Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

7 tips for getting a job if you're over 50

According to Sandro, these tactics will help stand out in the saturated job market and assist older job seekers in finding new career opportunities:

Build your online brand

Navigating social media might not come naturally, but it's essential to landing a job in 2024. A clean and consistent brand across various platforms can grab the attention of potential employers and recruiters. Firstly, update your LinkedIn profile to showcase your wealth of experience and accomplishments, then ensure your profiles on other platforms align with your professional identity. Assume everything you post online will be seen by hiring managers, so delete any content that could hinder your job search and be careful what you post. If you can’t find time to manage your profiles between applications and interviews, AI tools and social media management platforms can reduce the workload.

Your experience is your unique advantage — use it accordingly

You may feel at a disadvantage because of your age, which will undoubtedly show both in job interviews and while negotiating terms of employment. This is not the way to land a job — at least not one you’ll love. In reality, your age is an advantage with all the experience you offer, so act and pitch yourself accordingly. Position yourself as a seasoned professional who can bring unique perspectives, problem-solving abilities, and a depth of industry knowledge to the role. Emphasize your willingness to provide mentorship and guidance, and share knowledge with the team to support their growth.

Don’t accept discrimination

Understanding your rights helps you to recognize and respond to age discrimination. In many countries, including the United Kingdom (under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act), it is illegal for employers to discriminate against individuals based on their age. Knowing this protects you from unfair treatment during the hiring process, ensuring you take appropriate action if discrimination occurs. 

Prove age is just a number when it comes to technology

Younger job seekers have grown up with technology and are often assumed to possess stronger digital skills than older candidates. By showcasing your proficiency in working with technology, you can instantly dispel assumptions and biases about your technological competence. It helps level the playing field and positions you as a competitive candidate who can match or exceed the digital capabilities of younger applicants. Plus, it shows your ability to adapt and learn new skills.

Dust off your resume and keep up with the trends

At times, our careers can take us down unusual and unexpected paths. While these experiences will serve you well in the workplace, it’s best to tailor your CV to highlight the specific skills, accomplishments, and experiences most relevant to the position. It’s important you showcase any recent skills you’ve acquired and training you’ve completed to demonstrate your commitment to ongoing learning and professional development. Additionally, CV formats and tastes change over time, so keep up with current standards and trends.

Seek out age-friendly employers and land a job you’ll want to keep

Unfortunately, age bias isn’t uncommon in the job market and, while many businesses are working hard to remove the stigma, it’s still a work in progress. Those outdated employers that care little for inclusivity? They’re not worth your time. Research companies with a reputation for being age-friendly or those with policies in place to support older workers — ones with a track record of retraining and promoting senior employees, rather than tossing them on the scrap heap like a piece of old-fashioned office furniture.

Leverage your network

A referral from a trusted source makes vetting much easier for recruiters or hiring managers, so leverage your professional contacts and enquire about open positions within their companies. But you also need to build new connections — Attend industry events, join online forums, and use your updated social media profiles to connect with professionals in your field. Often, landing a role comes down to who you know, so the wider your network, the greater your chances.Sandro added: “Nothing beats years of experience, yet older candidates’ resumes often get placed at the bottom of the pile… Ageism is an unfortunate part of the job market that needs stamping out, yet landing a new role in your later years isn’t impossible. It just requires a little more work. For instance, how can anyone say that you don’t understand the latest tools and technologies if you're actively creating quality content and setting the benchmark on social media? You just need to learn new skills, showcase your talent, and prove to employers that their baseless assumptions are incorrect.” Recognizing that 78% of employers make hiring decisions based on a job seeker’s social media presence, STORI launched the "New Year - New Career" projectgiving away its free annual subscriptions to support older people in their job search and help them build strong personal brands. To participate in the project, job seekers must simply fill out a short form on the company's website.