and interests. Find out who manages the key departments and ask for an informational meeting. Learn more about the company. Use LinkedIn and other Internet social networking sites to learn about the company. The days of recruitment for a dream job are likely over. You have to be proactive in identifying both old and new business in your field, and in contacting them to introduce yourself and to learn more about what they do.


As you meet with companies and start to land interviews, do more research. Learn all you can about the companies and the landscape of their business. Be prepared for the standard interview questions, but also be proactive in bringing your own insights to the process. You are experienced and it must show. You have only one chance for your first impression.


As mentioned above, your first impression is important. Be sure to be well-groomed and confident. You are a professional and you are competing for a job. You must make yourself stand out.

Source: U.S. News and World Report