How to find a job online as a mature candidate
Written by Pip Harry for Australian Seniors.
Whether you’re re-entering the workforce or just looking for a change, there’s a wealth of apps and websites to help you land your dream job. Here’s our guide to the best digital resources for over 50s jobseekers.
Be aware of screening
Sydney-based career coach Jane Jackson says it’s vital to understand how technology factors into your job search, from the moment you press send on your CV.
“Most online job applications are initially screened by a recruitment scanning system such as Taleo or TurboRecruit,” says Jane. “Understanding how the system parses each application will help jobseekers to tailor their applications closely to the requirements of the role and increase their chances of being screened in."
“One helpful tool is jobscan.co, which gives job seekers an instant analysis of how well their resumé is tailored for a particular job. What you want is to be an 80%+ match for the role you are targeting for a greater chance of getting a call back.”
Highlight your experience
Don’t downplay your experience or waste your time applying for junior roles. “As a jobseeker over 50, you will have gained a wealth of experience and wisdom which will enable you to be a mentor to younger employees,” says Jane. “Also, a qualified mature age worker will be able to hit the ground running faster and require less initial training and supervision.”
The olderworkers.com.au and seekingseniors.com.au jobs boards aim to connect mature jobseekers with age-friendly employers who value experience. Both also provide cover letter and résumé templates, along with job search tips.
With more than 750 million members globally, LinkedIn is still the go-to for networking and new job opportunities. “You must create a strong profile on LinkedIn.com and get active connecting with people in your desired industry and target organisations,” advises Jane.
SEEK is the largest dedicated Australian jobsite, and it also allows you to create a personal profile to connect you with employers. Be aware, the online space is no place for shrinking violets – it’s all about self-promotion.
“Many mature age professionals are reluctant to use digital media to promote themselves,” says Jane. “It’s important to project the right brand online. Think about the message you want to get across online to attract the opportunities you desire.”
Cast a wide net
Don’t expect the perfect job to fall in your lap. “The recruitment and selection process has changed dramatically over the years and relying on advertised roles is no longer the best option to land the job you desire,” says Jane. “It’s important to conduct thorough research online to identify the industries and organisations that will be a good match and value what you have to offer. If you’re not aware of what is available you will miss valuable opportunities.”
Once you’ve nailed down where you’d love to work, Workforce Australia can help you look for roles by location, industry or keywords. The website is also available as a handy job seeking app that you can download to your phone for regular alerts.
Sharpen your skills
Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers provides personalised support programs for over 40s, including career assessment, guidance with an adviser, recommendations for further skills training and help transitioning to a new career.
LinkedIn Learning offers a wealth of career-focused training – from video conferencing tips to learning personal branding and answering common job interview questions, while SEEK Learning houses more than 5,700 courses from Australian TAFEs, universities and leading registered training organisations.
Create a targeted CV
Design app Canva offers hundreds of free, designer-made resume templates that are easy to customise. Change the colours, fonts and layout, and add graphics or photos to match the job you’re applying for.
“Ensure that you have strong examples of your achievements, with tangible results that demonstrate how you overcome obstacles,” says Jane. It is also key to emphasise your reliability. “Mature age workers are unlikely to be seeking ‘the next best thing’ and will prefer stability.”
14 Sep 2022