It starts with how they put together their cover letters. And, or course, do that critical bit of marketing communications wrong and there will be no next step. Those cover letters are tossed.
So, how can the over-50 hunting for work stop shooting themselves in the foot? Here are the 5 must-nots.
Never mention age, not even in what you think is a positive manner. The typical screw-up is stating, "Since I have been 50, I have managed to exceed my sales quota by at least 15%." Better to say, "My 5-year track record is exceeding the sales quota by 15% or more."
Refrain from indicating what you can't do. The help-wanted specifies advanced knowledge of photoshop. You don't say that you don't know it but will learn it. Instead, you either don't answer that ad or begin learning the skills now. Those will likely be useful for many kinds of work opportunities.
Don't ignore instructions. The ad specifies certain instructions either to test out if you are paying attention or because they need the application to be just that way. No matter what the reason, if you don't comply your cover letter will be tossed. If they want you to state your favorite flavor ice cream, do that. If they indicate they want only 5 writing samples, don't send 6.
Never introduce negatives. They don't know you. That means they won't give you the benefit of the doubt. A common negative that is included in cover letters is your reason for leaving your current employment. Instead, reframe that as your enthusiasm about the opportunity this job or assignment offers. The game is about being totally positive.
Never ask for special treatment. It's premature to specify that your caregiver responsibilities require you to begin the day at the office at 10 A.M.
You will know you have stopped shooting yourself in the foot when your begin to receive responses to your cover letters. Your next challenge is not to shoot yourself in the foot during those next steps such as the phone, then in-person interview.
The world has changed. Contact Jane Genova for complimentary consultation to get the competitive edge in your marketing communications (firstname.lastname@example.org).