Job hunting proves tougher for older workers
By Gordon Powers, Sympatico / MSN Finance
Retired folks are rushing back to the workforce, either because of the current economic crisis or a simple desire to reconnect with the world. Some retirees really need the money while others are simply looking for ways to pursue passions long denied them.
Employers often say they value older workers’ experience, maturity, and strong work ethic, but many worry about higher salaries and benefit costs, combined with potentially declining abilities or out-of-date skills.
All of which makes for a tough sell, says Sarah Welstead, founder of Retired Worker, a service for retired people looking for part-time work. Her suggestion? First off, remember that it’s a resume, not a memoir.
Older job seekers often have decades of work experience behind them, and that can be hard to whittle things down. If you're looking to work at the local garden centre, detailed information about your long-ago bookkeeping gig isn’t particularly relevant, she says. Don't let it take up more than a line or two.
Emphasize capabilities, not experience, says Robert Skladany of RetirementJobs. Most workers have learned to equate experience to depth and strength of capabilities – don’t be one of them. The duration of your experience isn't the issue, he maintains. Focus instead on the capabilities acquired during your work life.
And if your interviewing technique is rusty, Arthur Koff, founder of RetiredBrains, suggests you first apply for a job you're not interested in. That way, you won’t find yourself stumbling around for answers when you're prepping for the position you really do want.