How to Find a Job if You're Over 40

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The prospect of looking for employment when you are over the age of 40 can seem overwhelming. Older workers do face the very real challenge of fighting instances of discrimination by employers who prefer to hire younger workers. Certain stereotypes prevail, such as that more mature job applicants are less physically healthy or are out-of-touch with current skills and trends. Despite these perceptions, job aspirants over the age of 40 can find good jobs, if they persevere, and keep the following tips in mind.

Things You'll Need

  • Resume, updated technology skills, job training, perseverence

Helpful Job Finding Tips for Those Over 40

  • Hone your technology skills. The majority of jobs being offered in today's market will require you to be knowledgeable about the most current technology. In other words, you need to have excellent computer skills, know how to implement the latest office software and be able to easily navigate your way around the Internet. If you are lacking in those skills, sign up for a computer class at a community college so you can learn how to become more "tech savvy."

  • Consider temp work. Many people desiring to return to the workforce find jobs through temporary employment agencies, such as Manpower, Inc. These agencies connect workers with employers or companies that have short-term assignments available. These jobs encompass a variety of fields and can last from a few days up to a few years. The more open you are to considering various types of work the more likely you are to be in demand. The temp agency pays your salary and may even provide benefits, under certain conditions.

  • Think outside the box. You may think of seeking a job in a more "conventional" sense, but, thanks to the Internet, there are other options for finding jobs that don't fit the old, traditional concepts of employment. Consider finding a work-at-home job. While you'll need to be careful not to fall victim to on-line scams, there are numerous legitimate services for locating genuine home-based jobs. There are companies and employers who are seeking skilled individuals, for both short-term and long-term jobs. Some are salaried positions, while others are commission-based jobs. There are a variety of fields where help is needed, such as administrative, sales, data entry and customer service. As the economy changes, more telecommunication jobs are likely to be available.

  • Become a consultant. If you have years of expertise and experience in a particular field, such as in business and healthcare, think about becoming a paid consultant. This may require that you set up your own business but, once you do, you can hawk your services to small businesses and companies you've worked with previously. Set a fee for the services you offer and provide good references about your skills and performance. Build up your reputation by being consistent, giving sound advice and showing a real interest in the people and businesses you are working for. As a consultant, your age and years of experience will work for you, rather than against you.

  • Prepare yourself for job interviews. If you decide that you still want to go out into the traditional workforce, then make certain to practice your job interview skills. It's important to present yourself at your best and know how to be both communicative, confident and personable. Make sure you go to every job interview looking your best physically. Don't wear casual clothes or dress sloppily, but look as though you are serious about wanting a job.

  • Create a professional looking resume. Regardless of which job-seeking option you choose, you will probably be asked to provide an employer or company with a resume. Create one that lists your job experiences, any professional organizations or groups you belong to, your strengths and weaknesses and references, along with their most current contact information, as well as any other things pertinent to the job you are applying for. Resumes that are poorly written, with spelling and grammatical errors, are likely to be ignored. If you aren't confident about your resume, consider using using a resume writing service or buying resume writing software.

  • Network. Join a professional group or organization, if you don't already belong to one, and attend regular meetings and gatherings. You can learn what kind of jobs are available in your field and you can display your skills and knowledge to potential employers. For instance, you could volunteer to help with a project, which would showcase your ability to design, work and complete a job. Networking can actually be very beneficial to those over age 40, who want the chance to convince potential employers that they are capable of doing good work.

Tips & Warnings

  • Understand that getting a job when you are over age 40 can be difficult.
  • Make sure you have current job skills.
  • Consider a variety of options for finding jobs.
  • Be prepared.
  • Don't give up.
  • Never go to apply for a job, without being properly prepared.
  • Look out for any signs of age discrimination.

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