Top tips for seniors looking for work
With many seniors facing the financial realities of a longer lifespan, the Australian workforce is increasingly populated by older workers. It can be difficult, however, to find a suitable employment role when you're approaching or have reached retirement age. If you're looking for an encore career, check out these top tips to help you find the perfect job for your abilities and needs.
Revamp your resume
A chronological resume detailing your entire employment history may be overwhelming for prospective employers, and will emphasize your age. Instead, consider revamping your resume in a functional manner. Concentrate on highlighting your achievements and abilities by categorising previous positions, according to skills that are relevant to the job you're applying for. Include a dynamic summary of your skillset and experience at the beginning of your resume, to give prospective employers a good idea of what you can bring to the position. If you must include a chronological employment history, keep it brief and towards the end of your resume.
Having a working knowledge of computer and internet use is necessary in most modern employment areas. When applying for positions that require computer literacy, make sure you emphasise your skills in that area- don't just mention that you use Facebook for personal reasons, but give details of using social media for promotional projects. Similarly, highlight your word processing or spreadsheet skills by giving specific examples of programs and projects. If you're not confident using computers, social media, email or the internet in general, consider enrolling in a basic computer class.
If you're trying to break into a different industry, or you're just finding it difficult to get a foot in the door, volunteer work with a relevant, prospective employer is a great way to start. You'll get the opportunity to demonstrate your enthusiasm, abilities and suitability for a paid position, and as employment opportunities arise you'll be a logical first choice. Gaining first-hand knowledge and experience on a volunteer basis will minimise training requirements if they do choose to hire you. Look into unpaid internship opportunities as an alternative way of gaining appropriate experience and skills.
When looking for work in a different field of employment, it's important to emphasise your transferrable skills- but what about when your current skills just aren't relevant? Upskilling can fill in any gaps in your education and skillset to greatly increase your employability. If you haven't studied before, consider taking a short vocational course in an area you're interested in- you'll gain great experience relevant to the workplace, while increasing your confidence!
If you're finding it particularly difficult to find work in your area, and need a little support through the job hunting process, contact your local employment agency for professional advice and assistance.