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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Job Search Tips for Mature Workers

I spoke recently with a client who had sent out over 750 resumes in a year and received only 4 responses. I was aghast astonished by this, and by his resilient reply.

That’s better than some other people my age that I know, so I must be doing something right!

As we continued the conversation I made a number of suggestions for him to consider as part of his on-going job search. Here is the plan we cam up with, along with a number of other suggestions that were crowdsourced from my blog readers.

1. Utilize non-traditional search tools. I recommended a number of job aggregators and local boards outside the big 3 – Indeed, SimplyHired, workforce50, Linkup, jobshouts, etc.
2. Network in non-traditional groups (tech, social media) to break challenge age perceptions
3. Consider other opportunities – contract, consulting, – look for work places like elance, Guru, Sologig, odesk, and others. Consider teaching at colleges or on-line at schools like Webster or the University of PHX.
4. Get over the idea that you have to work in a certain business sector. Stretch boundaries. Consider non-profit, etc
5. Increase your geographic reach. Consider New Orleans, for example. Relocate if necessary, and if possible. You can always move back where you left down the road if you want to
6. Increase your voice wherever possible, with relevance. people will see it. It might help, and certainly can’t hurt!
7. Spend time on new things just for you. Be assertive about your job search, but don’t let it consume you.
8. Be sure to post your job search on locations like LinkedIn and Facebook so your extended network is aware, but don’t be annoying or appear desperate.
9. Open your mind. Be receptive to any opportunity, and don’t let preconcieved notions turn you off to any potential opportunity.
10. Consider reading HR blogs for job advice. You can find over numerous bloggers and contacts by visiting just two sites, HR Alltop and HRM Today.
11. Join (or start) an “accountability” group–3 or 4 people who meet once a week and hold each other accountable for job-search commitments.
12. Volunteer. The United Way, for example, can place you in a position that requires your skills. Broadens your network.
13. Seek a “hold-me-over” job before you need to dip into your savings. It can be a one-day-a- week job in retail. An evening job bartendering.
14. Seek opportunities to get out of your comfort zone.
15. Build a personal brand. See the slideshare presentation Me 2.0 by Maurene Grey.

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