As a baby boomer, it goes without saying that you have a plethora of skills to offer, making you very marketable to employers. However, you may scratch your head trying to figure out how to get past a few roadblocks unique to the process of finding jobs for baby boomers. Let’s look at a few easy ways to clear some of those hurdles and help get you into your next job.
Having years of experience, you likely have worked with countless individuals who would be happy to vouch for you. But, you may ask, what should you do if your contacts have either retired or passed on?
With those who have passed, there isn’t much to be done. However, retired individuals are quite valuable. Simply put, forget that they retired and think of them as someone you used to work with but who has moved onto another opportunity—in this case, retirement. In any event, the point here is that the individual’s feedback on your performance does not become irrelevant simply because they are no longer employed. Their input is just as valuable as anyone else’s.
Downsizing your responsibilities
We see this situation often: a candidate has been working for the last 20-30 years, mostly in positions that were rigorous and stressful. At the time, these roles were challenging yet rewarding and were all part of the drive to climb the ladder. And let’s face facts, for a certain number of decades in one’s life, there is a period of time where it’s crucial to make a high salary to be able to support one’s expenses (family, a mortgage, school loans, etc). That adds a lot of motivation to keep pushing the limits of one’s career.
But now closer to retirement (or possibly already retired) and with less overhead, maybe it’s time to slow down into a role that’s less demanding and stressful but that still uses your skills. If you fit into this category, you may have already found it hard to get interviews for these jobs—that you are overqualified. There are two things that may be helpful.
First, do what you can to tailor the resume in a way that highlights skills and tasks that align with the job you want. In other words, this likely means you’ll make your resume less high level or executive and instead focus on skills and experience applicable to your new direction. Of course, I don’t advocate changing titles or listing inaccurate information. Instead, it’s a shift in your marketing approach, highlighting experience most relevant to the position.
Second, include a well worded cover letter. Not all resume reviewers read cover letters but many do. And if they do, your letter can put to rest any concerns this reader may have about your motivation for applying or your being overqualified. For more information on cover letters, click here.
How many years of experience do I include?
Whether we’re seeking jobs for baby boomers or for someone from gen X, this answer is the same. Go back about the last ten years of employment.
Written by Adam Lafield, Recruiter & Marketing Specialist