According to the September Jobs Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 94 million Americans are now missing from America’s Workforce, and while the percentage of employed Americans is said to be at 62.6 percent, those disappeared workers are now over 37 percent.
According to the BLS, there were 635,000 discouraged workers in September, virtually unchanged from 2014. Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.
Among those “discouraged workers” are “Seasoned Professionals”, who are having a difficult time finding their way back into America’s Workforce.
The following Job Search Tips for Older Americans, or, “Seasoned Professionals” are I like to call them (since I am one) were suggested by Phillip Moeller in an article posted on money.usnews.com.
The tips themselves are his. The analysis (and any smart aleck remarks that may pop up) are mine.
1. Get credit for what you know.
As a seasoned professional, you have amassed a ton of knowledge and experience throughout your professional life. However, potential employers have no way of ascertaining what you know. Enrolling in a certification program or seeking college credit for your work experience can develop the third-party credentials that would lead to a job.
It ain’t braggin’, if it’s documented.
2. You are a brand.
As a Seasoned Professional, you are a valuable commodity. You need to get out there and sell yourself! Now, you don’t have to hire a Cessna Pilot to fly your resume on a banner behind his plane. There is a much cheaper way to get yourself out there:
Use the Social Media. It’s FREE!
In fact, don’t tell anyone…but, I’m marketing my skills right now. Shhh!
3. Career navigators.
As you are no doubt finding out, today’s job market is a maze of twists and turns.
Sometimes, it helps to have a trusted advisor who has worked with you and who knows your skills and abilities, guide you toward the positions which you need to be going after.
Nothing is more demoralizing than looking back and thinking “Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda”.
4. Offer your services.
While unpaid internships won’t pay the bills, if you can afford it, they can be a great way to get your foot in the door of an industry or employer you like. It’s a way to gain needed experience, an addition to your résumé, and knowledge of how to improve your skills.
And, who knows? They may hire you after you show them what you can do.
5. Reverse job fairs.
This works just the opposite of regular job fairs that you may have attended. Job Seekers are in booths and are prescreened by employers, who then come up to speak to them. Employers control the situation and decide how to best use their time.. This helps the Job Seeker’s confidence because they know that the Employer coming to their booth is already interested in speaking with them.
6. Computer and technology training.
Let’s face it: Employers often assume that older Job Seekers are not computer-literate or comfortable with the New Technology. If you can show them that you actually know your way around a keyboard, this may help overcome any “Old Age Bias” that the potential Employer may be carrying into the interview.
It will help if you know that Skype is not a kind of bird.
7. Flextime and part-time jobs.
If you are technologically-savvy, and can afford it, you may want to work part-time or have flexible schedules, since working from home, or “telecommuting” may be an option for all or part of these types of jobs.
Just don’t Skype with your boss in your jammies.
8. Age bias.
It is a reality, as many out-of-work Seasoned Professionals have found out.
It can be overcome by, as I mentioned earlier, upgrading your “Skill Set”. It can also be overcome by answering the potential Employer’s concerns during the Interview, in a way which assures them that you can handle the duties of the job.
9. Workplace readiness.
There are programs available out there that will literally prepare you for the job that you are seeking. Some are available through technical and community colleges. Some are sponsored by the companies, themselves. There may even be financial aid available for the training that you are seeking.
Yes, we are older.
However, we still have skills and abilities, acquired through years of professional experience, which can be of immeasurable worth to a prospective Employer.
We must first, convince ourselves, and then, convince the prospective Employer, of that indisputable fact.
The great American Inventor, Alexander Graham Bell, said,
When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.
It is up to us to identify that door, open it wide, and step through it.
Never give up. Never surrender.