I’ve been working with some older job seekers this week. Some advice for those of you who think that your age may be getting in the way of you getting a job.
Don’t let your CV date you
Keep up to date with the latest thinking on what employers want to see in CVs both in terms of format and content. Use up to date industry terminology when describing what you did in your current and past roles.
Update your past and present job titles so that they are in line with current industry titles – (research job titles on any job listing website to get a feel for what the titles are). Has your qualification changed name or has your college / university changed name? Make sure you are using the most recent ones.
Personal details on Date of Birth, Marital Status, Health, Religion etc.. are not required and having them on a CV makes it look dated.
What can you do for them?
Focus on what you can bring to a company – don’t just list off your responsibilities for every job you have ever done- that makes for dull reading. Back up your accomplishments with facts and figures – money talks! It may be some time since you did a CV – don’t just describe what you do – sell yourself to the employer –what can you do for them?
What does your industry need?
Check to see what technologies employers in your field are looking for – again look through the job adverts to see what is appearing as essential to the posts you are interested in, or better still – speak to some people you know working in the industry and ask them.
If you are missing a qualification in a now essential area research how you are going to fill the gap. The qualifax website – www.qualifax.ie lists all further and higher education courses available in Ireland – part-time and full time and is a good place to start. Another useful website is www.bluebrick.ie which lists all of the courses available on a flexible learning basis. And a number of these courses are free if you are unemployed – look for the Springboard courses in the bluebrick website.
Get on LinkedIn
Having an up to date and active LinkedIn profile gives the impression that you are keeping up with the latest trends in networking and business development – and this is the impression you want to give! Get over any old school wariness of not wanting people to see your profile. Embrace this area of social networking – you can bet that just about every one of your target companies have a presence on it so start acting like them!
Put your LinkedIn url on your CV and on your email signature to give an impression of someone who is keeping up to date with new trends and technologies.
Maintain energy and enthusiasm – given the same experience and qualifications most employers would rather hire an enthusiastic mature candidate than a sullen younger one!