How to Find Employment at 50+

We are receiving more calls from concerned people who are in their 50’s and 60’s struggling to gain employment.  As a result of these calls, we would like to offer some words of advice that may help in the quest for employment.

The key to success is ensuring that when marketing yourself; always communicate your skills and leadership qualities, backed up with facts and figures demonstrating the positive impact you’ve had with previous employers. 

 Below are additional practical steps that will help…

  • Invest in having your CV professionally typed up.
  • You don’t have to put your date of birth on your CV or any application forms.
  • You shouldn’t have the year you were born or your age on your personal email address.
  • You don’t have to put any employment and education dates on your CV.
  • You don’t have to give your age during a job interview or at any stage during the recruitment process and it is illegal for an employer or recruiter to ask.
  • You should only list previous experience going back the last ten years and summarise the rest briefly.
  • Embrace modern technology, you don’t need to be an expert but you should be able to use it on a daily bases.
  • Utilise your network of work colleagues and professional acquaintances to tell you about current or potential opportunities that may be coming up within their organisation.
  • If you have not kept in touch with your work colleagues and professional acquaintances over the years, this might be a good time to start reuniting with them via LinkedIn or Face Book, alternatively just phone them.
  • When you have applied to a company it will help if you can differentiate yourself from the other candidates. One of the best ways is to try and get someone you know who works for the company to recommend you e.g. searching LinkedIn is a good place to start.
  • Research every company before going for an interview by utilising their website and LinkedIn.
  • You should try the Government’s careers service as it provides information for hundreds of jobs with the skill set required to apply.
  • If you’ve been out of work for a while or there are gaps in your employment history, make sure you include this in your CV. Don’t lie or miss anything out, as it will come up in the interview. Rather than state you were unemployed, try to list what you were doing e.g. member of any committees or groups and any extra-curricular activities.
  • Go into an interview with an “executive mind-set” not a candidate mind-set as employers are attracted to energy, insight and experience.
  • Consider contracting, freelancing, interim and consultancy work while searching for full time employment as this can give you a good income and build up your knowledge and experience in the meantime.
  • Build a LinkedIn profile as this is a good way of telling your peers, industry experts, recruiters and potential employers all about yourself and allow them to contact you.
  • Your LinkedIn profile will also allow recruiters and companies to contact you directly as more than 75% of roles are not advertised and as a result are unknown to potential candidates.
  • You should join groups on LinkedIn and join in chats/forums as it will help you find out what’s going on and allow you to develop new contacts and access specific job roles you may be interested in.
  • You need to be careful how you come across online. If an employer finds your professional profile on LinkedIn and then “Googles” you and finds you on Facebook, but you’re pictured at a party looking a bit worse for wear, it could put the employer off recruiting you. Try “Googling” your name to see what comes up.

The above list should help, however remember; when marketing yourself always communicate your skills and leadership qualities, backed up with facts and figures demonstrating the positive impact you’ve had on previous employers.  If you can demonstrate that you can provide the “outcome” the hiring company requires, then truly your age should not matter.

ATR is an equal opportunity employer.

If you have any questions regarding this article or require further information, please call us on 0844 2577 888.

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Sample Resignation Letter

Below is a layout of our Recruitment Agency standard resignation letter for our Candidates that are about to resign from their current employer.

When you resign it is better to do this in person if possible however this can also be emailed if your manager is not available for a face to face meeting, if it has to be emailed you should also follow this up with a phone call to ensure it has been received.

Standard Resignation Letter
Name (of your Line Manager),
Line Manager Position,
Current Employer Name,
Current Employer Address (each on a separate line)

Today’s date

Dear (line manager name – e.g., Mr Smith, or first name if appropriate),

Please accept this as formal notice of my resignation from the position of (your job title and site/department/division as applicable), with effect from (normally date of the resignation letter).

In accordance with my contract of employment I am happy to continue to work until (date that your employment ceases according to notice period, calculated from your stated effective date of resignation).

(This part is optional:) While I believe that I am moving for good reasons, I am sorry to leave, and I thank you for your support during my time with the company, which I have found enjoyable and fulfilling.

(And if applicable:) Please let me know the arrangements for handing back equipment, company car, etc., and handing over outstanding work and responsibilities.

Yours sincerely,

Sign your own name and then write it in Block Capitals underneath.

Note: Some companies will not wish you to work your notice period, however if you give them notice, even if they ask you to leave the premises immediately, you are then entitled to payment for your full notice period.

If you have any questions regarding this article or require further information, please call us on 0844 2577 888.

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Writing a Covering Letter

When writing a covering letter the key is to keep it short and to the point – absolutely no more than one sheet of A4.  As a leading recruitment agency we see literally hundreds of CVs and covering letters every day, and the long rambling ones are generally ignored – not just by agencies but by internal HR Managers as well,  simply because they will take too long to read.    When you are writing your covering letter always have a copy of the job advert or job description beside you. Highlight or underline the key attributes or skills the company is looking for in the person for this role before you write your cover letter.

So What Should Your Cover Letter Say?
It should have the following:-
State clearly what role you are applying for – if there is a job reference number put it into your covering letter.
Explain why you feel you are suitable for the role – in the form of short bullet points – this bit is really important, make sure your bullet points match the 5 key skills, experience or attributes stated on the job advert.
Then thank them for considering your application and let them know you would be delighted to discuss your application further.

Why Write The Cover Letter This Way?
If you consider the person reviewing your application and your CV, put yourself in their shoes, what they are looking for are people who “match their job description” so if you clearly put the top 5 ways in which you “match their job description” in your cover letter your CV is much more likely to be shortlisted for an interview.  If your letter is too long the recruiter or hiring manager in the company may leave it in a “read later” folder which could stop your application from being shortlisted and you losing out in the opportunity.

Note: Rambling CV’s are also unpopular – CV’s should generally be 2 pages long (3 at a maximum) – where possible you should create a short profile at the top of your CV and use this or a key achievements list on the front page of your CV to match your CV to the companies  key job requirements list.  This is very helpful if your cover letter gets detached from your CV.

The Key Objective
What you really want to do is very quickly ensure that the hiring manager or recipient of your CV can see clearly, and quickly, that you are indeed a match for their role, so that they shortlist you for an interview.

If you have any questions regarding this article or require further information, please call us on 0844 2577 888.

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Career Goals are Crucial to Success

Most people who say they are unhappy at work may give a list of various reasons but in reality there tends to be one main underlying reason.   Most people after leaving education don’t give much thought to their career short term and long term goals and objectives they wish to achieve for their career.   It is only when a person has a clear thought about their career goals and objectives can they achieve ultimate satisfaction from what they have achieved in their career in a shorter period of time. Statistically, people who create clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people that did not. Career goals are necessary for all productive and career-advancing activities and they fall in to two categories Short Term and Long Term and are quite different when compared. Before you create your career goals you need to fully understand what you are looking to achieve and why.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF
Who are you and what do you want to achieve in life?
What career are you interested in?
Why are you interested in this career?
Are your personal values aligned to your career choice?
Why does this career fit you?
What are your achievements, experience and qualifications relating to this career?
What do you expect to achieve from this career in the short term?
What do you expect to achieve from this career in the long term?
What do you intend to do in the longer future?

After clarifying these points, your second mission is to create your career statements of what you have already achieved and what you require to achieve your career aspirations.

CAREER STATEMENT EXAMPLE
Below is an example of a career goals statement (for a person in the Sales Sector).
Please note this layout for a Short Term Career Goals Statement can be structurally replicated for a Long Term Career Goals Statement.

5 years (Short Term) Career Goals Statement
Become a Sales Manager with man management responsibility for a team of sales professionals.

Currently Achieved
2 years as a New Business Sales Professional.
Exceeded new business sales targets by over 115% each year.
2 Years as an Account Manager for two major corporates.
Exceeded sales targets by over 150% each year.
Passed Dale Carnegie Sales Training Course.

Requirements to Achieve
I intend to work in sales for the next 2 years and then move into a sales team leadership role where I can enhance my skills and knowledge.

Required during these 5 years
Take Dale Carnegie Sales Management Training Course.
Take on Sales Team Leadership role and where possible stand in for Sales Manager when he is on holiday.
Gain new perspectives and eventually manage/influence others on high value accounts.
Communicate with Sales Leaders to develop my network.

Make sure you set a side time to measure and review your progress at least once a year as this will ensure you are on track to meet your career goals.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO CONSIDER WHEN SETTING YOUR CAREER GOALS

SHORT TERM CAREER GOALS EXAMPLES
Education and Skills Development
Constant personal development in education or/and work skills that are relevant to where you are and what you soon want to become in your career is key to enhancing your CV profile.   It is worth noting this is not just about learning something new but updating what you already know as skills learnt in the past can soon become obsolete.

Employer Awareness
When you start your new employment make it a primary purpose to know the full range of products/services your employer provides and who their competitors and collaborators are.   Hierarchy is an integral part of the Public and Private sectors.  It is also imperative you know the working structure of the company you work for and that you are comfortable in working in any part of that hierarchy.   To achieve your career goals you should set aside 2-4 years trying to maximise your career potential with this new employer before advancing your career with your next employer.

Interacting and Networking
Interacting and networking with people in and out of work which is related to your profession can only be beneficial to increasing your product knowledge and general knowledge to enhancing your short and long term career goals.   Hierarchy can have valuable information that is not generally shared in board room meetings. Therefore, do not have any apprehensions while talking to anyone, regardless of their post or their place in the hierarchy.

Responsibilities Increased
Increased responsibilities within your job role should be worked towards and welcomed as your duties and responsibilities increase so will your resources to allow you to perform your additional responsibilities and tasks.   Be careful in the corporate world, you will find many instances in which people will try to take credit for what others have done so if you have achieved something, and have been public about it, you will be recognized as the person who did it. It is also worth understanding, that you will be able to get your own credit only if you are ready to give credit where credit is due.

Financial Enhancement
An individual’s personal and professionals financial situation is arguably one of the most important factors in their life and therefore, one short term goal you should be working towards is to be making enough from the job to lead a comfortable life and maintain a good lifestyle.

LONG TERM CAREER GOALS EXAMPLES
Manager of Managers/CEO Long term goal of a professional can be to one day achieve the highest position in the company.

Starting your own Company
Utilising your skills and knowledge you have gained over the years can allow you to be in a better position to launch your own enterprise when the time is right.

Retire Early
Utilise the ever-increasing technologies to allow you to achieve your ambitions in a shorter timeframe and therefore take early retirement.

It is only when a person has a clear thought about their career goals and objectives that they can achieve the ultimate satisfaction from their job and therefore progress’s faster.

If you have any questions regarding this article or require further information, please call us on 0844 2577 888.

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How to Succeed in Your New Job

When you secure your new job or take the next step in your career you will face many challenges. At ATR Solutions we feel as a recruitment consultancy that our role is not just to help you find a new role, but to help ensure that you succeed in your new position, below are some helpful suggestions:-

Create a good First Impression
As you first start your new role it is imperative that your new work colleagues and managers initially have a very positive impression of you.   Your attitude will define how others see you and as such you need to be approachable, helpful and enthusiastic.  Show commitment to your new employer by working hard and putting in the hours that are required for you to be successful in your new role.

Build good working relationships
You should be looking to build good working relationships not just with those you have direct contact with but others throughout your new employer.   Get to know the key people throughout the company and introduce yourself especially to the top performers at your level so you can learn from them.

Research goes a long way
It is always important to do your research on your potential new employer when you are going for an interview but it is equally important to do further research on your new employer after you have been successful in in receiving a job offer.  Get to know the company’s culture, their core values and working practices so that you can successfully adapt to their working environment and adopt the principles of your new employer. When you are starting out in your new role it is important to acknowledge and realise the potential challenges that may need to be overcome for you to be successful in your new position.

Using your initiative
Often when someone new comes into a business they can have a unique perspective on the company’s current business processes, and often can see ways in which processes can in fact be improved. It shows initiative to put forward recommendations for potential improvements.
However your recommendations should be reasonable and justified and you should avoid trying to change things simply to make an impact. As advised earlier it is important that you have taken the time to understand your new employers working environment and culture before putting forward your ideas as this could result in resentment towards you if you are not careful.

Dress for Success
Many companies have different dress codes so it’s important to ensure that you fit in to the environment and culture within your company – so if Friday is dress down day you don’t want to be the only one coming into work on a Friday in full business dress. However in general you should always appear smart and where possible wear the type of clothes you would need for the next grade  up – if you look the part, it has been proven you are more likely to gain promotion.

If you have any questions regarding this article or require further information, please call us on 0844 2577 888.

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10 Good Reasons to Reject a Counter Offer!

You have taken the decision to leave your job and move into an exciting new role, however when you resign your current post, this can be seen by your current employer as a tactic to gain an increase in salary. It’s flattering to receive a “Counter Offer” however below are 10 good reasons showing why you should say No!

  • Your current employer was not paying you what you were worth; it’s not a good idea to stay with a company who only gives you an increase under threat of resignation.
  • Companies have fixed budgets, so where is your pay rise coming from? Were you due a bonus you now won’t receive or will next year’s pay rise be capped?
  • Your boss will not want you to leave, not because you are “wonderful” but because it is “inconvenient to the business” – especially if you are involved in key projects or sales negotiations.
  • It’s possible that your employer will start looking for your replacement immediately, and at a lower cost than your new salary, which can place your position at risk.
  • Now that your employer knows you were happy to leave the company, your loyalty will always be in question.
  • You will have built a relationship with your Manager and now trust with that manager will be badly affected because he/she knows you would have left if more money had not been offered.
  • When key promotions come around your employer will remember who was loyal – and more importantly who was not – those who threatened to leave are likely to be passed over for promotion.
  • When times are tough and your employer needs to reduce staff, the cutbacks are more likely to begin with you because of a perceived lack of commitment to the company, and the fact that you now have a higher salary.
  • Normally the same issues that caused you to want to leave in the first place will not be resolved, and often promises made are not kept.
  • Statistics show that if you accept a counter offer, the probability of you leaving within 6 months or being let go within one year are extremely high, and by that time your wonderful new job has been given to someone else.

At ATR as a Recruitment Agency we see the negative results of people accepting a counter offers, our advice is to remember that if they truly valued you they would have ensured you were happy and properly rewarded for your efforts. A counter offer is only a belated recognition of the contribution you have made to your company had the pay rise been unprompted; wouldn’t that be a lot more flattering? We think you should move ahead with the goal of making yourself as valuable to your new employer as you now know you were to your old.

If you have any questions regarding this article or require further information, please call us on 0844 2577 888.

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Tips That Will Help You Get Hired Fast

Be prepared or prepare to fail
Research the company you are going to interview for and rehearse how you will discuss the experiences on your CV and answers to questions you may be asked.

Create a specific cover letter
Your cover letter should be tailored to the company and job you are applying for and should  tell your potential employer within the first two paragraphs what you can do for their company. (See our blog on creating cover letters)

Edit your CV to the job
You should tailor your CV to match the job you are applying for as much as possible but don’t fabricate any of the truth.

You don’t need to include all your experiences
Your CV doesn’t need to have a list of all your experiences under each of your earlier job roles as employers don’t like assessing CVs more than 2-3 pages long.

You can include more than full-time employment
If you have had periods of time that you have been unemployed, you can briefly include other things you may have done during those periods in to your CV to fill in the gaps including continuing education, coaching and tutoring, freelance, part time, temp work, volunteer work, etc.

Your appearance always matters
Dress like someone who looks professional and successful, the first few minutes of your interview are when you get to make that critical first impression.

Your answers should be to the point with a short explanation
When you’re answering questions during your job interview, you should give the interviewer an example of relevant specific experiences and the skills you have in relation to the question.  The more concrete information you can provide during your interview, the more the hiring manager will know how qualified you are for the job but don’t waffle.

Never say anything bad about your previous employers or co-workers
If you ever say anything bad about your previous employers or co-workers, the first thing your interviewer is going to think about is what you will say about their company when you’re moving on.

References can make a big difference in getting hired
Take your references with you to the interview and when appropriate, you can give your interviewer your written references to substantiate your answer.  You can get your references of recommendation from bosses, co-workers, clients, subordinates, and suppliers.  References are important, and employers do check them so select your referees wisely.

Send your interviewer a thank you note after your interview
It’s important for you to follow-up after your job interview. Sending your interviewer a letter or email is not just a good way to show your appreciation for being considered for the job but also a way to reiterate your interest and share anything you neglected during your interview.

Applying for every job you find isn’t always a good idea
Before you start your job hunting, take the time to decide what type of job/s you should be searching for.  You should focus your searches on jobs that you’re qualified for as you will have a better chance of getting selected for an interview and getting the job.  You could also create a target list of companies you would like to work for and decide on a plan that is going to get them to notice you.  Sending out random resumes and cover letters is just going to be costly a waste of your time and can actively work against you, especially if the company receives your CV more than once.

If you have any questions regarding this article or require further information, please call us on 0844 2577 888.

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