Tips for the Modern Middle-aged Jobseeker
You’re middle-aged, have 3 kids and have recently been made redundant. Relax! A horror story this is not; this is in fact a more common scenario than you might think.
It is a widely held-belief that the older you are, the harder to hire you are. This simply is just not true, and Spotlight Recruitment is on hand to offer you some tips, reassurance and renewed confidence in yourself as you head back out into the job pool.
Update Your CV
CVs are a major source of worry for some people; this can stem from not liking to talk about yourself, not knowing how to frame your previous achievements, how to get across your desires without sounding demanding, etc. These are all issues of course, but the one that should never worry you is talking about yourself, especially in a flattering manner.
There’s a quote from the world renowned drag-queen Ru Paul which says ‘if you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love someone else?’. Blunt and simple, it rings true in all walks of life from body confidence to professional prowess, and your CV is the perfect place for you to collate your achievements and let them shine.
Here of course is an obvious plus point for being older than the average jobseeker; you’ve had more life experience, as cliché as that may sound, and this all accumulates to you knowing the best ways for you to achieve your goals, because you’ve tried and tested your methods over years in the workplace. When compared to a recent graduate who is looking for their first tentative break into the career-pool, this is a major benefit to employers who are looking for someone to ‘hit the ground running’ and ‘really make the role their own’, phrases you often hear in marketing interviews.
The industry is fast paced and always developing and re-inventing itself, so knowing how to keep your cool in a pressured environment is a massive bonus. It is also a smart move to…
Research the Sector
Media and marketing today is hugely different from how it was 10 to 15 years ago. As with everything, things change and develop and this is crucial to remember when looking at marketing job roles.
Computer technology, tools and software programmes are imperative to this sector so the smart thing to do would be to get your studying-head on and research the new tech available in the sector. Not only does this show you using your initiative, it shows the interviewer that you are current with the sector and always looking for ways to improve your work deliverables and time management.
With so many conferences and expos around the country on marketing and media, getting a ticket to one of these events is a smart idea, and one that may benefit you in the long run! These events are a melting pot of the best and brightest in the UK media industry, and networking here could throw some amazing opportunities your way. Rock up with your business cards, notebook and coffee and get settled in to absorb as much information as you can from the young, the old and everyone in between.
Recruitment agencies like Spotlight, who specialise in marketing and media jobs are exactly who you should be talking to when looking for a marketing job, especially if you haven’t got the luxury of free time! Recruitment agents are there to join your search for a job, provide you with opportunities you possibly wouldn’t have thought to pursue, and to provide you with up to date information on the sector, job role and company that you’re applying for.
In years gone by, recruitment agents have taken quite a verbal whipping from jobseekers who haven’t taken the time to understand the value of having an agency behind you. Especially from the perspective of a middle-aged jobseeker, taking the time to chat with them about your previous job likes and dislikes, outlining your needs for childcare, flexible hours and working from home, etc. can be the difference between finding a job you love and just one that pays the bills.
Spotlight Recruitment is one of the best in the industry because they take the time to actually get to know you and what you need from your new role. And having someone else look for roles for you takes a huge amount of pressure and stress off your shoulders, allowing you to still commit yourself to family and other activities, as well as your job search.
Older and Wiser
Age is just a number, yet some people still allow these digits to hold them back from even broaching their job aspirations. With the older generation whipping up a frenzy in the modelling world, and taking the entrepreneurial-world by storm, it is clear that age is not as huge a barrier as many believe it to be.
A good thing to remember though, is not to hide the fact you may be older than the other applicants but to play it up. By acknowledging the age difference before the interviewer can comment on it shows a confidence that is highly appealing to employers, and asserts you as someone who knows how to play to their strengths.
Along with this confidence also comes experience at handling yourself in pressured environments (be that in the office or at home with multiple children vying for your attention), your well-honed communication and diplomacy skills, the list goes on.
All you need to do is apply yourself to the advances in the sector, throw on your lucky suit and show them what you’re made of.
You may already have a LinkedIn profile, but if not, this is the best place for you to start networking from home.
LinkedIn is essentially an online CV and portfolio for professionals in all sectors, allowing you to communicate with senior managers and HR representatives around the world. Having a thorough and detailed work history available online shows that you are up to date with how employers search for and screen their potential employees, and gives you the ability to start conversations with people in the frontline of your sector, who you may not have had a chance to speak with otherwise.
Getting to know some of the names of thought leaders and innovators in the sector you’re applying for is also a huge bonus, showing initiative and a keen desire to learn. Dropping their names into your interview will show you in a positive light and perhaps even give you that extra edge above the younger competition you were looking for!
At the End of the Day
Though age may be a major issue to middle-aged jobseekers, it is not the definitive factor that many believe. Just as anyone would, employers are looking for the best fit for their company and this is not solely dependent on your age.
Yes, you may have a family to consider, but hey, the department manager probably has a family of their own too and their role here is secure! Having these familial demands doesn’t cast a bad light on you, if anything it shows how you can compartmentalise and multi-task your everyday life, which is a huge bonus both inside and outside of the office. The key thing here is to use your age and experience to your advantage, make yourself stand out with your work history instead of shying away from the fact you’ve been a professional for longer than many of the people you are applying with.
The confidence you have in your abilities and your drive to continue your professional education is what makes you unique, and an asset to the company you’re applying for. So make sure you update your CV, do your research, and get in contact with the team at Spotlight to start your job search on the high note it deserves.