More than two million Australians are currently looking for work, and despite impressive resumes and years of experience, older Aussies are losing out in the job hunt.
The government has flagged a need to drive cultural change and stop discrimination against older workers. The recent federal budget announcement means a commitment to greater support for Australian mature aged workers and jobseekers. This includes:
- An allocation of almost $200 million over 5 years to assist mature age workers and jobseekers, of which the large majority will go towards developing digital skills, enhance their employability and identify job opportunities
- A Skills and Training Incentive, costing $19.3 million over three years, will provide as much as $2000 for workers aged 45 – 70 years at risk of being made redundant through technological or economic change to undertake reskilling or upskilling
- A Job Change Initiative – a separate $15 million program set up to outline career options for mature-age workers who are considering early retirement or facing redundancy.
When older Aussies are seeking work, it can be a daunting and nerve-wracking experience, but it is possible to find meaningful work when you’re older. The main challenges older Aussies are facing when looking for work is that companies are assuming they are:
- Over qualified
- Want to retire soon
- They will be absent through sickness more than other staff.
Mature aged workers can help themselves and job hunting prospects but keeping in mind these 5 tips to improve employability:
1. Familiarise yourself online job application processes
- If you don’t know how online job boards work ask someone to show you
- Ensure you have a soft copy resume and cover letter ready with a click of the mouse
- Be clear to follow the steps outlined in the process but be ready to follow up with a phone call within the next 1-2 business days
2. Practice articulating your experience and why you would be good for the role
- Ask a family member or friend to critique your 30 second “pitch” as to why you’d be good for the role
- Address any potential areas for concern before they are raised in a constructive way
- Do your research on the role so you come across as genuinely interested in that position – make it about what you offer them not the other way around
3. Be flexible and consider temporary work or volunteering as a way of reskilling or gaining experience
- If you are looking to change career, or get back into the workforce think about the stepping stones that may get you there – be open to feedback and be flexible in your approach
- Look into temp work, casual work or volunteering just might give you the experience you need
- Be open minded – think about work types that you’ve never considered before
4. Make the most of your networks including family and friends
- Reconnect with people you haven’t spoken to for a while and let them know you are looking for work
- Do the same with all your friends and family – don’t be afraid the cast the net wide, but go gently – its like dating, you don’t want to come across as too desperate!
- Think about how you can help your network in return and help without expectation – it always comes back to you n the end!
5. Know what free advice and job seeking tips are available to you
- Research organisations that may be able to assist you with your job search in your sector and try and build relationships with them
- Look into the resources available for mature age workers and learn as much as you can to help yourself
- More than anything, keep a positive, and friendly attitude – that’s one thing that stands out most to hiring managers.
Download some more of our helpful resources:
Interview preparation tips
Top tips for resume writing
Top 10 interviewer questions
If you need help in your job search, contact us today.
As seen on Today Extra, Tuesday, 22nd May 2018