Searching for a job at any age can be stressful, but for older workers with years of industry experience or those seeking a career change, the prospects of starting anew can be a little intimidating. In addition to competing with a new batch of graduates each year for coveted finance and investment banking jobs, many older workers dread hearing the phrase “overqualified” when submitting resumes and cover letters.
The key is to remember that your age and experience levels are not a liability, but a strong asset. Highlighting your skills and professional experiences can put you in a great position to remain competitive in your job search. Listed below are several ways you can further enhance your employment search and start receiving interview calls.
1. Use the right job search techniques
The way people search for jobs continues to evolve, and learning about the different methods for finding a job is important to ensure that you leveraging all your options. What’s more, companies are also getting the word out about open positions by using a variety of channels. Instead of focusing on newspaper, job search engines and positions listed directly on company websites, incorporate social media into your search and work with a service provider who puts job seeker and employers in contact with each other.
One area in which older job seekers may have a leg up on younger competition is their ability to network. If you have a string of contacts, friends, old colleagues and acquaintances, now would be the time to get back in touch with all of them. An extensive job search can definitely land you a position, but don’t discount the old adage “It’s all about who you know” when trying to get a new job.
3. Brush up on new skills
Technology is in a constant state of evolution, and if it’s been awhile since you’ve used new expense reporting software or advanced accounting systems, consider taking a course, purchasing new software or getting certified in a new skill. This will not only demonstrate to employers that you’re a go-getter and eager to stay on top of the latest innovations, but it will make your new job easier if you are already familiar with the technology.
4. Don’t down play your experience
You may be tempted to stay hush hush on your high experience level during an interview to avoid being “overqualified,” but you can still show your desire for a new position – even if it’s a lower ranked one – without discounting your value. Rather than writing off your previous job responsibilities and aptitude for high stakes roles, you can explain to hiring managers that it was a chapter in your life, and you’re ready to expand your skills in new areas, departments or roles. You might also say that you’re hoping to mentor younger workers or get back to a stage in your career that you were most passionate about. These types of statements reinforce to workers that your previous job was important to you, but that you have new and exciting expectations for a new role as well.
When it comes to finance and investments banking jobs, experience goes a long way. Although holding a degree relevant to one of these fields is a great place to start, experience is a very marketable trait nowadays.