Beat the age bias; land the interview.
Let's face it: Securing a job interview when you're over 50 is often easier said than done. Recent research published in the Cambridge Network reveals the realities of landing a new role in later life. The results of the study found that older applicants are three times less likely to be selected for interviews than their younger counterparts. Age discrimination is a real issue and one which needs to be tackled.
While things are moving along and MPs are now calling for the government to more strongly enforce age discrimination law in the UK, the job-seeking landscape won't change overnight. Thankfully, there are some quick tips you can try which may help improve your chances of getting a job interview despite the ageism. Here's what you need to know.
Expand your job-search options
Job searching can feel like a colossal task when you first start out. So, where do you tend to look for new roles? You might check the newspapers, local directories and some of the leading career sites. However, to secure a job interview when you're over 50 and increase your chances of beating discrimination, you have to cast your net far and wide. With that in mind, you ought to research the various job-search options that are available to you.
If you already know about the main job sites – Indeed, Monster and Reed – it's worth looking at what else is out there. There are actually specific sites dedicated to certain careers. In order to find the right role, you may need to start checking niche sites like these. For example, if you're a chef looking for your next gig, you could try a site like Chef Jobs UK. Simply look for a job-advert-listing site that caters specifically to your industry.
Modernise your skill set
When was the last time you sharpened your skill set? The modern working world changes rapidly, which means that older applicants have to work hard to keep up. While you're hunting for your next role, it could be a smart move to gain some additional qualifications. For instance, you may want to improve your computer literacy skills, learn about the world of SEO content writing or find out more about social media marketing.
Adding these talents to your already-broad skill set could well put you ahead of the pack. Plus, taking the time to invest in yourself and your continued education will show potential employers that you are serious about advancing your career. This small addition to your CV could be the difference when it comes to beating the bias and securing a job interview when you're over 50. Simple.
Clean up your social media presence
You might think that your social media presence and job search have nothing to do with one another. However, nothing could be further from the truth. These profiles are representations of who you are both personally and professionally.
93 per cent of recruiters now use social networking sites when hiring, according to research from Cardiff Metropolitan University. That means that what you convey to the world via these platforms could matter more than ever before. Taking a little time to consider what message your current profiles and posts send out is important. Getting rid of political and opinionated posts could be a smart place to start, or adjusting your security settings to have control over what you do keep private.
Utilise your professional network
The best jobs aren't always advertised. Experts estimate that a massive 70 per cent of new job openings are not posted anywhere. Instead, the team fills these vacancies through networking and pre-existing connections. Here is where you can use your age and maturity to your advantage. You will have had more time in the workforce, which means that you have had a longer period in which to build a sturdy list of contacts.
Securing a job interview when you're over 50 could be as simple as picking up the phone. Reaching out to your expansive professional network to let them know you're on the market could make all the difference. Your contacts may be aware of roles that have yet to be advertised, which could give you a major advantage when it comes to getting a foot in the door. Start communicating with other professionals today and see where it takes you.
Look at temporary positions too
While you may be in the market for a permanent, full-time position, it can't hurt to look at temporary roles too. The fact of the matter is that recruiters may be more willing to look at a diverse range of candidates when it comes to a shorter-term position. The stakes are lower for these positions, which could mean that you're in with a better chance.
When you've landed the contract role, you could work hard and show your managers that you offer a high level of value to the business. Doing so could help turn it into a permanent situation. Broadening your job search and looking at a wider range of opportunities is always a positive step. Why not consider 'temp' roles or sign up with a local agency?
Revamp your current CV
Have you looked into age-proofing your CV? Since some recruiters may unconsciously discriminate against older workers, this tip could be one of the most effective ideas yet. Shortening your document, ridding it of older dates and tailoring it to the job at hand could help you to get to the next stage. The point is to accentuate your best attributes and show the hiring manager why you could be the right person for the role. If you haven't taken care of this all-important task yet, there's no time like the present to get started.
Is your CV poised to secure you the interview? A free critique from TopCV will let you know. Submit yours to find out if your CV is working for you ‒ or against you.