Revamp Your Job Search After 60

Show that age isn’t a factor with these hit websites

Are you older and recently laid off? Decided it was time for a change when you reached mid-life? Hoping to finally find a job that lets you fulfill your passions? If your answers to any of these questions were yes, you’ve probably already realized how difficult it can be to job search after 60.

The hardest part is how different everything is. You haven’t had to interview or update a resume in years. And the internet is full of job search websites that all seem the same.

Fortunately, there are several websites available that cater directly to your needs. These sites provide a wealth of resources to put you in the driver’s seat.

WhatsNext.Com

WhatsNext.com is a perfect first stop on your mid-life career journey. The site covers six main categories, each with its own blog, as well as sections for guides, courses, tests, tools, and connections (where experts in the community can get in touch with the website).

These sections include: career change, purposeful living (where you can figure out what you want to do in life), self-assessment (to find your strengths and useful skills), retirement, entrepreneurship, and connection (a social section that teaches you how to maintain relationships in a busy life).

The site is built around a single mantra: “We are the future of mid-life transformation.” The founders recognize that changing your whole life, although hard at any age, is especially difficult after age 60.

RetiredBrains.Com

While WhatsNext.com focuses on changing your career path after retirement age, RetiredBrains.com emphasizes working after retirement. Finding the perfect work situation that allows you to supplement your retirement savings without working a typical eight-to-five job.

Resources include information about jobs that allow you to work from home (selling online, freelancing, and telemarketing, among many others), part-time jobs to supplement retirement savings (this includes traditional part-time jobs as well as seasonal and temporary jobs), and entrepreneurship ideas (the site includes a directory of low-cost franchise opportunities).

This is all in addition to retirement planning resources (from job search to continued education, volunteering, resume help, and more).

Other sections of the website focus on the trials that come with retirement age, from grief support to travel, money, and health.

RetirementJobs.com

RetirementJobs.com is a great place to use all the information you learned at the two websites we’ve already reviewed. It’s a job board—a place to upload your resume and find the perfect job.

RetirementJobs.com is special in that the website’s stated goal is “to identify companies most-suited to older workers and match them with active, productive, conscientious, mature adults seeking a job or project that matches their lifestyle.” The site even has a reviewed list of “Certified Age Friendly Employers.” This eliminates any chance of encountering age discrimination. The site is also totally free for jobseekers, and you can narrow your search down to part-time or full-time jobs.

Have any experience with other job search websites for those of a certain age? Let us know in the comments below!

Ask a Recruiter: Interview Blunders

Read on for lessons learned from what NOT to do.

Interviews are hard. You’re being tested not only on your skills, but also on who you are as a person and how your unique personality might work with the company in question. There are so many variables. What will they ask me? What should I ask them? What experience is relevant?

Plenty of prep time and research can eliminate many of these questions. However, regardless of preparation, there are a few basic rules of etiquette to keep in mind. Dress in accordance with what your interviewer asks for. Don’t interrupt your interviewer. Be kind and courteous. Don’t try to hide a barking puppy under your shirt. Wait, what?

That’s right, that happened. Some applicants bring a little extra something to the interview. We asked a few of our top recruiters for stories about the more outrageous interview experiences they have had.

Working Isn’t My Thing

One of our staffing consultants recently dealt with a strange occurrence. An applicant came in with a standard resume. Everything seemed above board. However, the first thing he said was “I get that some people are motivated by hard work, but that’s really not my thing.”

Honesty is great, and you should be truthful when speaking about your experience in an interview. However, most employers aren’t going to hire someone who doesn’t want to work. They have plenty of other candidates, and odds are that most of them didn’t say they don’t like to work. Even if you’re just working for a paycheck, there’s no need to mention that in an interview.

Batman Needs Me

Another staffing consultant recalled an incident that started off normal enough but immediately fell apart. A candidate came in for a 2 o’clock interview 15 minutes early. However, before the interview could get started, he left. He returned 20 minutes past his scheduled interview time and, when asked about the reason for his rapid departure and subsequent return, he said he “had to sell comic books.” Oh, and his mother was now accompanying him; he was not a teenager.

Your interview starts before you’re even in the room. Everything you do in the waiting area can have real consequences. Yelling on the phone, treating the front desk coordinator badly, and, yes, leaving without any notification—these are reasons to write you off as a candidate.

Coming back and expecting to fit into what was already a busy schedule is an even worse idea. If you do have to leave for any reason, notify the receptionist and attempt to re-schedule via email. However, save this for true emergency situations—there’s no guarantee you’ll get a second try.

Chad Truly Felt Chad Had the Skills for the Job

One staffing consultant had an interview that was unsettling, to say the least. A candidate walked in; let’s call him Chad. Chad immediately began explaining his experience to the staffing consultant. However, Chad repeatedly spoke about himself in the third person. Caught off guard, the staffing consultant had to take a few minutes to realize what was going on. When he asked Chad why he was talking about himself in the third person, Chad said he hadn’t even realized that was happening, and attributed it to being nervous.

Although it’s easy to blame Chad for his odd attitude in this scenario, there are plenty of other candidates who fall into similar pitfalls. This is due to a lack of interview training. Many candidates don’t know their strange interview tics because they’ve never been told about them. To avoid this problem, practice interviews with friends or family. That training will come in handy!

Job Genius

Want to make sure you never make any of these mistakes? Looking for a one-stop-shop for all your interview and job search questions? Job Genius is here to help.

Covering everything from the job market forecast to your resume, subsequent interview, and more, Job Genius is the perfect place to start (or kick start) your career.

Have questions about what NOT to do in an interview? Let us know in the comments below!

Make an Impression with Potential Employers

Starting your career in today’s hiring environment can be challenging, including making a positive, memorable impression with people who could be your employer. There are several ways you can be proactive to ensure a potential boss will have a great first and ongoing impression of who you are.

Social Media

Today, your first opportunity to present yourself after applying for a job is not in person; it’s online. Most businesses you contact for potential employment will do a simple Internet search of your name to look at what you or someone else has posted about you online if they are interested in finding out more about you. According to online image company Reppler, 91 percent of recruiters screened prospective employees through social media, and 69 percent said they rejected a candidate based on what they saw on a candidate’s social media profiles. Take the first step and do the same thing; search your name and see what sites pop up that include information about you, then check each social media site you have a profile on and make sure you don’t have any embarrassing or unprofessional postings. You should also make sure your information is up dated and correlates to information you included on your résumé and cover letter.

The Interview

Most likely, the next time you will be in front of an employer is for an interview. There are two important tips to remember when preparing for an interview to make sure you leave knowing it went well. First, remember that the business is obviously interested in you if they are willing to take the time to talk with you for a little while. So be confident in your abilities and what you have to offer. Next, do the proper research on the company you’re interviewing with and be ready to offer a few practical solutions you believe helps improve the company. “Don’t just recite your job description in a generic way that makes you interchangeable with any person in the same position before and, or after you,” said career coach Wendy Doulton. “Know and show what you bring to the table. Own your interview!”

Give Thanks

Finally, follow up your interview with a personalized, handwritten thank you note to the interviewer. With the instant access of email, handwritten letters are less and less common, so sending a simple and grateful thank you note will help you stand out from the crowd of candidates. Make sure to also follow up through an email or phone call in the days after the interview if you don’t hear anything to find out where they are in the process.

If after being fully prepared and leaving an interview excited, you don’t get the job, don’t be discouraged. Consider asking the interviewer for some feedback on what you can do to improve your chances of getting a job. A rejection is not the end of your job search, it’s just another learning opportunity for you to grow as you continue moving forward in pursuit of a great job. A positive reaction to being turned down for a job helps display great character and maturity to other employers, so make sure you react positively when you get the news and if you decide to post the news on your social media sites.

Poll Results: Ace Your Next Interview With These Top Tips

 

Last month we drilled down on what readers want to see on Movin’ On Up. We asked one simple question: “What part of the job interview process do you need help with?”

Your answers were as follows:

 

What’s next?

The results were almost evenly split among the top four, so we’ll be sure to cover all those topics in upcoming blogs. But before that, here’s a bit of information about the top four.

Asking Relevant Questions

Questions you ask after an interview should be uniquely tailored to yourself or your interviewer. The key is to ask insightful, culture-based questions that won’t typically pop up during the interview. A few examples:

  • What is a typical day like at [company name]?
  • How is this company different from other companies you’ve worked at?
    • What makes it unique?
  • Tell me about a project or incident you experienced that truly embodied the spirit of [company name].

How to Create an “Elevator Pitch”

First things first—what is an elevator pitch? As defined by Investopedia, an elevator pitch is a “…term used to describe a brief speech that outlines an idea for a product, service, or project.” In the world of interviewing, your “elevator pitch” is a short way of describing who you are and why you’re right for the job. Think of it as a super quick version of your cover letter.

The easiest way to craft an “elevator pitch” is to look at your cover letter. You’ve already done the work! Just condense it into a few bullet points, and mix those with details specific to the job you’re interviewing for.

Despite the name, an “elevator pitch” doesn’t have to take place in an elevator. It works perfectly as an answer to an introductory question like “tell me about yourself.” When an interviewer asks that, they don’t want to hear you list your resume. They want to know about you as a person and how your experiences make you qualified for this position.

Discussing Skills/Past Experience

Listing past jobs in an interview is easy. Really getting into those experiences and the skills they represent is harder.

First, remember that you’re focusing on accomplishments, not job descriptions. Speak on how you increased ROI by a certain amount, typed a certain WPM (words per minute), or completed however many projects in a certain amount of time.

How Much to Share About a Previous Job

It can be difficult to answer questions about your previous job experiences when some of those experiences weren’t exactly positive. If you had a boss that was a tyrant, should you mention it? What about a company culture you didn’t fit in with?

Always keep in mind that your personality is being interviewed just as much as your job experience. You don’t want to appear rude or unprofessional. So, when an interviewer asks you about your previous manager, keep it to the basics. Feel free to mention why you didn’t fit in with a particular management style or company culture, but stay away from personal judgements.

Anything else you want to know about the interview process? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

Save Money with Job Search Tax Deductions

Do the new 2018 tax rulings affect 2017 job search expenses?

With the recent passage of new tax laws, some are worried about what it means when filing taxes for the 2017 fiscal year. The good news? The law doesn’t affect your 2017 tax filing. As far as deducting job search expenses go, you won’t be able to do that for your 2018 tax filing.

There are just a few rules to keep in mind:

  1. You must search for jobs within your same profession path. Meaning if you’re a warehouse worker right now, you can’t deduct expenses incurred looking for a social media job. Same goes if you’re a nurse looking to get into accounting.
  2. Don’t let too much time pass between your last job and your new one. If you got a new job but the job search lasted too long, you can’t deduct those job expenses.
    • The IRS doesn’t specify how long this “substantial break” is, but notes that situations like stay-at-home moms getting back into the workforce after years at home do not qualify.
  3. If this is your first full-time job, expenses are not tax deductible. You must be progressing on your career path in a given position.
  4. If you’ve already had the expenses reimbursed in some way, they are not deductible.

And as for how to deduct them? Job search tax deductions must be claimed as miscellaneous deductions.

What then, are you able to deduct? Efile.com has the answers.

Employment and Outplacement Agency Fees

Some employment or outplacement agencies charge a fee for their services (Express Employment Professionals never does). Depending on your situation, and so long as you’re looking for a new job in your current profession, those fees may be deductible. Any agency fees paid back by your employer, however, will be taxable after the fact.

Moving Expenses

Certain moving expenses may be tax deductible. However, this is subject to two requirements (these requirements are waived if you are a member of the armed forces moving due to permanent change of station):

  • Your new job must be at least 50 miles farther from your previous home than your old job was from that home. If your old job was 5 miles from your old home, your new job needs to be at least 55 miles away from that home.
  • For one year (12 months) after you move, you must work full-time for at least 39 weeks. If you are self-employed, you must additionally work a total of at least 78 weeks in the two-year (24 months) period following your move.
    • So long as you are on track to meet these goals, you can deduct your moving expenses prior to completing them.

Other Expenses

Travel and transportation expenses are a gray area when it comes to deducting job search expenses. For travel expenses to be deductible, the main purpose of the trip must be for job searching, such as company research or a job interview. However, even if the trip is not completely devoted to job searching, some expenses may still be deductible. Your ability to deduct them will depend on how much of your trip was devoted to job search vs. how much time was spent doing other activities.

This article is purely informational and should not be taken as financial advice. As no two situations are the same, you will need to follow up with an accountant/financial advisor to see if your job expenses qualify as tax deductions.

Have any other questions about which job-search expenses are tax deductible? Let us know in the comments below!

Spring Clean Your Resume

From top to bottom: out with the old, in with the new

For college seniors, graduation is right around the corner. For the rest of us, a change in weather might inspire a change of career. Regardless of the reason, spring is a great time to modify your resume to get rid of anything that isn’t working. Plenty of people clean out their houses this time of year; why not spiff up your resume?

Mop Up Your Address and Contact Information

Starting at the top, we have your name, address, phone number, and email. These are the first things your potential employer is going to see, so make sure they’re updated! Nobody will contact you if your contact information is wrong. And you most definitely don’t want your college or previous address on there. Companies want to know that you’re in their area and ready to work (unless you plan on relocating, which should be noted in your cover letter).

Clear the Cobwebs Off Your Experiences

Do you have anything new to add to your experiences? An outdated resume is an easy way to reject a candidate. If you still have your high school fast food experience on your resume, now might be a good time to remove it (unless it’s one of the few experiences you have, of course). Keep everything to one page. And if your work experience is lacking, don’t be afraid to put down involvement in charities or professional groups.

Verb tense matters. If you still have your last job listed with verbs in the present tense (oversees, leads, conducts, etc.), change those to the past tense (oversaw, lead, conducted, etc.) And if your current job duties are listed with verbs in the past tense, change those to the present tense. This may seem like a small thing, but it’s a big pet peeve among the HR community.

If you haven’t looked at your resume in a while, consider a revamp of the way you present your experiences. Change boring words like “did” and “saw” to action verbs like “presented” and “oversaw.” Have peers and professionals review your resume to make sure you present yourself in the best way possible.

Polish Your References

Remember how you used that professor you loved as a reference because you performed well as a leader in the big capstone group project? That’s great to include if you’re graduating this year, but not so great if you’ve been working for five years. The references you choose should be not only relevant, but also timely.

Take the time to contact your references and make sure their phone number or email is up to date. While you’re at it, send thank-you letters to references you’ve provided in the past.

Dust Off Your Cover Letter

A cover letter provides a chance to show that you’re more than a number or words on a page. It is by no means extinct. You’re a person, with your own thoughts, values, and experience that show you’re the right person for the job.

Your cover letter should be a living document. That means changing it depending on the company you’re sending an application to. It’s great to have a standard cover letter, but use that as a base and adapt it to each new company. If you’ve been using the same cover letter for years, update it and remove unnecessary information (e.g. old experiences, outdated references, etc).

Vacuum Your Social Media

Social media may feel anonymous, but it’s not. Your face and name are there for all the world to see. Social media is the first place recruiters go after you’ve impressed them with your resume. If your page is full of activities that aren’t exactly work safe, you won’t look right for the job. Same goes for extensive posts about your political views.

Set your social pages to “private,” and create business pages where appropriate. If most of your Facebook and Twitter information is hidden, the recruiter will settle for your LinkedIn page. That’s what you want them to see—the professional version of yourself they need to hire.

For more on resume re-education:

Resume Tips to Impress Your Interviewer

Sizzling Hot Resume Tips

Have any other questions about revamping your resume? Let us know in the comments below!

On the Job Podcast – Never Too Late: One Man’s Journey from Temp Job to CEO

Owning a business is a dream for many. Listen to the incredible story of how a temporary position through the Express Employment Professionals in Hickory, North Carolina, set one man on the path toward ownership and the C-suite. We’ll meet this remarkable individual and learn what it takes to rise to the top

Jobs give us a connection to our communities and the ability to provide for ourselves and our families. Your work may be your passion or it could just be the way you make ends meet. Each week, On the Job will share stories about the pursuit of work by delving into the employment situations people from all walks of life face each day.

Don’t miss an episode!
Download the On the Job podcast on iTunes or anywhere you listen to your favorite podcasts. And, be sure to check back next week for the next episode!