Unfortunately, research shows older workers who have been laid off from their positions face unemployment longer than younger workers in the same situation. There are a few questions you need to consider when looking for a job, especially if you are a woman over 40:
To be marketable in today’s workforce, these are things you must be mindful of to find a job and succeed in the workplace.
Salary is a factor, as men usually have higher paying jobs than women do.
By the time women hit 39, their typical wage is $60,000 per year, while men earn $95,000 per year, depending on the type of job.
As the workforce continues to turn over, it’s entirely possible your interviewer or manager will be younger than you.
Will you be able to work cohesively with someone younger? Regardless of what you think, they have earned their role. You want to show that you respect their experience and position and that you’re excited to be on their team.
The most important thing to remember is the standard rules of interviewing still apply regardless of age:
If you are searching for a new job, one of the first things you should do is update and modernize your résumé.
Your résumé from 2000 is irrelevant, outdated, and detrimental to your over-40 job search. It’s often the first impression a hiring manager gets of you, so you best make sure it does you justice. The old adage, “best foot forward”, is so true when it comes to your résumé. A few key tips to consider:
Your search for a new career won’t seem so disheartening if you know what to expect from the start.
It has been estimated the average person takes six months to find a job which might seem like a long time, but in reality, the estimate is not far off. Be OK with rejection of your résumé. Most of the time your resume is submitted electronically and many companies have built-in search engines for key words, and if they are not found, your résumé is automatically rejected. We are in an Employers’ market, so there is lots of competition. If selected to interview, you could have multiple interviews with various people within the company and still not be chosen for the position, so having a positive network to keep your spirits up is very important. Be sure your family understands that this can be a laborious process so they can support you too. It is rare that you get the first job you apply for, so cast a wide net and apply to multiple companies.
The most important thing to remember is that it is not YOU.
Looking for a job is a numbers game, so don’t take it personal.
Be open to constructive feedback and don’t give up!
If you don’t want to experience job discrimination because of your age, it’s time to remove the graduation date from your résumé.
When you list jobs prior to 2000, you may lose the hiring manager’s interest. Your most relevant experience will be from the past 15 years.
On the same note, never include dates on education and certifications that are older than 15 years.
Never describe past work experience using the present tense. Only your current job should be written in the present tense.
Companies often have their own internal names for things like customized software, technologies, and processes that are only known within that organization and not by those who work outside of it.
The format of your résumé is just as important as its content.
The best format is one that will make it easiest for the hiring manager to scan your résumé and still be able to pick out your key qualifications and career goals.
Once you pick a format, stick with it. If you write the day, month, and year for one date, then use that same format throughout the rest of the résumé.
Fancy embedded charts or graphics will not represent you well. Any graph-worthy data needed for the hiring process can wait until the interview.
While a well-formatted header and footer may look professional and cool tables, images, or charts may boost your credibility, they also confuse the applicant-tracking systems that companies use for résumé screening.
The system will react by scrambling up your résumé and spitting out a poorly formatted one that may no longer include your header or charts. Even if you are an ideal candidate for the position, the scrambled résumé may obliterate your contact information leaving the hiring manager with no way to contact you for an interview.
Don’t use Times New Roman or serif fonts as they’re outdated. Use a standard, sans-serif font like Arial and avoid less formal fonts like Sans Comic.
Your resume shouldn’t include the words “I,” “me,” “she,” or “my”.
Do not write your résumé in the third or first person. It is understood that everything on your résumé is about you and your experiences.
Also, be aware of the font size, your goal should be to make it look nice and sleek, but also easy to read; it is recommended to use a 10-12 point font.
Jargon and buzzword terms are big turnoffs. Avoid words and phrases such as, “best of breed,” “go-getter,” “think outside the box,” “synergy,” and “people pleaser.”
Terms employers do like to see on résumé include “achieved,” “managed,” “resolved,” and “launched” but only if used in moderation.
Avoid selling yourself by using subjective words:
“I’m an excellent communicator” or motivated” are opinions.
Recruiters want facts only. Let them decide if you are truly excellent or motivated after they meet you.