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How Job Hunting Has Changed

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Sharpen Your Job Hunting Skills

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Looking for a job at 50+ is not easy. Because the job market has changed, it's not enough to focus on what you have done in the past. Employers want to know what you offer now. Know how to adjust your approach and use the resources available to you.

See also: How to ace the interview.

Here are just a few of the ways the job-hunting process has changed, along with tips on how to update your job-search strategy.

THEN NOW
Newspaper ads were the main source of job listings. The Internet contains millions of job postings. Find the sites that match your job goals. But don’t limit your search to the Web.
Résumés were always on paper. E-mail résumés and online applications are the norm. Know how to format your résumé for online submission.
Your résumé was read by a live person. Many résumés are scanned electronically by keyword. The right keywords will help your résumé get noticed.
If you applied for a job, you got a response. The volume of applications submitted keeps many employers  from acknowledging your résumé. Don’t take it personally. Always network, constantly expanding your contacts and job leads.
One résumé was all you needed, listing all of your past jobs.  Develop multiple résumés based on the different positions you pursue. List only the past 10–15 years; focus on key skills and achievements.
Workers stayed with one employer for many years. It’s typical for workers to have a number of jobs and careers in their lifetimes. But be prepared to explain employment gaps.
You had more control over your personal information. Protecting your privacy is essential when applying for jobs online. Use only trusted sites with clearly stated privacy policies.
Recruiters were your age or older. Many recruiters are younger than you. Know how to answer questions about working with younger colleagues and bosses.
“Human Resources” used to be called “Personnel.” This is one example of how industry terminology has changed. Show you’re up to date by using current terminology.
The lack of technology skills was not a drawback. Technological or computer skills are important to many jobs and change quickly. Highlight your tech skills. Get more training if necessary.
The job interview was fairly predictable. Count on getting not-too-subtle questions related to your age. Be prepared to give examples of achievements that demonstrate your ability to do the job at hand.

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