Put your years of experience to work the right way and get the job you deserve.
Looking for a job is never easy. Despite the reputation that boomers have as job thieves who can swoop in and steal any position, they struggle just like anyone to find a new job. There are various roadblocks and plenty of false assumptions made about the boomer job seeker that keeps them from getting hired. Luckily, many boomers have the value of experience to help with their job search.
Now more than ever, experience is an invaluable tool for employers. As the workforce attempts to bridge the gap between retiring professionals and the inexperienced new workers, an applicant who can hit the ground running is sorely needed. However, just having the experience isn’t enough. How do you sell your experience in a way that effectively shows you’re the ideal candidate?
What are your transferable skills?
Not all experience is equal. Skills that have been an asset in one position might be meaningless in another. Fortunately, through your years on the job, you’ve no doubt acquired a considerable amount of valuable skills. Now it is a matter of selling the right skills to the right job. That doesn’t always mean it’s your strongest skills either. Which skills speak directly to the needs of that job? Your experience has value, but you want to sell the experience that fits the job you’re after.
Think about what you learned and how it applies.
There are different types of experience and practical experience is the kind employers will be interested in. Practical experience means you can demonstrate how to put your experience to use in a real-world setting. This separates those who have knowledge of a skill from those who can actually perform the skill on the job. The more specific you can be about how you’ve used your experience on the job, the more employers can trust you know what you’re doing. Ask yourself what results you have gotten from your work. How have you used your experience to achieve career goals? Being able to demonstrate on-the-job success is hard for employers to ignore.
Identify your weak areas.
Just as important as identifying your strengths when applying for a job, it’s essential you realize your weaknesses. Start with identifying those problem areas. Get honest and critical about your own work and where it can be improved. Once you’re able to acknowledge those areas, you can get to work on them. Fill in those skill gaps, put extra effort into those areas you haven’t got a handle on, learn new approaches to the work. Also, look for ways your other skills can help to soften those weak areas. We all have weaknesses, but only those willing to confront them can hope to turn them into strengths.
You’ve put years of work into building your experience, now it’s time you learned how to use it to its full potential.