The perception amongst many is
that people are still being turned down for jobs because they are considered
too old. That's why leading recruitment organisation Kelly Services has put
together different ways to beat the Age Barrier and succeed at work.
Taking stock and looking around
If you aren't sure about what
type of work you want, take stock of your own situation and think about:
There are many different places
for you to consider looking including: job centres, recruitment agencies,
newspapers, radio, internet, approaching employers direct and Training and
Preparing your CV
You will either have to fill in a
job application form or provide a CV which gives you the chance to sell
yourself. If possible devise a standard CV and then tailor it for specific job
vacancies - this can often mean the difference between an interview and
Update your skills
Keeping your skills up to date is
one of the most important aspects of beating the age barrier so that you can
effectively compete with younger applicants. Whatever your line of business try
to ensure that you are not passed over for company training and let it be known
that you are keen to take advantage of any training opportunities. If you don't
have a working knowledge of computers, now may be the time to put that right.
There are many different courses to choose from including day and evening,
distance learning, full time and part time, run by your local education
authority at Adult Education Centres or by private colleges.
If you are registered for work
with an employment agency such as Kelly you may well be eligible for free
office technology training where you can learn at your own pace and in your own
When applying for jobs, writing
letters or attending interviews remember to focus on your achievements - you
will probably have done much more than a younger applicant and this could work
well in your favour. Be specific about what you have done and try to give
results. For instance, if you regularly organise social functions give the
salient details, the budget you worked to, the number of people you organised,
the publicity you generated or the money you raised. If you attend committee
meetings again use this to demonstrate that you can be an effective member of a
team. If you take the minutes it will show that you have secretarial skills.
Life skills are something that cannot be learned - they come from experience.
Your ability to handle more than one project at once, your negotiation skills,
power of diplomacy and tact are all attributes which are refined with age and
which are eagerly sought by many employers. The art of skilful communication
comes with many years of practice!
Around two thirds of the best
opportunities for the over 45's come through contacts so it's important to keep
in touch with business colleagues. If you have a professional magazine read it
to keep in touch with what is happening and who is doing what. Don't turn down
opportunities to meet other professionals whatever their age and always be
positive about your own career prospects. If you don't believe in yourself you
can't expect others to do so.
Look the part
They say you are only as old as
you look, so look the part. Don't apologise or over-compensate for your age but
make sure that you look smart and professional. You don't have to put your age
on your CV and there is now a voluntary code in place which has been taken up
by 90% of recruitment agencies to banish age limits.
Whilst it may not sound ideal be
prepared to consider temporary, part-time or even voluntary work if it means
you can get a foot in the door of opportunity. Take a job at a lower grade if
it means you can get in that way too. Once you are in an organisation you can
quickly show them what you are made of and what your strengths are.
Don't limit your choice either -
whilst you may feel that large international companies will offer you the best
chance it is more likely that small businesses can offer better prospects for
However intimidated you may feel
remember all the positive factors that your time of life has going for you.
Your experience both at work and at home means that you are less likely to
panic in tricky situations and that you will know instinctively what to do.
Loyalty, often deemed an old fashioned value, is much in demand by employers
today and once you have found the right job you are much less likely to be
scanning the job ads for something better paid. Reliability is also in your
favour - research shows that the 46-64 age group take fewer days off sick than
their younger counterparts.
Succeeding at the interview
If you have got an interview then
you have a good chance of getting the job so it's worth spending time preparing
for this important meeting.
Don't be worried if the
interviewer appears to look much younger than you and don't refer to your age.
Remember the interviewer is on your side and is there to find out why you want
the job, what particular skills you have for it and assess how you would fit
into the company. Remember that the interviewer, in addition to learning about
your experience to date, will also want to hear about your future aspirations.
This will indicate that you want to succeed further, develop new skills and
that you have the necessary drive and determination to succeed. Find out as
much as you can about the company before the interview so that you can show
your interest by asking one or two questions.
Written by: Kelly Services Singapore
Services (S) Pte Ltd | EA License No. 01C4394 | RCB No. 200007268E
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