6 Tips for Mature Age People Returning to the Workforce

How old is too old to be looking for a new job? This is a question many Australians are already asking themselves. With life expectancy at an all-time high, we now need to work much longer than we may have anticipated, simply to pay for our lifestyle. But for many people who have already retired, deciding you need to return to the workforce can be a difficult and overwhelming decision.

First and foremost, acknowledge it is normal to be feeling apprehensive. If you’re worried about people thinking you’re too old, focus on your expertise and previous career success and enlist the assistance of a professional Career Counsellor if you think it might help. Here’s our 6 top tips:

TIP # 1 – Give yourself credit: by focusing on what you can bring to your new employer through the successes you’ve achieved throughout your career. Don’t dwell on the negatives and talk to others in a similar situation to you.

TIP # 2 – Define your offer: by assessing your values, interests, strengths, weaknesses, achievements, abilities and goals and be clear about your qualifications, skills and experience in the context of the roles you are applying for. Put your recruiters’ hat on for a minute and think about what you have to offer that might make you stand out from others. If necessary, identify areas for re-packaging of old skills and potential areas for training and development.

TIP # 3 – Create some killer material: that makes you feel confident. The recruitment field has changed significantly in the past five years and continues to change at a rapid pace. Prepare an up-to-date, clear, and concise Resume tailored towards the roles you are seeking, and write a customised cover letter for each role you apply for. Research current Resume trends, ask a friend who knows about recruitment to help, or enlist the services of an experienced professional Resume Writer. Update (or create) your LinkedIn profile and achieve as many connections as you can. Think about creating a website if your field lends itself to showcasing your successes and experience in this way. For inspiration, visit our Career Advice Blog for a broad range of articles on job search strategies, LinkedIn, Resume Writing, and Selection Criteria preparation.

TIP # 4 – Build your job search network: when you’re searching for a new role, and particularly if you’ve been out of the paid workforce for a period, you can’t limit your search to just advertised jobs. Many roles are filled proactively via personal connections these days, so get in touch with everyone you know and tell them about your plans – this includes friends, family, old work colleagues, suppliers, neighbours, local store owners, everyone! Send people you haven’t spoken to in a while a well-crafted email, update your LinkedIn profile, and follow companies you’re interested in working for on all their social media sites.

TIP # 5 – Start applying for positions: and don’t overlook contract positions, volunteer work, or internships as a short term prospect. Likewise, if you’re seeking part-time work, a full-time contract can be a great first step while you find the perfect role. Part-time work is a little harder to come by and if you’re working you will develop some current experience (and contacts) while falling into the category of someone who is currently working – it’s often seen as ‘easier to get a job if you’ve got a job’.

TIP # 6 – Prepare for an interview: by thinking about how you’ll overcome nerves and any negative thoughts on the day since it’s difficult to be confident if you’re worried about how to explain your break or your age. Review common interview questions online or consider seeking advice from a trained Career Counsellor at this stage as they can help you formulate responses you’re comfortable with. However you go about it, practice makes perfect and stay focused on the positives, talking about your skills, experience, and knowledge of offer and how quickly you will be productive.

For anyone searching for work, it’s important to set yourself some short, medium and longer terms goals. This is particular important if you are returning to the workforce following any break since you may not achieve your ideal or ‘dream’ job straight away. Expect that you may need to work in a lower paid or less than ideal position initially to gain some experience. If this is the case, you should aim to quickly gain the experience, training and/or skills necessary to move on to the next role.

Are you trying to return to the workforce? Are you interested in some assistance from a professional writer to prepare a winning Resume for your next job application? Would you like some customised one-on-one job search coaching to help you take steps to secure your ideal position in today’s competitive job market? If so, please see our Resume Writing Services and/or Job Search Coaching service.

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