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IT job search tips for baby boomers

Rich Hein | Sept. 4, 2013
Is your extensive IT experience and your age making it harder to find a new positions? Learn how to limit the effects of age discrimination and land that interview.

Remove Unnecessary Dates
A good recruiter will be able to ballpark your age with or without dates but this is one way to give yourself the best chance. "Mature workers can eliminate the dates on positions they held many, many years ago — and also delete the date of graduation from schools," says Ford Myer, executive career coach and author of Get The Job You Want, Even When No One's Hiring.

Include Groups, Affiliations and Awards
Align yourself with groups and communities that are thought to be at the forefront. "The resume should include a "professional affiliations" section, reflecting active involvement in the most "cutting edge" organizations and associations," says Myers.

Differentiate Yourself
Whether it's in your resume or in real life, you need to communicate to whomever you talk with the value you bring to the table. What is it you do better than the other people who do the same job as you? The best way to do this is to know what an employer's problems and pain points are. Once you know that, focus more on how you can solve those problems. Experts agree that if an employer thinks you will add value to their company, the age issue becomes less of a factor.

Have a Social Media Presence
If you are in the technology field and you don't have a social media presence you are doing yourself a disservice. More and more companies are turning to social media to find new talent. An IT pro or developer who can't be found on networks like LinkedIn, Google+, StackOverFlow or CodeProject can send up a red flag with employers. "We highly recommend that if someone does not have a LinkedIn profile established to spend the time in doing so upfront, "says Ripaldi.

Build a Professional Network
Build a network of professionals using LinkedIn or Google+ by connecting with past bosses, coworkers, clients and so on. You'd also be wise to identify the companies you want to work for and connect with hiring managers and peers as well as follow the company.

"Once you have your profile established spend consistent time networking with those you know, those in professions you want to go into, etc. You'll be surprised at how fast you can build your new network and what opportunities may lie for you through your networking efforts," says Ripaldi.

Networking is multi-layered process, according to Mattison. Many Baby Boomers think networking is simply sending a resume as many people as you can and saying, "if you hear of a job, let me know." "Networking is building and maintaining relationships with people — via in-person meetings, chats at cookouts, phone calls and LinkedIn messages - who can give you advice, information, and contacts that will eventually lead to the hidden job market," says Mattson.


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