Are you a senior on retirement jobs search? When last did you update your CV and attend an interview? Now, at the risk of trying to ‘teach my grandmother to suck eggs, I offer you the following tips and techniques.
Looking to earn extra income, change career, work part time, or re-enter the workforce? Retirement doesn't always mean a complete end to paid work. Plan your jobs search, before you officially retire.
Don’t rely solely on your CV or Resume - network your way into a new position when you retire from your primary career. Don’t retire without a plan. Just as in your primary career, it’s easier to get a job from a job. Sending out multiple copies of your resume/CV - they stand little chance of being read. Cold calling the job market is not going to get you very far.
You've heard the saying... "It’s not WHAT you know, but WHO you know"... how many times has this proved to be true?
Research showed that 55% of people found jobs through networking. Many of them came through someone who was not the first point of contact, but someone who has been in touch with someone else. A contact may be able to break the ice with a recommendation for you. ’David is very bright, or has some good projects in his record’. This is better than cold calling or just putting your name on a web site.
Network! Seek interviews using contacts. This is more effective for post primary career change/reinvention than the traditional style of answering adverts and sending resumes.
Employment agencies and search firms are appropriate if you are looking to stay in the same industry and career.
Identify who has the power to hire you and use contacts to get to see that person. The HR department’s job is to screen you OUT
Go to the interview with your own agenda, your own questions about whether or not this job is for you. Don’t let your CV/Resume be used as the sole agenda. Try to shape the interview to reveal what you have to offer.
Do thorough research on the organisation. Speak to someone working there, if possible. Talk to people who are already doing that job. Are your skills relevant, does it seem like an interesting place to work? What is the company culture, what are their goals? Not everyone does this; this alone will put you ahead of many people.
Use the interview to check out the organisation and your potential manager. Sure, you are on trial, but so is the company! Some interviewers are not very good at interviewing and are afraid they might make a wrong choice. Help reassure them!
Here’s what they’re afraid of...
Here’s where the over-fifties have an advantage. You have an extensive network of contacts, who will vouch for you. You have a wealth of experience and transferable skills. You have a track record and you know your strengths and weaknesses. You have the 3Ms - Mental, Motivation, Mature. You may not need much training - you can learn new skills because you have the right attitude and motivation.
Perhaps you are flexible as regards full time/part time, project or temporary work. You may be in the fortunate situation that income is not a priority.
Who wouldn't want to hire a person with those qualities!
An interview has several standard questions, so you can prepare your answers.
• Why are you applying for this job? Show that you have a sense of direction about your career.
• What can you do for us? Talk about yourself in terms of what you can offer the company. You are offering the employer a resource, you are not pleading for a job.
• What kind of person are you? Personality, emotional intelligence? As a senior you have probably done some psychometric test such as MBTI or 16PF, use that information.
• What distinguishes you from others who can do the same tasks as you?
Here’s a great answer to the weakness
For example coming across as aggressive: In the PAST, SOME people have said that I APPEARED to be aggressive. However, in my role as a supervisor I need to be assertive and this can appear to be aggressive. Or begin your answer with "... here is something I would like to improve ...."
Questions before you leave the interview:
• Given my skills and experience, is there work here you would consider hiring me for? (this for a general interview)
• Can you offer me this job? Bold, but could be effective.
• When can I expect to hear from you?
• Can you think of someone else who might be interested in hiring me? Any suggestions re retirement jobs search? (Optional question, again might be used in general interview or where they say no vacancy)
Other stuff ... "bog standard" but not always done.
1. Neat clothes and clean appearance-‘the apparel oft proclaims the man’.
2. Firm handshake and eye contact
3. No slouching or fidgeting
4. Appropriate self-confidence, business-like, polite.
5. Show interest in the job, you can always change your mind later.
Write a thank you note. It’s polite, and you want the people you meet to remember you. They are impressed, but busy. They get on with their jobs after you leave them.
Here is the key to a successful retirement jobs search and being happy and effective at work post retirement:
A job that feeds your self-esteem by the very doing of it, because you get to use the skills you most love to use, in the field you most love to work in, moving towards those goals you would most love to accomplish.
What are the skills you use when you are enjoying yourself the most, either at work or recreation?
Good luck in your retirement jobs search!
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