Yes, 25 years of solid accomplishments add gravitas to your resume, but you could also sink like a stone under the weight of that gravitas if you do not convert past accomplishments into present-day assets.
Maybe you were a brilliant analyst, but do you know that Google Analytics is not about the company’s earning ratio?
Perhaps you were a direct marketing mogul. That’s wonderful but do you know how to optimize social media marketing today?
If you are serious about working in your 60’s, 70’s and even 80’s, we know you’re interesting, courageous, eager to continue learning and contributing to the world around you. The good news is that there are lots of resources to help you bring your skills up-to-speed so you can find a good home for that passion.
Check out adult education or community college programs.
Here in Maine, the MCED (Maine Center for Enterprise Development) is an entrepreneur-centric resource for simplifying the process of launching a successful start-up. Other states have similar programs.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes are another great resource. Use this map to find an OLLI in your state.
Your passion – your desire to find meaningful work – is only as good as your plan. And that plan requires a tremendous amount of due diligence. That research begins long before the interview. It involves finding out as much as you can about the company where you think you’d like to work.
What are their goals? Are they in line with yours? Check out their marketing materials. Then, find customer feedback. Is the company accomplishing what it says it will do? Are its customers happy, apathetic, dissatisfied or extremely dissastisfied?
What is the company culture and work environment? It’s easy for the company to project whatever image it wants in a marketing campaign; you need to find out what people are saying about the company, its management team and its employees. This is where your networking pays off. Talk to someone or someone who knows someone who can give you the inside scoop.
Once you’re satisfied that this could be a good place to work, you need to learn who are the company’s biggest competitors? What challenges is the company facing in the next 6 months, next year and next two years. This information is key so you can tailor your working resume to meet those needs.
First, make sure your resume prominently conveys that you have the skills (which you’ve so diligently brought up-to-speed) to do the job. You must write with the reader in mind. If the reader/hiring manager isn’t interested, your resume will hit the reject pile in seconds.
Also – and this is critical – you must make a compelling case that your skills, background and experience make you the best candidate to do the job profitably for the company. Provide meaningful data to document your assertions.
All of this is necessary to actually get the interview. Once you are in the interview, you can make a much better case by asking the hiring manager what he or she sees as the biggest challenge facing the company. Then present a mini-plan (informed by your earlier research) describing how you would address the challenge if you were in the job. This is where all your due diligence pays off. Your plan contains specifics garnered from your research which demonstrate your knowledge of the company and also your genuine interest in working there to help them solve the problems they face. Your plan is not a generic blueprint that you could apply to any scenario.
Yes, this is a lot of work and if you’re not prepared to do it perhaps you really do not want that job as much as you thought you did.