[05.01.13]
5 great comments!

9 Mistakes Boomers Make In The Job Search

boomers, careers, executives, interviews, Job Search, jobs, mistakes, networkingThis is a guest blog post by Randy Block.

“I just want a job” is a familiar refrain I hear at my presentations; usually from someone with gray hair. My reply is: “Apply at Costco, Home Depot or Target – and get at least 30 hours for the benefits”.

You know how challenging the job market is out there. And you can only make it harder on yourself. In my work with Boomers, they may even know better but their execution is less than stellar – far less.

The Nine Mistakes Most Boomers Make:

1. Relying heavily on email as your primary communication tool (especially during the job search). People hide behind their emails. Learn to text or send it snail mail. Extensive use of email will date you.

2. Asking for directions to navigate anywhere. GPS is here to stay – or get current maps at least.

3. Ignoring social media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. are here to stay. If you are not a member of LinkedIn you don’t exist (pasting a resume is a turnoff).

4. In problem solving, making a case for a solution that worked in “their day” will work now. Business conditions change too fast now

5. Thinking that any experience prior to 2001 is relevant today. I don’t think anyone really cares what you did in 1998.

6. Making full time employment the sole means for paying the bills. You expect that your 6-figure job will return in the next few months. The closer you get to age 60, the tougher it gets. After 60, your best tw0 options are to start your own company or become an advisor.

7. Looking for that last long term employment position until retirement. No organization can offer you job security. They will remain loyal to you for as long as they need you.

8. Believing that they are “too old” to help solve problems. With a good relevant brand in hand, you need to network into decision makers, see if there is a match and then decide if it is full time, part time or short-term contract. Your resume will stop relationship building in its tracks.

9. Assuming that your corner office should still be prized by the younger professional

Without relevancy to a specific need, your strengths and experience listed on your resume are pretty much useless.

Relationship building is critical. WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) is alive and well. If there is a match between an organization’s needs and your relevant skills, then there is a match. Then and only then you can decide if the working relationship will be full time, part time or short-term contract.

Hustle, humility and flexibility are key for a boomer looking to create revenue.

What’s worked for you?

Thanks opensourceway for the photo via Flickr

In his work with private clients and workshops, Randy Block draws upon his long experience in the executive search, employment, and HR fields. Randy specializes in helping Boomers, as well as all levels of professionals. He focuses on issues of career transition: changing careers, choosing a career direction and positioning, finding opportunities, as well as finding opportunities for self-employment, freelancing, and consulting. A graduate in business from Cornell University, he holds certificates from the Career Planning and Adult Development Network, Career Coach Academy, and the Retirement Coach Institute. He has facilitated two highly successful job search executive groups for NetShare and San Francisco C-Level Executives. Randy also serves as a staffing consultant for high tech start up companies.

Randy Block – who has written posts on Tim's Strategy®.



Written by: Randy Block
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  • Steve

    I notice in the author’s Twitter feed that he links to a Washington Post article stating that only 30% of polled workers are engaged in their jobs (a number which – from my anecdotal surveying – I believe is too high – I’d peg it at more like 15-20%). Gee, do you think there might be some connection between a culture of work that punishes the alleged mistakes that Boomers make while job searching, and the huge lack of engagement in the workplace?

  • http://twitter.com/GregAboveTheRim Greg Johnson

    Randy, Great article!! I also run into the same responses. When i mention social media, many chronologically enhanced job seekers say “you have to be kidding. That is nothing but garbage” and dismiss it without a thought. They fail to realize that they are re-enforcing the concept that they are no longer relevant in today’s workforce. The other objection I get is that making changes like what you suggest is too difficult. I wonder if it is more difficult to be unemployed or to step outside the comfort zone.

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