So, you are 55 years old and find yourself out of work? , or have been claiming disability benefits and due to welfare reform now find yourself older, with health issues that affect the type of work you can do, but being forced by the government to claim Job seekers allowance in order to get any money at all , and you have to look for a job ?
You may be aware of the phrase the glass ceiling, but there is another ceiling that can weigh heavily on older job seekers, the ‘grey ceiling ‘. It does take considerably longer to get a job if you are over 55.
Try not to have your CV immediately rejected because it shows your age, as far as possible, make it date free. I sat ‘O levels ‘in 1977, but on a CV I can get away with listing the subjects I passed exams in and not mentioning when it was. In your career information, focus and play up what you did, your skills and successes such as responsibilities in each job, it will help to distract from the dates of employment.
Often for older people, one of the best ways to get a job is through networking the people that you know, and one of the advantages of being older can often be knowing more people and having more business contacts. So many jobs are actually never advertised, and the saying it’s not what you know but who you know is a good one to remember. Tell people you know that you are looking for a job, put it on Facebook. However, do avoid becoming a job seeking bore, take an interest in other things and other people as well.
Get help and support from job clubs, often advertised at your jobcentre, the library and local community centers. Also make full use of the advice and help there is online for everything from how to search for a job, resumes and covering letter templates and examples and interview skills.
Make your age an advantage rather than a disadvantage and right through from resume and application form to interview, emphasize your skills and experience.