More and more Minnesotans are working later in life. Over 70 percent of Minnesotans ages 55 to 64 are employed, and the over 55 workforce holds one in five jobs in Minnesota. There are many reasons for this. People are living longer and healthier lives, and many need to work into their 60s or 70s for financial reasons.
Unfortunately, when people over 50 lose their jobs, it can be much harder to find a new position that’s comparable in pay, benefits and professional fulfillment. Despite decades of research finding that age does not predict ability or performance, 60 percent of older workers have seen or experienced age discrimination in the workplace, and 90 percent of those say it is common.
To help increase your chances of landing a position that matches your experience and skills, talk to a CareerForce specialist. You may also want to consider this advice:
- Work your network. Check back with former colleagues—including former coworkers from younger generations. Talk with friends about helpful connections they may have. And stay active with professional associations and civic groups. Since most positions are never posted, networking is key to your success.
- Build your network online. If you aren’t on LinkedIn, signing up should be your first step. If you need help creating or updating your LinkedIn profile, watch an online tutorial or make an appointment with a CareerForce specialist.
- Revamp your resume. It might make sense to switch to a functional resume format. This allows you to highlight your skills and accomplishments without tying everything to a year or a specific job. Many employers use screening software to “review” resumes and applications before a human ever sees them. If you aren’t mentioning specific skills required for the position, you may never make it to the hiring manager.
- Focus on recent accomplishments. In your cover letter and during your interview, focus on recent achievements that made a difference for a past employer. And make sure to highlight any recent training or professional development that’s pertinent to the new position.