By Art Koff
These tips were originally written to assist older job seekers find employment, but they apply to job seekers of all ages.
Remember that many employers still have hiring freezes in place and that in most cases temp or part-time workers are paid out of a different budget than full-time employees.
At this point if you have been out of work for a while it is not only important to have something on your resume that shows perspective employers you have been working, but your mind set is different if you are doing something whether it be volunteering or working part-time. Everyone who has done so knows that looking for a job on a full-time basis is not a very rewarding experience.
1. Register with temp firms in your local area as they don’t care about age but are more interested in your skills and experience. Also if you get work through a temp firm it helps build your resume for future work assignments.
2. Accept an Interview even if you don’t plan to accept the job if it is offered. You need practice interviews in actual situations. Interviews with friends and role playing interviews are not the real thing. You don’t want to go to your first job interview in a long time with the employer you are really interested in working for and make easily correctable mistakes.
3. Consider having your resume re-written or updated by an expert as the resume you used years ago is no longer appropriate.
4. Search for a job in areas that connect older workers with employers seeking to hire them. Go to: http://retirementjobs.retiredbrains.com/c/search_results.cfm?site_id=9182 and chose your state in the “location” area. Then enter your city location in the “keyword” box as well as other modifying criteria to narrow your job search. Consider putting the word temporary or part time after some of these criteria so the system will return job postings often more appropriate for older workers as employers are more likely to hire older workers on a temporary basis.
5. Look for part time, temporary or project assignments as they are much more available than full-time jobs.
6. When applying for a job tell the employer you are willing to start working as a consultant or on a project basis; this often gives you a leg up on workers who are often unable or unwilling to accept this kind of employment. Temporary employment or working on a consultative basis can often lead to full-time work.
7. Get information on the perspective employer prior to your interview. For example contact someone who works for this employer who attended the same school you went to saying. “Hi. You and I went to the same school but graduated at different times. I’m interviewing for a position in 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.” (Later, ask if you can use their name as an employee referral)
8. Look at companies with fewer than 500 employees as employers of this size have created 64% of the new U.S. jobs from 1992 through 2011 even though they employ just 55% of the private sector work force according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
9. Volunteer with a charity or non-profit. Although in most cases there is little or no monetary compensation, it is often excellent experience and can possibly lead to employment with a firm that is seeking that particular experience or appreciates your work ethic.
Certainly sites liked LinkedIn and Facebook can be beneficial in connecting you with employers and should be explored; however the most effective use of your time while job seeking is networking. More jobs are found through networking than any other way.
Art graduated from Dartmouth College in 1957 and did his postgraduate work at the University of Chicago Executive Program. He started his career with the Chicago Sun Times after which he spent 35 years in recruitment communications with both national and international advertising agencies. He helped build a suite of over 1000 discipline specific and geographic specific niche job sites focused on recruiting and has assisted employers develop cost effective recruiting strategies utilizing the Internet to reach seniors and retirees.
Art has made presentations at local, national, and international association meetings and at conventions and trade shows. He has appeared on NBC TV several times and been quoted as an authority on new developments that effect older Americans in major newspapers, national publications and on Web sites.
In 2003 Art founded www.RetiredBrains.com a destination for boomers, seniors and retirees which includes a free job board designed to assist employers connect with experienced “retired brains” who are not interested in being fully retired. He has written his first book Invent Your Retirement Resources for the Good Life, published by Oakhill Press. The book is a complete reference guide for boomers and seniors planning their retirement, retirees and people who have responsibility for parents and grandparents who are retiring or retired.
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