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6 Effective and Essential Steps for Older Jobseekers

This woman is certain they helped her land her new job


(This article appeared previously on AOLJobs.com)

Searching for a job as an older employee can be intimidating. It can feel like the deck is stacked against you.

But based on my recent experience, if you take the right steps, there truly are jobs and employers seeking senior employees who can lead a company through difficult times.

 
Today's job hunt is more digital than ever, but job hunting basics still apply. Here are six steps I took that resulted in my landing a job after a five-month search.
 
1. Making a topnotch LinkedIn Profile  Everything starts with LinkedIn. This social network for the business world has become so pervasive in job searches, it trumps the resumé as a starting point.

(MORE: How I Landed a Great Job in 5 Months After 50)

For several jobs, I first invited recruiters to view my LinkedIn Profile before sending a resumé. This always led to a connection or an interview and started a personal conversation which immediately pulled my resumé to the top of the pile.

 
LinkedIn does not replace a resumé, but writing an effective profile there is great training for writing a pithy resumé. Attending a free LinkedIn seminar early in my job search proved critical in helping me rethink and maximize my profile for the networking service. I then searched colleagues and competitors to pick up LinkedIn Profile wording tips and updated my photo with a professional picture.
 
2. Improving a resumé  Even though it had only been three years since I last used my resumé, I needed a complete rewrite to effectively market myself in the new job hunt. A coach re-schooled me on latest do's and don'ts.
 
Job Objectives long passé were already off my resumé, but I revised my Summary from a bulleted checklist to a paragraph highlighting my senior-level capabilities.

(MORE5 Tips to Create a Winning Career-Change Resume)

I removed my earliest jobs, since the latest wisdom says not to display ones older than 10 years. Otherwise, you'll not only date yourself, you'll appear too trained in older ways of working rather than modern techniques and technologies. I also took off the dates when I received my college degrees, to focus on my degrees rather than my age. Most importantly, I shrunk my former job descriptions down from multiple paragraphs to just one paragraph followed by bulleted lists with measurable results for specific types of projects.

 
3. Creating Resumé Addendums  I invented a new technique that I call the Resumé Addendum, highlighting experiences from jobs I had taken off the resumé because they were so long ago. The two Resume Addendums I created, each one page, had no dates and only listed years of experience in various roles. This strategy worked. My first interview, and a few afterwards, came from the addendums.
 
4. Checking job listings  There are many job boards, but I found LinkedIn to be the most important one. Jobs on LinkedIn are real and timely; many job boards have dated listings. I ultimately saw on LinkedIn the listing for the job I just got, although I made a daily habit of checking several other boards.
 
5: Pouncing on postings   Whenever I saw a job posting that interested me, I answered within 48 hours. The competition is so strong that many postings are taken down after one day. When my resumé or LinkedIn Profile resonated, I frequently heard from recruiters through LinkedIn within hours if not days.
 
6. Drafing quality cover letters  While some elements of the job search have changed, cover letters are still key and quality trumps quantity. Every cover letter I sent out was unique.

I wrote each one specifically for the particular posted job description. I had several standard experience bullet points, but chose 3 or 4 unique ones for each letter based on the job requirements. I considered it a good day if I sent out one great, tailored cover letter. 

 

Rhona Bronson is an AOLJobs.com contributor. She has spent more than 30 years in marketing and communications positions with well-known consumer product and media brands. After being laid off as a Senior VP of Marketing in 2009, she started a marketing and consulting company in North Jersey. She later led a marketing group for a regional newspaper in South Jersey. Laid off again in 2013, Bronson conducted a focused job search resulting in her newest position as Director of Marketing for the Delaware River and Bay Authority.

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