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How to get a job as a mature worker

By Emilly Parris

Looking for a job as a mature aged worker can be challenging at the best of times—add a global pandemic to the mix and there’s yet another hurdle to overcome.

The coronavirus pandemic has left many mature workers without employment. In fact, by the end of June, nearly 400,000 older Australian workers had lost hours of employment as a result of the pandemic.

While this doesn’t sound like good news for older workers, taking the right approach to the job hunt can make a huge difference. Here are six ways to improve your chances of getting hired during COVID-19.

1. Refresh your resume.

You’ve had a long career, and that’s something to be proud of. At this stage in life, your skills and expertise are what really matter. Refreshing your resume and making it skills-based will bring attention to what you can offer rather than the dates of your employment. 

It’s important to find balance when taking this approach. Leaving all dates out of your resume may raise red flags with the hiring manager. But focusing primarily on your skills will give you the advantage you need.

2. Showcase your value.

mature man undertaking a job interview

Mature workers have something that many young workers do not: experience. Throughout the course of your career, you developed valuable management problem-solving skills that new workers simply don’t have yet. You also have knowledge and expertise that give you an advantage over other candidates.

Furthermore, mature workers are statistically more reliable and less likely to take time off. These are all valuable things that you bring to the table in addition to your hard skills. 

Make sure that your resume and your skills are relevant to the job. Take a closer look at the job description and specification to determine which skills to focus on. Be prepared to provide examples of when and where you have undertaken similar work.

3. Take advantage of the skills and training incentive.

The Skills and Training Incentive is designed to help older Australians update their skills and better compete with other job applicants. The program offers up to $2200 (GST inclusive) to help fund training to update your skills and remain in the workforce. To be eligible for this Incentive, you must be:
  • Aged 45-70
  • Either an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Employed or recently unemployed and not registered with an Australian Government employment provider
You must also have completed a Skills Checkpoint assessment that found training opportunities in the Skills Checkpoint Program.

The funds from the Incentive can be used for any training identified in your Skills Checkpoint assessment. The skills can be associated with your current career, or you can choose to train for a future job or an in-demand industry skill.

The Skills Checkpoint Program is beneficial because it provides an individual assessment of your skills. It can guide you on how to transition into a new career or a different position in your current career, including training and education opportunities.

Building your skills is an excellent way to demonstrate your value to prospective employers. This Incentive can provide the funding you need to acquire those in-demand skills that help you stay competitive in this job market.

4. Leverage your network.

mature man working on laptop

Over the course of your career, you have made extensive contacts and worked with countless people. Undoubtedly, you have an expansive network of contacts, and these connections can be valuable when searching for a job. 

Reach out to some of your contacts and connect with lost networks on social media. Put the word out that you are searching for a job. Having an inside contact can increase your chances of being hired, or at the very least get you an interview.

You can also leverage your network to find organisations that value older workers. These employers are less likely to focus on your age and more likely to be concerned about your skills and experience.

5. Be prepared for interviews.

It’s important to prepare answers to potential interview questions beforehand. If possible, practice your interview skills with a friend. Plan and prepare as much as you can before an interview, including your attire. The better prepared you are, the more confident you will be when you walk in for the interview.

6. Stay positive.

Attitude is incredibly important when seeking a job. If you walk into an interview with the confidence and belief that you are the right person for the position, it will show. During interviews, smile, be pleasant and maintain eye contact.

Even if you have been laid-off from your job due to COVID-19, try to stay optimistic and phrase things in a more positive light—like focusing on what you hope to gain from the new role. If you maintain a positive outlook, you are far more likely to land a job sooner.

Are you a mature worker in the job market?

While COVID-19 has changed the workforce, there’s always room for mature, highly skilled workers.

If you’re willing to update your skills, focus on the in-demand skills in your field to try and gain leverage when applying for a job. To get ahead of the curve in the current job market, studying a relevant qualification through a course provider like Upskilled can help you. 

With the right approach, you’ll be able to impress employers and stand out from younger employees that are unlikely to have the soft skills that you’ve learned throughout your career. Persistence and selling your strong points and achievements can help you land your ideal job.
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*By providing your information, you agree to our Privacy Policy and to receiving email and other forms of communication from Upskilled. You are able to opt-out at any time.