Even if you're young enough to know all the latest job-hunting tools, you may not br making the best use of them.
Jayne Mattson, senior vice president at Keystone Associates, career management and transition consultants, (www.keystoneassociates.com) offers these suggestions on ways to update all your job search techniques.
1. When was the last time you REALLY updated your resume? Write a solid accomplishment driven resume that shows how you overcame challenges with results.
2. Know Thyself: Research the job market by looking at advertised positions in your field of expertise to see what employers need from a skill perspective and attributes. Don't look at jobs you can do, but ones you have already done.
3. Would YOU hire YOU? Honestly assess how you fit in with the market needs. Go back to your resume; if you were hiring yourself, would your resume tell you that you have done the job the employer is looking to do at their company?
4. Research, Update, and Repeat: Make adjustments to your resume based on your research and make sure you update your LinkedIn profile. This is something you should do often.
5. An Old Dog MUST Learn New Tricks: If you do not have the qualifications/experience employers are looking for, then you need to find out how you can learn the new skills and gain some experience.
Baby Boomers must forget what they think they know about finding a job, which is not about applying for 100 jobs they think they can do. They need to learn the specific techniques for today's job search. For example:
1. Networking is multi-layered process: Many Baby Boomers think networking is sending a resume to many people and saying "if you hear of a job, let me know." Networking is building and maintaining relationships with people - via in-person meetings, chats at cookouts, phone calls and LinkedIn messages - who can give you advice, information, and contacts that will eventually lead to the Hidden Job Market.
2. Adjust your mindset that applying online may not be working and you need to change the way you are looking for a job.
3. Evaluate your LinkedIn profile - does it reflect a youthful person or your maturity? Since recruiters and hiring managers use LinkedIn to recruit talent, make sure you have recommendations, groups you belong to, and have many connections (aim for 500+).
4. Post and Cultivate New Skills and Contacts on Your LinkedIn Profile: List volunteer activities and interests on your profile that reflect youthfulness, get recommendations from younger co-workers to show you are able to work cross-generationally, and make sure your profile picture is professional and shows your SMILE! Also, volunteering is great for motivation and provides another place to network.
5. Sometimes You do Have to Keep up with the Kardashians (kind of): Let's face it, Baby Boomers are going up against younger job candidates, so modernizing your look can only give you an advantage. Don't try to look 25 years old, but giving yourself a makeover, a new hair color and style, an updated wardrobe, and modern eyeglasses will help keep the interview to just the questions and not thoughts of your maturity. Also, it's true - if you feel good on the outside it helps promote positive energy from within and makes not just you, but your entire personality more appealing and hirable.
Ask those difficult questions in your networking meetings that will help in actual job interviews. For example:
1. What skills and experience are you looking for that will add the most value to your organization?
2. How does your company find key talent?
3. What does your company look for when interviewing established workers?
4. What do we need to do better in presenting ourselves more effectively?
5. What should I do in-between the first and second round of interviews when I do not hear back from the employer?
6. Do you know of companies that are targeting the more mature worker?
7. What skills would you recommend for me to acquire to make me more marketable?
8. Is there an internship at your company to show you what value I could bring to your organization?
9. Do you know of a particular networking group that would be helpful for me to join?
10. Is there someone else you could recommend I speak with who could help me fine tune how I present myself the most effective way in today's challenging job market?
Finally, Mattson says to listen and take action on the recommendations from your network, send thank you notes, and stay in touch with your contacts telling them about your progress. This job search method of networking will boost your self-esteem and eventually bring you closer to finding a job than continuing to apply online, which is usually a black hole.
If you show employers that you are willing to do the hard work that is needed to find a job, eventually someone will recognize it, and hire you.