First let me tell you that I absolutely believe that what you are all saying about age discrimination, etc. is correct and real. With over 25 years experience in Supply Chain Management, I would have thought myself to be an asset to companies to which I apply. I am currently out of work, my mortgage is in default and I am at real risk of losing my home that I have worked so hard to get and keep. This is not 'crying the blues' but simply to let you know that I understand the reality of our situations.
One thing that I have not seen mentioned in any of the postings is to join a 'job search' group in your local area. These can be found through the Unemployment or Social Services agencies. One of the greatest benefits is that you have a reason to get up, get dressed and get out the door. You may find support from others in the same boat. A second benefit to these groups is that you have others to network with. Finally, you will have the advice of those who are in touch with employers and job seekers who can give you up to date information on the latest and greatest job search techniques. They can do mock interviews with you to help enhance your presentation. I would like to share a few pointers that they have given me. I truly hope that you will find something of value in this post.
1) You will not find a job by sitting behind your computer hitting
APPLY buttons. With the high rate of unemployment (nearly 10% in my locale) I am told that there are an average of between 400 and 1,000 applications for every job. Cold calling, networking and getting yourself out there to be seen are critical to your job search success.
2) Have someone qualified review your resume. Have them check it for content as well as typographical and grammar errors. One of the things that I have noticed in the posting on this site are the high number of spelling, grammar and language errors. Text message grammar and spelling is not acceptable.
Example: You know that this is true if your read many of the postings. U no this is tru if u read many of the postings.
3) While it is depressing to be in the situation we are in, no one can fix these for us. I see (in myself as well) a tendency to have numerous 'excuses' for why our job searches are not fruitful. In no way would I suggest that there are not barriers for some of us; age, appearance, education, etc. There are barriers and they are real. But we need to take charge of our own situations and be creative in how we approach the job search.
4) A few pointers that have been provided to my by my job search club:
If you see a job posted on Indeed or any other job search board, go to the company website and apply through their website. This shows the company that you are interested and have done the work to learn abut their company. Do not apply through Indeed unless there is no option. Pick up the phone and call the company and ask HR to whom the application and cover letter should be addressed. Customize your resume to fit the job you are applying to. Yes, this is a lot of work. My approach was to create a resume geared toward 'survival' jobs in retail; one emphasizing administrative work, and one that is specific to Supply Chain positions. When applying for a position, open a second window and use the exact terms that the job description is using. You can use free programs online that will generate a 'word cloud' to help to identify the most common filtering parameters. One example is the word 'secretary' which is an outdated term. Most positions will be looking for "administrative' which is a more modern term for secretary. Cover letters should be specifically written for each job. The cover letter should be properly addressed with the date, company name and address with postal code (zip code). It should also be, if at all possible, addressed to the individual who will receive it. It shows that you have taken the time to research the company and the person in a hiring position. Use your cover letter to highlight your specific skills for the specific job. This should not be a condensed version of your resume. It should contain the selling points of your skills to this particular job that are NOT in your resume. These skills should be tailored to meet the needs of the job that you are applying for.
5) Dress for success. One tip that I was given that I found invaluable was to never leave the house looking drab, dumpy or unemployed. When we dress well, we present well. You never know who you are going to run into at the grocery store, the bank, etc. First impressions make all the difference. When networking, which is simply talking to people about your search for work, you will present yourself well when you feel good about how you look. It takes one less stress off.
6) Don't give up! Keep your personal 'need' for the job to yourself. Do not share this with prospective employers. Try not to appear needy. Let your positive energy shine through. SMILE!
I hope that this helps someone out there. There are many websites like Workopolis, Monster, etc. that have tons of tips for successful job search. Use every free resource you can find.
Like any free advice, this is worth what you paid for it. My mantra is
Take the best and leave the rest.
Sending positive thoughts to all on the site.