Job hunting for over 50’s – how to secure the interview
Updated: Jan 25
Whilst it is illegal for firms to discriminate candidates based on age, there’s no denying that sadly, age bias is prevalent in some industries when it comes to candidate selection.
Though great strides have been made in the UK to prevent this discrimination, older applicants are still less likely to be selected for interview than their younger competitors.
But fret not – below, we’ve pulled together some top tips to help you secure the interview and overcome agism in the recruitment process.
#1 – Stay current and update your skillset
For older applicants, chances are you’ve been in your industry a while, right?
And although this is of great benefit to you in terms of your level of experience, is your expertise actually up-to-date?
Though great strides have been made in the UK to prevent this discrimination, older applicants are still less likely to be selected for an interview than their younger competitors.
Don’t forget, retraining in your field is also a very effective means of staying current – new approaches to ‘ways of doing things’ are always in flux across any industry. Adding to your belt of certificates and qualifications can only stand to benefit you.
If you’ve got niche skills or want to focus your job hunt in a particular industry, make sure you’re exploring sites which are aimed at your chosen profession and not just your standard careers websites.
What’s more, if you’ve been out of a particular role or field for more than two years, many recruiters would not actually consider you to have sufficient knowledge in that industry.
So, make sure you know which top skills recruiters are on the lookout for, and gain them!
#2 – Expand your options
Whilst you’re probably familiar with most mainstream recruiting platforms, the ways in which companies hire their employees is an ever-evolving process.
Finally, consider getting your CV reviewed by a professional. While we have every faith that you can compose a great resume, much like the fluctuating job markets, the sought-after style of CV is also mutable. Make sure you fits the bill.
Social media is also growing in popularity for advertising and recruiting for jobs – especially by larger corporations with a big presence and following.
Professional networking sites like LinkedIn are great for listing your experience, gaining commendations from fellow professionals, and finding roles which are tailored to your skills.
You might also want to consider taking on temporary or fixed-term roles, as recruiters are more likely to scope a diverse pool of candidates for these positions.
Temp roles can also be a great way to get your foot in the door, and really show your employer what you could offer in the long-run. For these positions, you may want to sign up to a recruitment agency to aid your search.
#3 – Monopolise industry contacts
On average, professional networking makes up at least 70% of a job search – so utilising connections is always a great way to start your job search.
Current connections can not only help to keep you ‘in the know’ about jobs in their field; they’re also likely to know which roles your experience is best suited to, and can even recommend you to fellow connections.
What’s more, a high percentage of jobs aren’t actually advertised externally, with close-knit teams often opting to recruit individuals from existing, reliable connections over seeking new candidates. So, if you’ve made a good impression somewhere down the line, chances are you’ll be in good stead to be hooked right in for the next opportunity.
As the saying goes, ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’. And, whilst at FAC3 we wouldn’t agree this is wholly the case, it’s certainly a good idea to make use of those professional connections you’ve made over the years.
Because another saying goes: ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’. So reach out, make yourself visible in your professional circles, and create better chances for success.
#4 – Update your CV
This point might seem glaringly obvious to some, but oftentimes we can get complacent with a resume which has done us well in the past.
However, there are a few tweaks which we recommend making on your CV in order to avoid agism in your application.
Firstly, make sure to include your most relevant work experience only. Though it can be helpful to list older experience, anything over 5 years should be summarised briefly.
Secondly, ensure to keep your CV to two sides only - the above pointer will certainly help with this.
Next, remove any dates related to work experience, education and certifications that are 15 years or older. Though listing relevant qualifications is essential, providing dates acquired is not.
Finally, consider getting your CV reviewed by a professional. While we have every faith that you can compose a great resume, much like the fluctuating job markets, the sought-after style of CV is also mutable. Make sure you fit the bill.ill.