Baby Boomers have driven the economy for decades. The youngest of the generation are just now turning 55 (a long-time “dream” age for early retirement), while much of the generation have already reached retirement age. In fact, there are approximately 10,000 Baby Boomers retiring every day. However, if you are among the many of this generation who plan to continue working, even beyond 65, there are few simple tips that can help you find a position right for you.
5 strategies to land your next job
1. Boost your tech awareness
Every generation becomes increasingly more tech savvy. While you may not be an “Insta Story” expert, or the ideal candidate for an organization’s social media guru, being up-to-date on the types of technology typically used in the workplace of the organization you’re applying for is important.
If you’re embarking on a new field, take a course in a new computer software program. Even volunteering in your field of interest first can help you get a sense of what skillset is needed for the job. These actions can help communicate your willingness to learn and adapt to new work situations. Making sure you have the basics down can show you’ll be able to work alongside people who were raised on smartphones.
2. Target your qualifications
Most Boomers will have a long work history, which translates to experience you can bring to a new position. However, you want to be able to target the key qualities and skillsets that are perfect for the open position you hope to get. Effectively, you’re not giving your interviewer a complete summary of your total work experience—or even highlighting the job you stayed in the longest. You want to give your interviewer a focus on specific experience that will help you perform the job. Connect the dots for them. This way, you help your interviewer sift through your long work history and show your true interest in the open position—and knowledge of its needed skills.
3. Communicate your adaptability
Being overqualified can have its drawbacks. Hiring managers may assume you expect more money or assume you may already have a set way of doing things. Positioning yourself as flexible is key. While you may not be a blank slate that a new employer can help shape (or naïve about salary negotiations), you should highlight your willingness to find new ways of doing things and improving upon your tried-and-true practices.
4. Be aware of generational differences
If you’ve been working throughout your adult life, you’ve probably seen changes at work between the 20th and 21st century. Make sure your resume is updated both in new, current experiences and in the language you use to describe past work. While you don’t want to go overboard in the opposite direction in an attempt to appear more youthful, you should be prepared to deal with a younger generation in positions of power. While age and wisdom go together, you want to remain deferential—especially to the hiring manager.
5. Wow the interviewer
Ageism in the workplace is real (and against the law) but even though this is the case, you may face assumptions from younger interviewers because you are an older candidate. You want to make sure you subvert these potential assumptions rather than play into them. For example, have all your facts and talking points ready and prepared, so you don’t appear “forgetful.” Convey enthusiasm for the position. Appearing to have “low energy” can count against older job candidates. Try simple things like using your smartphone in the interview to refer to notes—this simple action can communicate to the interviewer you are sufficiently tech-savvy.
The fact is, you’re likely up-to-date on your references and your work skills—it’s just key that you prepare to convey them on interview day so there’s no doubt you’re up to any task that might come your way. Good luck!