Changing careers isn’t easy
You’ve worked for one company for the better part of a decade and were laid off yesterday.
Now it’s time to look for a new job. Competition is fierce, so you’re happy to accept a lower ranking position if need be.
Age is only a number. You know that, and you know that your experience is valuable. How do you show that to interviewers?
Stay Up to Date with New Technologies
Employers expect recent grads to be knowledgeable on the latest technologies. You must prove you’re just as tech-savvy. You’ll need to know your way around a computer, have an idea of how to use the Microsoft Office suite, Google documents, and email. Acquaint yourself with the major social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn), and create accounts to prove you understand how they work.
Research any specific technologies or methods popular in your industry and become familiar with those tools as well. Don’t be afraid of taking online or in-person classes to stay informed. Be aware of how to access email on your mobile phone or tablet.
Leverage Your Experience but Be Willing to Learn
Employers sometimes equate youth and lack of experience to a willingness to learn. You need to prove that you are just as hungry for new knowledge and experiences.
However, you also must leverage your experience to beat the competition. This is a fine line to walk. Show you already know quite a bit, but are willing to learn even more.
To prove your experience, come to the interview prepared with several specific examples of your knowledge. You’ve been in the industry for years, and have seen both lean and prosperous times. You know how to prepare for those eventualities. Let a potential employer know you are willing to share this knowledge with others, so they will be prepared for whatever the future might bring.
To prove a willingness to learn, speak about what you want to do with your career. Why do you want this job? Where do you see yourself in a few years? What in your past proves you’re a curious person ready to learn new things?
Utilize Your Network
If you’ve been in the industry for a while, you’ve probably made a few contacts. Contact friends or previous co-workers to see what they are doing and what positions they are hiring for. Provide as much information as possible to show that you’re a serious candidate, not a desperate job seeker. A personal relationship can go a long way in getting a job.