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Better Your Odds Of Finding A Job After 50

July 21, 2021

For jobseekers older than 50, the hunt for satisfying work can be tough - but with such strong demand for skilled workers this year, your own search might lead you to a job you love. In a new book titled The Job Closer (recently the subject of a Next Avenue article), Duke University business professor and career coach Steve Dalton helps older (and younger) jobseekers out with some tips for 2021. 

To start, think about your best skill - the skill or ability you have (and excel at) that less than 1% of the people in the world have. You want your next job to take full advantage of it. Next, take a few minutes and write down every job you think you could do with your current skill set. After that, look at your resume. Bullet-point it per job so that it presents your "greatest hits" - accomplishments per job, keyed to stories you can tell in an interview. Ageism is real, so exclude dates of employment and graduation - and perhaps your earliest work experiences altogether. "It's completely optional to like networking," Dalton states, "but it's not optional to do networking." On the popular networking websites, keep the per-job copy minimal and readable; if you are currently unemployed, don't disclose that. In interviews, ask plenty of questions about where the company is going, its challenges, and what the company is proud of achieving. Tell a story about yourself, a "hero story", for "the way to overcome ageism is to give people a story that makes sense about why you want to work there." Let them know what motivates you, and you could motivate them into hiring you.4