The Important Mistakes Fifty Plus Job Seekers Make

Updated 1/2019
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I receive a lot of calls and emails about this topic everytime a career professional makes such a statement or an article appears in some local publication.  Everyone says the same thing......"I might be looking for a new job but I am professional, and I don't really need someone else to help me in my job search; but if I do I can always find the answer in a book, or from my friends and associates." 

Wow, I was shocked when I heard that statement so many times over the last few years.  Imagine being a job seeker and after a short training seminar on job searching or resume writing etc they are an expert.  Well, some people will certainly feel they are because of their scholastic achievements, work and career achievements etc.  However, the world of work has changed and most of all the job search has changed right along with it.

Unfortunately it is only when a Fifty Plus job seeker hasn't been successful in a short period of time that he or she realizes that maybe there is something wrong; and by that time the stress and tension of the process has taken a toll on one's confidence and emotions.

For many X Gens and Boomers, those Fifity Pus job seekers, it may be a decade or longer since they have last searched for employment but in todays' world of work, it would not be uncommon that at least 25% to 35% of members of these two generations, have been through the process more than once since the recession began five years ago.

All these mistakes center around "believing in the old job search techniques and processes". The "world of work" has changed and so has the way theese job seekers, must seek new employment, and understand that the old job and job search ideas have changed, there is a new paradigm for both and it will continue to evolve.


These major mistakes circumscribe topics such as discrimination, lack of updated skills, and understanding todays' job requirement.  Just listing them can be daunting. So let's take a look at these important mistakes.

1,   Stop Believing That No One Hires Older Workers.

There is no doubt that "experienced workers" must work harder at regaining employment.  In addition understanding and learning how to deal with age discrimination is challenging. 

Many employers today are slowing learning by experience that younger and less experienced workers lack required skills.  Surveys have shown that many less experienced workers who have been hired recently from higher education will actually quit a job via a text to the employer.
A survey in 2017 provided data that as many as 70% of Millenials quit their jobs by simply texting their employer.

There are multiple web sites that are available to assist job seekers with these issues that include Indeed.com, AARP.org, Ziprecruiter.com and many more.  These  sites list job openings and as of this month there have been thousands of full and part time employment opportunities.

As an older experienced worker you need to establish your hiring values for employers to show that being an older worker is more valuable than less experienced workers, and that value has a worth to it financially.  Remember in most cases you cannot do anything about a company that exhibits age discrimination but the real question is do you want to work for any employer who exhibits that attitude towards it's employees anyway?

2.   Keeping Old Attitudes in Todays' World

Many  will inteFifty Plus workers rview and express themselves with an air of superiority.  This happens especially when the interviewer is much younger.  In otherwords, keep any ideas of superiority during an interview tucked into your side pocket,  It is alright to inform a younger employer/interviewer what your experiences have value rather than provide an arrogant attitude.

3.   Deleting and "Dating" Your Contacts

As a job seeker you have or should have started NOW developing a contact list of business associates, friends and acquaintances with information about each individual and what that person can do to assist you in reestablishing a career.  Too many in tghis group think that if you don't have a list or it is too late to establish a list and therefore the process is useless. 

Many statistics today indicate that this group of job seekers, will continue to work well past the age of expected retirement.  (I am one of those who were so greatly affected by the recession I will not see retirement at the expected age of 65!)  In addition, I did not establish my own list of on going contacts unto late into my own career.  If I can do it so can YOU, and you must!

There are no rules or regulations that state you cannot contact anyone fronm your past if it will assist you in your job search.  I have talked with contacts who I have not seen in person for over twenty years without any negative results.

Utilize LinkedIn, Facebook and other on line sources to rebuild your contact list and start to use them.  These individuals can and will be an enormous amount of assistance for you.

4.   Fear of Being Creative

Many older workers believe unjustly so that there is one, two, or many only a few ways to find a new job or establish a new career.  Fifty Plus workers, in many cases believe that doing things "outside the box" is not what is needed in todays job search.  The correct thought is just the opposite.  These job seekers possess the skills and abilities to show "how" and in "which way" to make ideas become reality.  Boomers have the experience and deep knowledge where less experienced workers do not.

Do not be afraid to:

      - Contact a prospective employer regarding a companies upcoming needs that you have
        researched.
      - Take the time to compose a brief but meaningful presentation to send to a prospective
        employer, without knowledge of any current position but, who CAN and NEEDS your talents          and experience.....If you don;t someone else will.
      - Don't be afraid to ask others who you can approach.  Use creative ways and this can or may         sound childish but stand out side of an office and present your information to anyone from the         company that you see who will take your information......REMEMBER MOST JOBS ARE
       NEVER ADVERTISED UNTIL THEY ARE NEEDED IN A HURRY AND THEN IT IS TOO LATE          FOR ALL THE WRONG REASONS TO THINK ABOUT BEING CREATIVE.

5.  Forget About Being Out of Date Technically or Overqualified

None of us, at least those who did not attend a techncial school or college to major in computer science is going to be the most qualified and up to date "GEEK". However, if you have worked within a field you are knowledgeable of what information is required to achieve success.  You have done you homework over the years to understand your field, your competitition, etc. 

Now is the time to take that and add to it!  It is necessary to "Tweak" your total skills for the job search.  Take time to learn and use LinkedIn, Facebook, Plaxo and the many other social websites and blogs.  This knowledge will quickly bring you up to speed on the "little" things you are missing in your so call "out of date" skills.

No Fifty Plus experienced work is "overqualified".  Overqualified is just one of many reasons used to eliminate a prospective, qualified candidate because you were afraid to say what you worth.   When you are applying for equavilant level positions utilize those skills and qualifications.  In today's work environment many job seekers must look to lower level positions, just make sure that you explain in a cover letter and in your interview your "reasoning" for applying for that particular position. 

Explain potential concerns to eliminate a prospective employers turn offs.  Discuss your rationale for deciding to step down from management, or a realistic explanation for no longer needing a higher paying job, but be honest sincere, and upfront in all your discussion.


6.   Never Try to Wing an Interview

Practice makes perfect....and you must practice, practice, and do more practice for interviews.  Questions today are asked to eliminate you not to hire you so understanding the process, understanding the "core" nature of the employer is vital.

There are still many styles of inteviewing and each has a certain "trap" and you must be aware of these and learn to manuever through the course.  One easy way to help is to talk to people of various age who can act as an interviewer and establish a "repore" with these people so that it will assist you in your interview process.

As much as understanding the interview process, age differentiation and cultures, knowing all about an employers needs current, past and most importantly future is vital to showing that you are "on top of the game" during an interview.  Employers want to know you as well as you want to know an employer and sharing this information provides that value and asset a prospective employer seeks.


So in final analysis don't let the error get you onto the wrong track.  Take the time to evaluate each of these common mistakes and work on then until they are second nature to you.  You are a valued worker, you are an asset, and you are the best!