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Employment: Finding A Job When You're Over the Age of 50

Updated on March 11, 2013
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My resume hates me!

Are you over 50 and looking for a job? That is the position I find myself in after recently being laid off. I am finding it more and more difficult to even get an interview and am certain that my resume is my greatest enemy. In an economy that is still struggling, more and more companies are afraid to spend. Full time positions are being traded for part time positions and only those who will accept minimal wages are considered. With health care costs through the roof, I can't work for minimum wage. It's a trap. I can't afford not to have health insurance and at the same time, I can't afford to have it.

One glance at my resume and it is clear I'm no spring chicken. I worked for one company for over 35 years and have held two positions since then. My resume screams "over 50"..."almost 60"...."needs more money". Prospective employers hear that scream and file me in the round file without further study.

Don't I wish I was still 25 years old, living with a couple of roommates and sharing apartment expenses? Do I wish my parents could still carry me on their insurance? You bet I do. If only wishes were reality.

Seriously, I wouldn't change where I am for anything. I like the wisdom that has come with aging and am proud of the experience I've gained. It would just be nice to get the interview opportunity so I could explain what I have to offer.

Edit the Resume

No one wants to admit their age, especially when you're over 50. But, I knew I needed a little help when the interviews just weren't happening. I consulted a recruiter and a representative at the Employment Commission. Both recommended changes to my resume so I have -

  • Reduced my resume to a single page in length
  • Bulletted my strengths and skills on my resume
  • Tailored the objective for each specific company on my resume
  • Mailed it to dozens of companies, even those that were not advertising

I've rewritten and made my cover letter unique for each company, highlighting the skills that I would bring to the company. I've declared my ability to be flexible, work as a team player and to adapt to change. I've told them I am eager to work, eager to learn and willing to grow with the position. I've shared with them that I am reliable and responsible, that I don't call in sick, have no criminal history or substance abuse issues and, that I own my own vehicle and have no debt. My God, I'm almost perfect. So, why can't I get an interview?

The Cover Letter

The cover letter may be the most important component for the successful job hunt. It's an employers market today and the cover letter is your chance to stand out among the dozens or more applications they receive. Show a little personality in your letter. Show them a real person is on the other end, not just a robot. Tell them a little something about yourself and tell them why you want this job. Don't stop at why your qualified. Plenty of applicants will be qualified. Show them you are not only qualified but you are actually interested in this job.

It's important to keep the cover letter short. No prospective employer is going to wade through paragraph after paragraph of your rambling. Writing in clear, concise sentences also demonstrates your ability to cut to the chase. Prove you are the great communicator that you've claimed to be. And for heaven's sake....spellcheck your work. Never send a cover letter that contains errors in spelling and watch your punctuation too. It's well worth a few more minutes to ensure perfection.

I want to write, dang it!

If I do not find work soon, I am certain that I will wear out my welcome here on HubPages. Watching my readership increase and getting feedback is the highlight of my day. Can't anyone see that I want to write?

I don't want to sell phones or insurance and I sure don't want to put electronics together on an assembly line. There's nothing wrong with any of those options but they just aren't me. My needs are basic. I just need to express myself. I need the challenge of writing and being critiqued. I want to work doing what I love. Is that so wrong? Can't you feel how excited I get when my earnings jump another penny? I have been reduced to counting views, comments, and one cent earnings like finance moguls count the returns on their investments. Hey, that's what I'm doing. I'm counting the returns on my investment. It's just too bad that they won't pay the rent.

© 2012 Linda Crist, All rights reserved.

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  • galleryofgrace profile image

    galleryofgrace 4 years ago from Virginia

    Very interesting article. narmsdotcom has many jobs that are excellent for older part time workers.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    gallery - thank you so much. That's an excellent resource and I will certainly use it. Many, many thanks !

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    MizBejabbers 4 years ago

    I hate to have to say this, but you almost have to know somebody who knows somebody in this day and time of job scarcities. I was over 40 when I found this job, and the way I got it was through a rare job at a temp agency. They needed someone who could work a certain type of computer in the days of mainframes and CPTs. I was the only applicant who qualified. After nine months that job was completed and my present job opened up. The director just happened to be the best friend of the personnel manager in the office where I was working, and he vouched that I was qualified for this job. I've been here 23 years and have received four promotions and one demotion (because of a merger) and am looking forward to retirement. I guess I'm suggesting that you try a temporary agency and hope to come in through the back door. Good luck!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Again, good advice MizB. Thanks for the tip and the encouragement.

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