Tag: over 50 job search

Overcoming Liabilities: The BOOMER Job Search and the Silver Lining

boomerHere is a question I have been asked repeatedly by my executive Baby Boomer clients: “Can you help me find a job in today’s market… at my age?”

Certainly there is a valid reason for my clients to ask this – after all, we have heard about age discrimination. For some Boomers, there is a real belief that there are “no jobs out there” for them, and that they are being replaced by younger talent, with more relevant skills, at a more attractive salary (for the company).

Just like anything else, there is some truth here, and more in some industries than others. However, what is more important to understand is that in my 17 years of leadership as a recruiter, job search coach and resume writer, I have learned that it is our perception and ability to look at challenges as opportunities to leverage oneself that will move mountains.

High achievers, leaders, and those who seek opportunity where others see only bleakness and failure: these are the people we should look to for inspiration regarding what is possible. I have seen many executives talk themselves out of opportunities; casting one good marketing idea after another aside, because they “have already tried that and it didn’t work,” or they “don’t believe that could work,” or “it won’t work for their industry,” or, or, or… If you have ever been around someone that is in this frame of mind, you will instantly feel exhausted.

It doesn’t have to be that way. There really is a great benefit to training your mind to entertain what is possible, to embrace what is positive, and to recalibrate the way you see, try and understand marketing 101. Any kind of marketing is primarily comprised of “failure.” How you perceive it and are attached to it emotionally has a direct connection to your resolve.

For example, my late friend and mentor, Mark Hovind, who was a retired CEO for an international oil and gas company (in his late 50’s at the time of this story), test drove his theory on direct mail with his management consulting business. He used Google Maps to find 50 companies in Las Vegas who would be a good match for him, printed out 50 letters addressed to the president and 50 maps showing him where to go to physically drop off the letters.

The next day he spent the afternoon driving around these different companies to hand-deliver each letter. He was met with a variety of responses from, “we don’t accept solicitations,” to “the president is right over there – why don’t you hand it to him yourself?”

At the end of the day, Mark secured a $10,000/month consulting job that lasted 12 months.

So, did Mark fail because 49 companies turned him down and “didn’t want him” or did he just make $120k for 4 hours of marketing effort?

I was talking with my friend Kevin Kermes (Career Attraction) yesterday about Boomer job searches. He was sharing how hard it is to see the silver lining sometimes – but how critical it was to find it!

Older workers need to pick out the strengths in them that set them apart. Many Boomers have incredible work ethics, incredible mentoring skills, and they love seeing and helping their teams succeed! This is a very valuable quality in today’s market where you hear of HR departments having to create entirely new programs in order to get the attention of their Gen Y employees. It is common to hear that these employees come with a much greater sense of entitlement and see loyalty to a company as something they have a hard time relating to. It is clear many of them have a different mindset than their Boomer counterparts.

Let me give you several more facts to embrace as you move forward into your job search:

  • Companies are still growing and are still in need of good employees.
  • Companies still have problems that YOU can solve.
  • Millions of jobs are still being advertised every day… the Bureau of Labor Statistics says 85% of six-figure jobs filled in the U.S. each month are not advertised (hint: fish where the fish are!). That represents over 280,000 six-figure jobs in the “hidden job market.”
  • Millions of 50+ people have landed wonderful job opportunities in all market climates.
  • Learning the strategies to penetrate jobs that are not advertised leads to more interviews and bigger offers.
  • A resume that sends the right marketing message will get you interviews, especially in times when companies really have urgent needs.
  • History is heavily laden with scores of successful people rising out of adverse conditions and situations to achieve great things. Reading leadership biographies about successful business people will inspire you – truly.
  • Some of the best opportunities are born out of the most difficult of situations.

Now not all of us are optimists, but these points are based on fact. And another fact is that keeping a focus on the positive is an invaluable effort that will carry you through any job search in any market.

But what if you consider yourself a “critical thinker” or maybe you have been fired or laid off and these points only serve to fuel your anger and frustration?

Then here are two more facts for you:

  • Looking through the lens of critical analysis is dangerously limiting to your job search success.
  • Anger and frustration over a layoff or letting go is normal in ANY job market and needs to be overcome.

No matter what your personality, position or current situation, we all must take responsibility for how we process it and what we do with the information we allow into our hearts and minds.

So, why not look for your next best position right now? Why not decide today that the media is not going to control the way you think and feel? Why not turn off the TV and simply stay focused on the markets that are growing and the plan and strategy that is going to work best for you right now?

There really isn’t ever a perfectly “right time” to do anything. For example, I picked the worst time to start up my business – financially, family-wise, etc. – but my window of opportunity was there and I embraced it, risk and all, and I never looked back.

A friend of mine who coaches C-Level executives through career transitions recently shared with me that most of his clients were holding off until the New Year to take action. That is, except for one. And that one client, he said, was experiencing amazing results and landing multiple interviews.

The choice is yours and the opportunities ARE there!

Executive Resume Tips for Baby Boomers

My senior level clients are often concerned about “age discrimination.” Although I am sure there might be some truth to this in certain cases, I prefer to focus on the benefits a company gains from hiring a professional who can bring a lifetime of knowledge and experience to the table.

It’s interesting to note that if you are a professional over 50, the more you focus on the results you can bring to the table, the better. Holding onto that mindset will set the tone and pace of all your career-related conversations and interviews.

There have been multiple articles written and studies conducted about a very possible shortage in executive talent by 2018, due to mass retiring of Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964). For example, a 2010 study by Barry Bluestone and Mark Melnik from the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University estimated that by 2018 there could be more than five million unfilled jobs in the United States due to this reduction in workforce. More recently, Georgetown University released the Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements Through 2020 which states that retiring Boomers will create 31 million jobs by 2020.

In my opinion, the actual increased need for expertise in a particular post or industry means that Baby Boomers should focus on their specialized areas of expertise, concentrate on what they can bring to the table, and highlight the mentoring they can provide to younger team members. Fortunately for most professionals with over 20 years of experience, identifying the areas where they shine and what they most love to do is usually very clear to them.

Here are some additional points you can apply to your professional or executive level resume that will help minimize any potential red flags and maximize your candidacy:

  • Don’t go back more than 20 years in your experience unless you absolutely have to.
  • Don’t list dates you were in the military.
  • Don’t list dates you graduated from college.
  • Don’t list dates of every training course you have been through in the last 30 years.
  • Make sure the content you list in your resume is fresh and relevant.
  • Demonstrate you are current on trends, certifications, emerging technologies, and new management structures or generally new ways of doing business.
  • Realize that many credible sources have warned of a looming shortage in senior executives as Baby Boomers retire out of the market and Gen Y employees pose new and difficult challenges for companies.
  • Consider management consulting.

Be SURE to keyword match your ideal job search using indeed.com and insert these keywords into the first page of your resume. And unless you are going after a high visibility C-level position, keep your resume to 2 pages.

Free teleseminar for 5 & 6 figure job seekers – It happens tomorrow, Saturday!

j0433118It happens tomorrow – Saturday morning!

I am hosting a very special free teleseminar titled:

Job Search Secrets For 5-and-6 Figure Professionals:
How To Overcome The 4-Biggest Hurdles Facing Job Seekers Today

All you have to do is show up! Here is the call-in information:

Date: Saturday, May 15th

Time: 10am CDT (11am Eastern/8am Pacific/9am Mountain)

Call in number: 1-218-936-7999

Access Code: 607346#

*If you don’t have a flat rate plan, long distance charges will apply.

On this call I will be sharing with you:

How to complete for key positions if you are over 50

How to rev up a job search if you have been unemployed for over 12-months

How to set up and manage an effective and stress free job search if you are currently working full time

How to tap the hidden job market

I will be making two very special announcements on this call that I can’t wait to share with you.

See you on the call and feel free to spread the word!

Inspiring your success,

Mary Elizabeth

PS Questions? Call us! 830-331-9398.
PPS This call will be recorded but I hope you try to join me for the LIVE call!

Mary Elizabeth Bradford ~ The Career Artisan
Internationally Certified Advanced Resume Writer
Internationally Certified Master Career Director
Master Career Professional Lifetime Achievement Award

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