The recession hit older workers especially hard, with 2.1 million individuals over the age of 55 left unemployed. Many of these people were considered “long-term unemployed,” spending over 27 weeks outside the workforce. One of the biggest challenges facing older job applicants is how to stay competitive with younger job-seekers, many of whom are fresh out of school. Several strategies can help older individuals get a leg up in this difficult job market.
Head Back to School
One of the strongest ways to get an edge in the job market is to improve your education. Going back to school for a bachelor’s or master’s degree sets you apart from job applicants without higher education credentials. Colorado Christian University offers a variety of online programs that allow adult learners to take classes without disrupting their work or family lives. From earning your MBA to transitioning from a Registered Nurse to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, online degree programs are an excellent way to establish your worth to potential employers. Online programs also show employers that you are computer savvy and able to cope with a fast-paced workplace.
Find Characteristics that Set Yourself Apart
When crafting your resume or preparing for a job interview, be strategic about the information you present to employers. Account for any gaps in your work history, and provide actionable details about your past performance. For example, rather than simply stating “led sales team,” write “increased client base by 33% over six-month period” on your resume. Treat your age as a strong point, reflecting greater work experience, rather than a weak spot. Also remember to know your worth; although you’re competing with 20-somethings straight out of school, making a solid case for how you can contribute to a corporation may increase your initial salary offer.
Although the current job climate is tough for older workers, do not despair. Improving your credentials by earning a degree or certificate from Colorado Christian University will give you the skills and expertise to re-establish yourself in a strong career.