Job Search Q and A for Older Job Seekers

Here’s a short Q and A with some of the questions we hear the most often from older job seekers and baby boomer candidates.

Question 1: The 10-Page Resume

“How can I fit my entire long work history into a one page document? Do I really need to do this?”

Answer

You can continue onto two pages if you need to, but consider this a test of your ability to communicate in a clear, concise way. Capture your most important points and use your strong reporting skills to summarize and condense your message. The task may not be as difficult as you think—visit MyPerfectResume for templates that can help.

Question 2: Not Quite Ready

“Everywhere I look, potential employers and even my own friends and family try to tell me I should give up and stop looking for work. I’m 59, but I’m just not ready—emotionally or financially—to start ‘enjoying my golden years.’ Any advice?”

Answer

If you want a job, you’ll find a job. Be patient and persistent and tune out the naysayers. In the meantime, make sure your resume is flawless. And make sure you’re targeting your search to include only the most desirable and realistic options. Don’t waste your time chasing the wrong opportunities.

Question 3: It’s All About Tech

“Are programming skills the only thing employers value in the corporate world right now? I see a lot of job posts asking for programming experience and network management experience. But what about leadership? I’ve spent 20 years managing a team of accountants, but I guess it doesn’t amount to much if I can’t also manage the company’s IT network. Am I the only one who feels this way?”

Answer

No, you’re not. It’s common right now for some employers to ask for a certain type of professional (a phlebotomist, an accountant, an educator, etc.) and somehow expect that person to have a dual background in computer science or IT systems management. Don’t worry about this trend. Every applicant feels this way. Focus on the real skills and experience you have to offer. In the meantime, consider taking a course in a high-demand tech skill like Advanced Photoshop, HTML, or WordPress.

Question 4: Shift of Focus

“All the resume and job search advice I see on the internet seems to be focused on college kids, new grads, and entry-level candidates. Is there a resource or blog for higher-level applicants and older workers like me?”

Answer

There are plenty of them. But if you really need focused advice that fits your situation, reach out to a professional career counselor. This won’t cost much, and an experienced professional can provide you with insights you won’t get from a generic source.

Question 5: Stereotyping

“Everywhere I look, people—including otherwise intelligent employers and contacts—seem to think that because I’m in my 60’s, I must not know how to use a computer or send a text message. So in addition to the challenges of the job search, I’m working uphill against all these nonsense stereotypes. Help!”

Answer

Unfortunately, working uphill against nonsense stereotypes is a daily part of the job search for about 89 percent of the population. We all come to the search with different levels of cultural and social privilege and we all have to do the best we can with what we have. Stay determined—and don’t waste your respect on anyone who can’t show the same respect to you.

Invest in Your Resume

Job seekers of any age can turn to the resources on MyPerfectResume for templates, tools, and industry-specific guidelines that can help them land a great position and leave the job search behind.