I get several enquiries a day from people who read my website, often they seek an answer to a question and I’m always happy to oblige. If I can help someone via an email I’m happy, I don’t expect every query to turn into a client.

 Yesterday John (not his real name) wrote about how disillusioned he was in job hunting. One of the first things he mentioned was his age and how the recruitment agency staff were not very professional in approach, not telling him the outcomes of interview and basically not giving clients the standard of customer care she was used to as a HR manager.

 It was clear that he was taking just one approach to job hunting – being reactive and applying for jobs he saw advertised and waiting for agencies to help her.

 Take control

To be successful in job search it’s important to take control, to seek out the companies that she would like to work for, and as she had identified that she wanted to work closer to home, within the right location for her.

 When you take control you are proactive. That means you can write targeted letters explaining all your strengths, how you can help their business and basically what a fantastic asset you will be.

 Being proactive is far more beneficial than sitting back and waiting and over 30% of my job search clients get their jobs this way.

 The age issue

What I find is that if candidates think age is a problem, then it probably is. I’ve read CVs where people talk about their age in the first sentence, sometimes being apologetic, other times sounding a bit pompous – “with 30 years as a media planner …” and I’m thinking is that all they’ve done. Are they stuck in a rut and unable to adapt?  It’s far better to demonstrate via your CV about how you keep up to date with your industry, your knowledge of technology etc. Also when you meet much younger people at agencies and interview to make sure you don’t come over like their parents, they don’t like it.

 In applications letters and CVs I’d focus much more on your strengths than your age. At 50+ you no doubt have a wealth of experience and maturity which is a real positive.

 Dealing with recruitment agencies

 It’s also important not to expect too much from agencies – you are a commodity and they will seek to sell you, so they get their commission but you need to be the one to contact them.

 They are also far more likely to be interested in putting you forward if you make things easy for them and have built up a relationship so they want to help you.

 I’d be very interested to hear how you have got on with job search, particularly if you are older.  Do get in touch.

Published On: July 19th, 2007 / Categories: Job Search /

One Comment

  1. Quovadis July 29, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    Hi Denise,
    Good post, identifying concrete actions that should make a difference.
    I work in career guidance in Ireland and we have the same problem. The equality authority state its the biggest area of complaints. Here with the increasing difficulty employers have of recruiting suitable people, hopefully it will begin to get easier.

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