BACK TO WORK 50+

Conquer the Job Application and Interview Process

Employers want employees who can follow instructions, and your application is your first opportunity to prove that you can do this

Understanding how to apply for a job is key to getting an interview. Employers may require a resume, online application or paper application. They may ask you to email the resume to the human resources department, fill out the online application or drop off a paper application.

Conquer the Job Application and Interview Process

— Alamy

Use these tips to conquer the job application process:

  • Make sure you have daily access to the Internet.
    • Have a computer at home with internet access
    • Use a family member’s or friends computer
    • Go to your local library or American Job Center
  • Create a professional email address for your job search.
    • You can set up a free account using providers such as gmail.com, yahoo.com, or Hotmail.com.
    • Look for “Create an Account” or “Sign-up Now” and follow the steps to create your account.
    • Write your username and password down so you can remember it.
    • Use a professional username that includes your full name.
    • Add a signature to your outgoing email messages that includes your contact information.
  • Find employer websites where you would like to apply for jobs.
  • Apply for jobs on employers’ websites.
    • You may be required to create an account, make sure to write down your usernames and passwords so you can remember it.
    • Once you have narrowed your choices, complete their online job application.
  • Upload your resume to those employer sites.
    • Save your resume on a USB drive in both Word Document and PDF format.
    • When saving your resume be sure to use your name in the file name – like JaneDoe_Resume.
    • You want to make sure you upload your resume in PDF form so your formatting is not lost.
  • Email your resume to an employer.
    • Include a cover email message using cover letter techniques, unless the instructions say otherwise.
    • Remind the employer who you are, where you met, or how you came into contact with the company.
    • Include a relevant subject line that includes the job title and job identification number if there is one.
    • List your contact information in the cover email.
    • Before sending it to an employer email it to yourself or a friend to see how it looks.
  • Complete the job history worksheet.
  • Apply for a job in-person using the Job History Worksheet.
    • You can still fill out a paper application for entry-level jobs at some restaurants, local retail stores, small hotels, and convenience stores.
    • When you pick up the application, think of your visit as a pre-interview and dress nicely.
    • You may be able to complete it there or take it home and return it at an agreed upon time when you can interview for the position.
  • Practice for your job interview.
    • It’s important to practice, practice, practice!
    • Read below for some tips to ace the interview.

Once you have used these tips you’re ready for your job interview. Here are some things to keep in mind.

What you need to know before the job interview:

All your hard work finally pays off and you land a job interview. Don’t automatically assume that age is an issue. Your focus should be on your strengths, not your age. Remember you are selling a product and that product is you. Sell yourself as someone who can do the job by telling them about your accomplishments. This is your change to convince the employer that hiring you is the right move.

How to Ace a Job Interview

*For job interviewing tips and for the steps to applying for a job, order your free copy of our 7 Smart Strategies for 50+ jobseekers guide. Call toll-free 1-855-850-2525. 

Learn more Smart Strategies for Jobseekers » 

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