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Job Hunting Tips for The Job Market Veteran
Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Companies merging, downsizing, reorganizing is nothing new. And neither is the fact that those who are often most affected are older employees. 

The unfortunate reality is this: older workers who lose their jobs will typically spend more time looking for another than younger ones. Older job seekers have been off the hunt for a while and it's a different job market they have to cater to. It's not easy having to market and sell yourself again after you've already been settled in. 

People who have had established careers understand what it takes to make an impression on a employer. They've been there, done that. The issues that they face now have more to do with job market conditions and the new type of competition out there. 

Gen X has quickly caught up to Gen Y, meaning younger generations have acquired comparable skills to those who have been in the industry longer. This makes it more difficult for seasoned professionals to have an edge as many employers are looking to refresh their organization. Experience doesn't count for nothing, however. Here are some valuable tips that can help you in your job search that most younger seekers won't have:

Put your contacts to good use. There are plenty of available job openings that aren't widely advertised to the public. Much of the time, when a position opens up it's shared with the employees to see if they have any good referrals. Make sure that you're putting yourself out there for friends, family, former colleagues, etc. to reach out to you in case any openings should come up. Even if you're out of work, you should still be in touch with the people around you and active in your industry.

Prepare your elevator pitch. It's always good to have a pitch ready at any given moment. You want to be able to sum up off the top of your head exactly what you've accomplished in the past and what you are looking to accomplish from this point forward. It's also important to highlight the major achievements you've made while illustrating the kind of job you have your eyes set on.

Be overly prepared in your interview. Along with doing extensive research on the company's past, present, and future, you should also look into its personnel. You want to get to know the type of people that work there before going in so that you can get a feel for whether you will fit in. Also get a sense for the types of people that have applied there to so that you know what to expect from your competition. Being able to think quickly on your feet is another great way to impress the interviewer.

Your first impression matters more than you think. Interviewers are evaluating you from the minute they learn your name so the first meeting has to play out flawlessly. You only get one first impression and once it's done there is no going back. Make sure that you'll not only meet their expectations but can also exceed them in unexpected ways, whether it be a stylish suit or an innovative resume. As an older worker you have the advantage of your experience on your side. Think of everything else as a bonus. Be confident in what you have to offer a potential employer and you'll be able to compete with anyone else from any generation.