01 November 2016 - Leigh Sujanto
Real solutions to real problems
Q: What are some tips for baby boomers to give them an extra edge in today’s job market?
A: A baby boomer’s CV may demonstrate a solid history of successful outcomes and experience, but those alone might not stand out in today’s job market. To remain competitive you need to step outside your comfort zone, show you are continually up-skilling yourself, demonstrate digital know-how and be adaptable. These are qualities that organisations look for in order to not only adjust to new trends, but lead the way.
Here are some tips to help get you on the shortlist:
- Stretch opportunities:There are many ways baby boomers can ensure their skills stay relevant, such as training courses, membership of an industry association or joining relevant LinkedIn groups. One overlooked strategy is to look for stretch opportunities in your current role. These are any tasks or projects that are slightly beyond your current skill or knowledge level and therefore allow you to “stretch” by improving your capabilities. Talk to your executive or manager about identifying and becoming involved in relevant stretch opportunities.
2. Digital literacy: Technology is changing everything and now almost every job has a digital element to it. So keep on top of new software, application and technology developments, social networking trends and cloud computing. For example, you could learn how to create an app rather than a PowerPoint for your presentation.
- Digitalise your CV:Another great example would be to add digital elements to your CV to demonstrate your skills and experience as this speaks far louder than any claims you make on your own behalf. One simple way to do this is to add links to websites, videos or blog posts throughout the experience section that demonstrate your expertise in particular areas. You should also include the link to your LinkedIn profile in your contact details. If you are unsure where to begin, free online tools such as visualcv.comcan help you visualise and digitalise your CV.
- Sync your CV and LinkedIn profile:It’s very important to align your online and offline profiles. Hiring managers will research you online, so make sure the CV you submit and your online profile match. If not it will throw up a red flag that could jeopardise the possibility of securing an interview, or at the very least will lead to more detailed questioning in an interview.
5. Be adaptable:In our increasingly technologically sophisticated world of work it’s inevitable that significant changes lie ahead. Employers like candidates with an appetite for change, so become known for driving innovation, integrating technology and learning best practice to make informed changes to improve the way you do your job or the way business is done.
6. Find a mentor, be a mentor: Traditionally an older employee mentored a younger one. Today, however, mentoring relationships often have reciprocal benefits – an older employee passes on their commercial and life knowledge while the younger employee might share their technological expertise.
By David Cawley, regional director of Hays Accountancy & Finance. For more career advice please visit hays.com.au/career-advice