Are you a woman over 50 looking for a job? These 5 job-hunting tips for older women will help you get back in the game.
In today’s economy, many older women are finding themselves in need of a job, either because they lost their husband or need financial assistance in their retirement.
If you’re a woman over 50 looking for a job, you might feel out of the loop. Perhaps you spent the last 20 years being a wife and mom and focusing on your family.
Many older women feel unsure about getting back into the game in this new, fast-moving world of work. It helps to get some idea of how to go about job hunting as an older woman because it is different from job searches as a young adult.
Here are some tips to get you back into the world of work and increase your chances of success:
1. Update your resume
Older women may find that their resume is extremely long after their years of experience. Consider going over your resume with someone who is an expert or experienced.
A career counsellor can help you pare it down to include relevant information and highlight pertinent skills and experience. Even if you don’t go with an expert, do your research to find out what modern resumes look like and what employers want.
When searching for a job for women over 50, the biggest factor that goes against you is that employers will automatically assume you expect to be paid as highly as you would’ve been in your previous job or career.
Consequently, when filling positions, they prefer to exhaust their pool of younger (and cheaper) applicants before they can consider you.
You might want to indicate in your cover letter and resume that you’re willing to be paid at the same level as an entry-level candidate, especially if you choose to work from home or in a new field.
On the SHEROES app for women, you can take a free career test to learn about careers that match your interests, try an online course to learn a new skill or improve your English, or create your own resume with an easy resume builder.
2. Practice your job interview skills
How can you practice the job-hunting process — from sending out a resume to getting an interview — without endangering your chances of success or feeling overly nervous?
One thing you can do is apply for a job you’re not interested in, or that is not a good fit. That may sound odd but think of it as a training ground.
You can practice your job interview skills without so much pressure. Another good way to practice is to have a friend or family member ask you interview questions.
3. Browse gig websites
Gig websites are a good way to get your feet wet. A lot of gig recruiters are more interested in your experience than your age, and it’s not unlike another form of practice.
You can even consider doing an online internship that you can learn from and get some work experience, even if you plan to move on.
4. Stay competitive
One important way to stay competitive in the job market is to update and build your skills. Don’t be disheartened when new colleagues assume you’re stuck in the Stone Age when it comes to technology.
Prove them wrong instead. If you actually do need to brush up on your tech skills, though, try to do so as soon as possible.
There are learning communities on the internet specifically geared to get you up-to-date on important skills like computer knowledge, organizational skills and digital marketing.
Also, friends and family members can help you brush up on your skills or learn new ones that are necessary for today’s workforce.
When working from home, you should also take steps to secure your sensitive data and devices so that hackers can’t steal your information when working from home.
You also need to set up your home office to maximise productivity so that you can work comfortably and efficiently from home without interruptions or delays.
5. Emphasize your experience
Did you know there are companies that seek to employ seniors because they value your experience?
When you apply for jobs, make sure you emphasize your life experiences that are relevant to the position — from parenting to running a household to skills honed in prior job experience.
Many women over 50 have been leaders in their children’s schools and extracurricular activities in the past, too — this is a relevant experience, so don’t forget to include and emphasize it.
Even the government offers a number of educational grants to women over 50 if they want to further their expertise in a specific field. Many women have also chosen to work with the government under non-profit schemes.
Expecting to replicate the level of success of your previous job or career can be unrealistic — remember that it took you close to thirty years to get where you were before. But you can use your experience and maturity to set yourself apart from younger candidates.
In a connected world, there’s really no reason why an older woman can’t find jobs for a 50-year-old woman. Also, check out these jobs for women over 40 for even more work-from-home jobs for housewives.
There are many choices for older women to start a new career. As this article in Inc.com says:
“The new rules are for a world in which knowledge is the universal currency for creating value, a world in which you can use the experience of a lifetime to create what may well be the greatest experience of your life.”
If you’re an Indian woman looking for remote jobs or work-from-home business ideas without investment, check out these options for work from home for women in India.