To land the position, job seekers need to differentiate themselves from the younger crowd by pinpointing companies and industries instead of appealing to the masses and blasting out resumes — which no one should do anyway.
Customize your Cover Letter and Resume
One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is not dedicating enough time to their cover letter or resume. Ninety percent of job seekers have generic cover letters that reiterate bullet points on their resume, and many send the same resume out for numerous positions.
Use Your Resources
Understand and utilize the resources you have like your job boards and search engines, your network, and staffing firms. Don’t just use one resource; be sure to use multiple resources.
Senior professionals have something millennials don’t – a stronger network that has been built over 10, 20, 30 years. The three aspects to hit when networking are to reach out to someone in your past, present and future every day when job hunting. Past: This means reach out to someone from college, or an old position. Present: Reach out to someone that you currently are in touch with (in the last year at least), like family, friends, sports leagues you’re in, etc. Future: Look to the industry you want to pursue and connect with a professional you don’t know whether it’s reaching out to grab coffee or linking in with them on LinkedIn.
If you don’t have an account, create one! There are so many resources provided through LinkedIn like job postings, groups you can join and comment in and interact with other professionals, you can write posts and use the wealth of knowledge you’ve acquired over the years to demonstrate thought leadership.
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, frankly you might not be the “best” at everything. If you weren’t good at a certain aspect of a past position, then don’t focus on that. Focus on a job search that emphasizes your strengths, but recognize what your weakness are and work on them (more on that below). The sooner you are able to come to terms with this, the sooner you can begin searching for a job that requires the right skillset.
Work On The Weaknesses
While you’re working on brushing up on your skillset, whether it’s Excel, a coding class, or PowerPoint course, use the events you attend as an opportunity to network. Talk to people about where they work, whether their friends know of positions, connect with the instructor, etc. Taking courses to brush up is essential when applying for positions (or even before you start), but there is more to take advantage of while attending. Come with some variation of a business card, and network.