Executive Baby Boomers – and you know who you are if born between 1946 and 1964 – are one of the largest generations moving through and out of the workforce today. The last of the boomers will turn 65 by 2029.
If you’re a Baby Boomer and not ready to retire or are thinking about a career change, consider what you may encounter while searching for your next job.
You will more than likely be competing with people younger, sometimes half your age for the same jobs. There is a wide range of acceptance from executives when it comes to working with or for someone younger. Some handle it well, and others not so much. Understanding how the younger generations function and what they value is important to managing your relationship with them.
As a Baby Boomer or millennial, you have a keen sense of articulating yourself. Understanding the communication style among the other generations is key. You probably enjoy social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook. Generation X, Y and now Z like to tweet, text, and use Google+ which can translate to their wanting short, succinct information and immediate responses.
Technology skills are high on the list of most recruiters and prospective employers. You are competing with younger executives who were born when using computers, cell phones, and the Internet were common ways to communicate. Update your technical knowledge if you think you are falling behind. Online classes are easy to take to keep up with today’s ever-changing technology.
Update Your Image
Of course genetics plays a big part in how old you look and feel, but you don’t have to look like you are ready to retire. This may require a trip to the hair salon to tone down some gray hair, or updating your wardrobe. When people feel good about how they look, they are more energized and confident, and that is clearly demonstrated to potential employers.
Refresh Your Resume
Hopefully you are not using an old resume format from 10 or more years ago. If so, it may get tossed aside or overlooked before a hiring manager or recruiter sees the value you have to bring to their organization. Here are a few tips to freshen up your resume:
– You only need to list the last 10-15 years of experience in detail. Older positions can be listed with less detail because recruiters and hiring managers today are looking for the latest skills you have developed, along with technology and accomplishments as confirmation of your value to a prospective employer.
– Unless you are a recent graduate (bachelor, master or Ph.D.), you should leave off the dates of education. If you received your degree decades ago, a recruiter might view your education as outdated.
– If you have been out of work for awhile, list volunteer and/or board experience, even if it is unpaid. It shows that you are staying engaged and may be developing valuable experience and skills during this time.
If you still want to work and add value as an executive with knowledge and experience, take a seat in a new job or on a board of directors rather than the family room couch.