Fab After 50 and Unemployed

Fab After 50 and Unemployed

UPDATED 08/03/2017

I was recently working a contract with a staffing agency that ended on June 30.  No big deal, I knew that was a possibility, and at least I got two (2) week’s notice.  So here I am at 52 looking for employment.  Are you kidding me???  In the last 2 years, this is the 2nd time I have found myself looking for work after ALWAYS having a job since I was 18  and being laid off from a job where I had been at for 12 1/2 years back in 2015.  Needless to say, I have applied for jobs left and right.  Anyone else out there looking for work knows that job searching has definitely changed from what it used to be back in the day

Let’s start with the fact that you can’t just walk in to a company and fill out an application and/or leave them your résumé anymore.  Now, you can ONLY apply online.  And to make the hiring process for the employer more efficient, many companies now use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to scan your résumé for ‘key words’ without an real person having to take the time to review it.  I get it, but if your résumé doesn’t have the exact ‘key words’ they are looking for, you immediately get the dreaded ‘thanks, but no thanks’ email.  So frustrating!!! 

Since I’ve started this new job search, I have revised my résumé three (3) times trying to make sure I include the appropriate key words for the position I am looking for (Business Analyst).  I even paid online for one of the revision.  Bad idea.  Don’t do it if you don’t have to because now I am flooded with all these advertising and job search emails.   In addition, those documents are so difficult to format after you download it.  If I decide to add anything extra I will literally have to re-create the document myself.  But, I have come to grips with the fact that I am never going to know exactly what key words they are looking for so I’m over the constant revising of my résumé.  It is what it is at this point. 

To date, I have now applied for about 58 positions not including the ridiculous amount of phone calls I have received from various staffing agencies who claim I would be a good fit for a Business Analyst position they have.  After the difficult conversation due to the accent that the caller has, we agree to send my profile to the employer only to never hear from them again.  Can you hear the sarcasm in my voice?  It appears that anytime you upload your résumé to one of the job boards, it is a database that multiple staffing agencies use.  So upon uploading your résumé, you will immediately start getting emails from different companies with job listings and phone calls from agencies about different positions.  The ones that annoy me the most are the ones for selling life insurance.  I know it is a job that someone has to do, but I DON’T DO SALES.  What I found quite interesting is that if you are submitted for a position with any of the staffing agencies, they often say, “If you receive phone calls from other agencies, be sure to tell them you have already been submitted for this role”.  Hmmm…  what if the other agency says they can pay me more money???  Or what if they have a better benefit package than you do???  So, no, I am not only going to commit myself to your agency.  So frustrating!!!!

Well, I finally had my first in person interview with the original resume that I started using (imagine that).  OK, so let’s celebrate for a moment that I got the interview.  Yay me!!!  That is a task in itself.  I think it went well and I will just keep my fingers crossed.  I’ve always been pretty confident that if I can sit in front of a hiring manager, I can talk my way in to the job. I don’t really get nervous because I just think of it as having a conversation.   I’ll keep you posted on how that turns out.

I’m sure it is the same for most people, but let’s just say, looking for work over 50 is no fun but still a necessary evil since I haven’t won the lottery (yet).  🙂  What are some of your struggles being over 50 and unemployed?

As of August 3, I had applied for about 83 different jobs.  I still had only had the one interview, so I was extremely frustrated.  I know my résumé must have been missing the specific key words that the ATS’ were looking for.  Despite all the experience and education I have, I was not even getting past the ATS.  So I was determined (and desperate) to find a way to make sure my résumé had the key words from the job description I was looking at before I applied.  I spent 4 hours online until I found the following blog post, 8 Applicant Tracking System Secrets You Need to Know

This post also has a link to tool called JobScan where you can add the text from your résumé and the text from the job description and it will compare them. I got some great information from this tool  It is free for the first 5 scans, so definitely a good tool to use. 

I also found this site, Beat the Robots: How to Get Your Resume Past the System & Into Human Hands, where it suggests using services like Wordle and TagCrowd to help you figure out which keywords to focus on.  See example. 

But, here is a FABULOUS update on my situation.  Later in the afternoon on August 2, I got an offer from the one company that I interviewed with.  As I mentioned before, if I can sit in front of a hiring manager, I’m pretty confident I can get the job and your girl nailed it!!!  So I am back to work on August 28.  Even at age 52, I still got it. 

I hope this information helps you out going forward.

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4 thoughts on “Fab After 50 and Unemployed

  1. Although I haven’t reached 50 (not til December) I to began a job search February 2017. You’re so right about a million people/agency’s calling you and sending a ton of unnecessary email as well as trying to convince you too take $5-$7 less than what you’re accustomed to making. After a while you get a little desperate & agree to an interview ( thinking you have enough experience to talk them into paying you more) . Well for every interview I’ve had in my entire life, I’ve been able to land the job the first go around. Well baaaaaby let me tell you how the Women I was interviewing with had to be intimidated by me because I wasn’t applying for a Management position yet I was looking for a company I could grow with. I even had one lady “hang up ” the phone in my face although I correctly answered her questions. I’ve been in the Medical Billing and Collections World for 27+ years and have learned that management isn’t for me and I am much happier doing what I do! It was 2 months later that I got my first interview with a man & guess what, yep landed the job and I am working from home. So I do look at it from a half full cup stand point which is none of those other interviews were for me and God had other plans. It is harder in my opinion to be older as I think companies think we cannot adapt to change to the new way of doing things when in fact we are the ones that understands how to roll, coast, bobb & weave. Dem youngsters don’t have a clue. I will suggest if you havent applied for Robert Half and Company, that is a gooooood agency to work for. Good Luck Sis.

  2. I can’t prove it, but I’m pretty sure are discrimination is alive and well. I’m searching again, too, since my job right now seems a bit insecure. When a company does a restructuring, and your staff is down by 50%, and no replacements are planned, it’s a pretty good indicator that your days are numbered.
    Anyway, I’m not listing all my experience, and I’m shaving 10 years off my appeared age on my resume and application. I want to test my theory.
    I’ll let you know how this experiment comes out.

  3. I know the pain of applications. I’m unlike you, though: I falter at interview. The most banal question leaves me stuttering. Not good for an intelligent woman who wants to stand in front of a class!

    I’m seeing a coach to pull back some confidence, and my blog is the tale of my journey. I’d love to see you there!

  4. Excellent article. I’m 49 & job hunting so I appreciate the resume resources you included. I’m also changing careers. I went back to college & got my degree last year . I’m going into social services. Right now I’m volunteering for two agencies to get experience. Hopefully that helps my resume. Congrats on the job!

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