What can you say to someone who is 63+ and not able to secure a new role in doing what I do best – supporting execs. I’ve worked for 2 consulting firms 30+ years of experience and have been unemployed since October 2017. I get a few interviews, but none have turned into an offer. Am I on the secret age “blacklist”? I don’t look my age and planned to work well into my 70s. Any advice/direction will be appreciated. Thank you. – Sara in Layton, New Jersey
While your situation is not uncommon, the strategy you pursue will be unique to your own circumstances. One thing that stands out immediately is the need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. That does not by any means relate to being unemployed. Never! Rather, it applies to stretching and flexing your style. The following are specific tactics I recommend you employ.
1) Re-evaluate your skills from the lens of the audience.
Ask and analyze what they need, want, or lack. How do you provide the best solutions? Articulate this in terms of the benefits you deliver to prospective employers.
This exercise will result in a fresh personal brand focused on the company and position.
2) Create a 60-second video resume.
There are free tools, programs, and instructional courses to help you if needed. They key is to demonstrate your tech savvy and deliver a benefit-driven pitch.
I would start the video with a humorous and enticing statement about age. You could also end with this, but I think the beginning is best as it sets the tone and grips the audience.
Create the best possible video you can. Speak to the screen and use screencast. Simple editing will enhance the final product. Bonus – your video simultaneously communicates your abilities with tech.
When you upload the video to YouTube, make it unlisted. Use a shortened link when you add the link to your applications and resume. (This simple step demonstrates tech savvy.)
The age statement could be something like this:
“Hi! I’m Karen and 63 years young. Organizations who value cultural diversity, approach opportunities at multiple angles, and seek energized experienced insights to manage sensitive and complex situations are a perfect fit.”
3) Update your resume utilizing steps 1 and 2 above.
Be sure to use only a single space between sentences. Using a single space between sentences in all communications illustrates you are continuously learning and adapting to current standards. Your resume should be benefit-driven, utilize bullet points, and be a skimmable single page. List the link to your video at the top of your resume.
4) Expand your vernacular to create more common ground with interviewers.
Find current pop culture (music artists, tv shows, and other media) you genuinely enjoy. This is about being young at heart and actively participating in today’s word. This will come through in subtle ways during your interviews and conversations.
5) Be active on LinkedIn, creating posts and commenting within your groups.
Join related groups to participate to discussions. You have extensive knowledge and experience. Share it. Use your posts to teach, solve a specific pain point, or answer a burning why. Creating mini 30- to 60-second video posts will deliver high value and interaction.
Sara, I hope these 5 tips will help you land that great new position soon!
Lynn Whitbeck is the co-founder and President of Petite2Queen. She is focused on identifying and evaluating opportunities for women at work, helping them define their personal roadmap. She dedicates herself to delivering tools and insights, embracing visualization of the big picture, and identifying and implementing the minutiae of detail. Lynn aims to share lessons learned along her journey and enable positive uplift for women.