It's been reported that baby boomers are the new "unemployables." That's fixable. Senior professionals who have the competitive spirit of a 20-year-old, and who also have vast experience, are indispensable.
You simply have to prove the myths wrong and showcase your willingness to evolve with the developing workplace, as well as your enthusiasm to take the company to new heights. Keep in mind some sacrifices might have to be made such as a pay cut, increased work hours or enrollment in further training to refresh a dated skill you may have previously excelled at.
To land the position, senior job seekers need to differentiate themselves from the younger crowd by pinpointing companies and industries instead of appealing to the masses, and below are five tips on how to successfully do just that:
1. Reduce your Resume:
Remember your goal is to compose a resume that is congruent with what the company desires without fabricating your professional experience. Rather than displaying a multitude of skills and expertise, you need to deliver only what the employer asks for in order to get noticed. It's more effective to exhibit passion and expertise about one or two skills related to the position than a multitude of unrelated talents.
2. Customize your Cover Letter:
One of the largest mistakes job seekers make is not dedicating enough time to their cover letter or introductory email. Ninety percent of job seekers have generic cover letters that reiterate bullet points on their resume. A cover letter or intro email is the first document an employer reads, so make it stand out. Create a niche for yourself. Whether you are a .NET developer, customer service representative, or accountant, the recruiter or hiring manager is seeking something specific, so give it to them. Use the company website and research current events that pertain to the industry and incorporate this information showing what value you'd add from day one.
3. Work Backwards:
Focus your attention on five companies you are interested in and go from there. Locate current and past employees on LinkedIn or check out company websites and schedule a meeting. Don't look desperate and immediately ask about job openings. Rather, take this meeting as an opportunity to pick their brain and find out about their company's culture, growth strategy and business practices.
4. Be Honest with Yourself:
Were you really good at what you did? You were good compared to whom? Remember, if you've been out of a job for a while, you might not be the "best" at everything. If you weren't good at a certain aspect of a past position, then try to focus on a job search that emphasizes your strengths. The sooner you are able to come to terms with this, the sooner you can begin searching for a job that requires a different skill set -- yours!
5. The Interview
You need to examine your interviewing skills from how you present yourself to how you dress and how you communicate. If you can't speak in detail and drill down into the specifics of how you did something, then you're not going make a good impression. Be able to explain what you did and how you did it, along with how those beneath you did.
Several larger corporations such as Starbucks, Target and Land's End are able to offer even their part-time employees benefits such as health coverage and paid vacation time (head over to ABC for a full list).
For those with an entrepreneurial spirit and computer know-how, the Internet offers opportunities to bring in some cash from home -- at any hour of the day or night. Take Jose and Jill Ferrer, a retired couple profiled by AARP for supplementing a freewheeling retirement with their website, Your RV Lifestyle. By highlighting certain products related to RV living, the pair earns $700 a month, AARP reports. "And we know the potential is there to grow our website business further," Jill Ferrer says. Other ideas: Etsy.com allows the crafty to turn a profit from their hobbies.
Personal care and home health aid topped the Bureau of Labor Statistics' list of the fastest growing occupations in America. The time commitment may vary (between 10 and 30 hours per week, according to SmartMoney), but the median annual wage is around $20,000 for both occupations, according to the BLS.
Bartending is not just for twentysomethings -- and for social butterflies, this part-time gig offers opportunity to rake in extra cash, not to mention tips, with a minimal initial financial investment (a 40-hour certification course at the New York City Bartending School costs a little less than $600, for example).
Age discrimination is less of a problem in government agencies, reports The Fiscal Times. In fact, agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Transportation Security Administration actively seek older workers. Visit USAJobs.gov to search for available positions.
If you've got an artistic flair or an interest in theater, makeup artists can make up to $40 an hour, and only work 20 hours a week on average, AOL Jobs reports. Disclaimer: qualifications may include formal training in cosmetology or theater, and a license is required to practice in several states.
What better way to scratch that globetrotting itch? If you're up for an on-the-go lifestyle, flight attendants also earn up to $40 an hour, making it a very well-paid part-time job.
The nonprofit sector can offer more than volunteer opportunities for retirees, and may be particularly appealing to those who "thought they wanted to change the world ... [but] put that on the back burner for 20 or 30 years while they climbed the corporate ladder," as Tamara Erickson, author of "Retire Retirement: Career Strategies for the Boomer Generation," told The Wall Street Journal. To get started, Idealist.org offers listings for available paid positions in addition to volunteer opportunities: applicants with years of experience under their belts are sure to be met with open arms. Even cooler, Encore.org offers paid Encore Fellowships to "match skilled, experienced professionals at the end of their midlife careers with social-purpose organizations" -- while earning a small stipend for part- or full-time work, midlifers can get their foot in the door to a fulfilling retirement job.
The pay may not be great, but if you're an arts lover, a history buff or a sports enthusiast, the perks certainly are!
"I studied hypnotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy 3 years ago and now I have my own business, couldn't be happier" -- Huff/Post50 reader Lee Adley It's certainly a challenge, but as our amazing readers -- and the many men and women featured on our page -- can attest, going back to school and pursuing something totally different can be well worth the investment of time, money and energy.