My Carolina Today: How Boomers Can Compete With Younger Workers

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I’d like to welcome My Carolina Today viewers (which is different from Today Now).

Hope you enjoyed the segment on job search tips for baby boomers. I am not a baby boomer. I’m not an expert in much. I’m just a chick with a blog. You can find me on Facebook and Twitter.

And yes, I have a blogging and tweeting cat. You heard that right.

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Here is a recap of the advice I shared on the show.

  • It really is all about networking. Some studies show that nearly 40% of people are hired by employee referrals. When you’re older, your network is bigger. You know more people. So think strategically about your life. Where do you go to church? Where do you drink coffee every day? Who do you see at the dentist? Who do you see at the library? Use your network. When you leave the house, everyone you encounter should know who you are, what you do, and that you’re looking for a job.
  • Be active on social media — but know that you won’t get a job by spending countless hours on the computer. Again, it’s the people you know in real life who will advocate on your behalf. Use social media to connect. Then get out of the house and have a cup of coffee.
  • Learn to tell your story better.  My friend Jason Seiden believes that most people don’t know how to talk about their successes and failures. And my friend Susan Strayer says, “Just because you know how to talk doesn’t mean you know how to interview.” Kids today are natural storytellers. They text and tweet and convey important information in blurbs and sound bites. When they’re asked a question, they know how to get to the nugget. So you need to practice interviewing. Instead of running through each job and job duty, break your work history into themes and chunks. Practice answering behavior based questions over & over again with a good friend. Keep your answers specific, brief, and on point.
  • The advantage you have is hindsight and maturity – not necessarily experience. Be prepared to talk about what you learned from your work experiences — both good and bad. What would you do differently if you could do it all over again? Those anecdotes demonstrate humility, and humility makes you likable. Studies have shown that the #1 factor to get a job is likability. That’s it.
  • Take fashion advice with a grain of salt. Most people who give fashion advice are in the business of selling stuff. They’re also talking about bodies that are unattainable for most Americans regardless of age. And you’re not fooling anyone. Your wardrobe should be fresh, simple, and unobtrusive. Solid colors, professional, comfortable. You want the focus to be on you and not your suit, your hair color, or some crazy accessory that some young kid talked you into buying at the mall because it makes you look younger. It doesn’t.

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Did I miss something? Of course I did. My readers are really good at giving advice. I’m sure they will chime in and you can, too.

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If you want to read a comprehensive list of career blogs — and blogs from HR people who hire and employ people — check this out.

Thanks for stopping by!

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