Finding work or changing careers when you haven't conducted a job search in many years can be a challenge. Here are seven good ways to identify opportunities and prepare for your interviews:
1. Interview with an employer that isn’t at the top of your list. Consider trying to get an interview for a job located a long way from where you live or a job you're overqualified for. This will give you an opportunity to practice your interviewing skills. You don't want to go to your first interview in a long time and make easily-correctable mistakes.
You might also contact someone who works for the employer who attended the same college you went to, saying: “Hi. You and I went to the same school but graduated at different times. I'm interviewing for a position with your firm later this week and, before I meet with the hiring manager, I would like to test out a couple questions I have about the firm on you and see what you think the answers might be."
Network within the company in which you have an interest. A CareerXroads survey found that referred candidates have a 31-to-1 chance of getting hired vs. a 500-to-1 chance for candidates that come via other means.
(MORE: Where to Find Seasonal Jobs Now)
Also, a single general resumé for all interviews is not the best way to get hired. Click here for free resumé writing help.
Temporary or consulting work can often lead to a full-time position. Check here for resources for executives, professionals and managers interested in project assignments.
- Who am I, now?
- What do I want?
- What are my values?
- Do I need to make a difference or make big bucks?
- What are my core strengths?
7. Plan your interview and be prepared to present yourself. These "Five Ps," and their accompanying questions, can help you prepare:
- Product - What skills and contributions do you offer?
- Price - What is your value?
- Promotion - What messages convey your skills?
- Place - How will you get your message out?
- Position- What differentiates you from others?
Present yourself with concrete examples of your role and accomplishments. Here are some questions you might be asked, with examples of how you can work your accomplishments and skills into your answers:
What was your role, title, team type and position within the team?
Don't be concerned that as an “older” professional, manager or executive employers are not interested in you. Employers have found that, compared with younger workers, older ones, in general:
- have less turnover
- are more reliable
- have less absenteeism
- display a higher level of commitment
- have more experience
- are more productive
- have a better understanding of the company culture
- are more punctual
- show superior customer service skills
With these qualities, this demographic is attractive to many companies and the focus of recruitment efforts, particularly for project assignments.
Art Koff is the founder of RetiredBrains.com, a site that serves boomers, retirees and people planning retirement; he’s also the author of Invent Your Retirement: Resources for the Good Life, published by Oakhill Press.
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