There’s good news for us in Act 2.5 on the job front. The Bureau of Labor Statistics confirmed that women 55 and older represent the fastest growing age-gender segment and will account for more than a third of all additional workers entering the labor force in the next decade. That’s terrific news if you’re looking for a job or considering a change. These figures indicate that companies are embracing the talents of today’s seasoned workforce so it’s important to take advantage of this trend.
“Companies are embracing the talents of today’s seasoned workforce”
Today’s hiring process has changed a great deal with the advent of companies using the Internet to sift through applicants. Over twenty years ago, mailing a resume snail mail, waiting five days, and then receiving a postmarked letter confirming its receipt was the norm. If a company liked what they read and they were interested in setting up an interview, a phone call was made to the applicant.
While that process worked back in the day, it does not meet the fast-paced, high-tech environment we live in today. Many companies use a computerized ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to scan incoming resumes and letters from applicants. These new systems scan resumes for work experience, skills, education and other relevant information. If a resume does not match the minimum job qualifications or keywords put into the system, it considers it not a match, and thus will never rise to the next level.
If you don’t want to end up in the slush pile, it’s important to navigate this new system and to apply a handful of useful tips to help get you the job you seek.
#1 Take a hard look at your resume.
Is it over 2 pages long? Does it list jobs from over two decades ago? Is it only in hard copy form? Does it list outdated skills? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is time for a resume makeover.
Remember the ATS (mentioned earlier) and make sure you use descriptive (keywords) words that match the job description.
#2 Let your network of friends, neighbors and college alumni know you are seeking a new job.
Extend your networking power to friendly chats with people you meet at social events and reach out to those in your contact list with an email or text. Online networking portals such as LinkedIn serve a wide community of professionals, making it easy to send a message. Build a LinkedIn profile for success. There are many helpful articles to get you started or to enhance your current one. Here’s a great one to get you started, What Your LinkedIn Profile Should Look Like in 2018.
#3 Clean up your social media.
Companies often visit social media sites to learn more about job candidates. Today, social media sites such as Facebook have been a great way to express your opinions and thoughts on just about anything. But those public posts and images can reflect poorly on an applicant if her views do not align to a company’s values. So before you apply for a position, make them private or delete them.
Photo by Daniel Fazio
#4 Update your technology skills.
In many instances, a weak area for job seekers in Act 2.5 is current computer skills. Create a list of all the apps, programs and devices you have used on your jobs. Are you using Twitter to stay current on industry news and to interact with leaders in your industry? Do you keep your company website up-to-date with content? Do you use social media to research an answer to solve a problem? Compare that list to recent job postings in your expertise. In your resume or cover letter give examples of how you have used these skills to achieve a certain outcome or desirable result.
#5 Believe in yourself.
How you view your skills can influence the perception of others. Show your enthusiasm for learning and stay positive in your conversations with people in your network. Write a riveting and upbeat cover letter, and if you get the interview, remember to dress for the job you want.