In the past few months I’ve had many candidates tell me the job search is harder the older they get. As they go through the interview process they are finding that hiring managers are looking for the unskilled worker who will accept lower wages, their own skills and abilities are undervalued, and their age is a major factor. They seem to go into panic mode when starting a job search- fear and uncertainty about their place in today job market sets in. One candidate actually lied about his age during our initial interview as he felt expired and past his shelf life.
Millennials have taken the junior executive or executive positions and seem to lack any regard for what a more experienced employee’s value would be to the organization. Mature employees tend to stay longer at a company, work harder, and have years of skills young professional have not yet mastered. It is understandable that organizations want to keep employment costs down, but what do you get when you only hire millennials to do the job?
If you are part of Generation X don’t let today’s job market undervalue your capability and potential. The job market is competitive but get the boxing gloves on and fight. Be proud of the life skills you have that will take Millennials and Generation Z years to master. Know that your work ethic and your brand loyalty says something and that you have the power to mentor the younger generations. Believe in yourself, trust your experience and let others know what you have to offer.
If you are part of Generation X and about to start a job search here are 5 top tips from Bedford Jones on how to be relevant in today’s job market:
Revamp your resume: Do some research and look at what millennials are submitting. Present yourself with a slick resume that’s on trend. Sign up for free with Canva.com and impress the company before you get in the door. When writing your resume only present the last 15 years of your experience and leave University graduation dates off.
Look good, Feel Good: Show up for an interview in appropriate business attire, but be aware of your environment. If you are going into a pretty cool start up and there are going to be mainly Millennials, drop the suit and be smart-casual. Also be energetic and upbeat. You have this skills to own this job and to help others in theirs.
Be Socially Aware. Make sure you know what is going on in the digital world. You must have a LinkedIn page, you should be aware of the functionality of Twitter and Instagram and know what companies like Hootsuite do. If your business utilizes Facebook be aware of that too.
Network with your contacts: By now you should have a pretty big network of friends, family, colleagues, bosses, subordinates, recruiters that you can tap into. Let the network know you are open to opportunities, see who they can connect you with. Referrals are invaluable.
Assess the Company Culture: Make sure when you are applying for a role the company has the culture you are looking for. Will it bother you that the organization is filled with Millennials? Is the environment too casual? Will the company be open to your vision and strategy for growing the business? Will your potential reports and bosses be open to your direct approach?
If you are looking to fill a senior position and need an incredible Gen X candidate to build your brand and drive your culture, give Bedford Jones a call.