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12 tips for older job seekers

(MoneyWatch) Being an older job seeker means facing a lot of unique challenges. It also means you have a lot more skills and knowledge than younger applicants. The key is using that knowledge to overcome those challenges. Here are 12 ways to help you do that.

  • Old-fashioned networking: Because of your experience you've got a lot of connections. Use them.

  • New-fashioned networking: Don't have a LinkedIn account? Get one. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, LinkedIn is the most popular site for recruiters to source candidates. If you do have one make sure it's up to date and be active on the site. Sending a resume when you apply is still important, but so is having an online portfolio where you can be found.

  • Show off your knowledge of new technology: Write a blog about your industry or set up a Twitter account where you follow and retweet others in your industry. This shows you keep up with what's going on and gives you a place to showcase your knowledge.

  • Show off your knowledge of an old skill: At this point in your career you should be able to write clearly. This gives you a huge advantage over a huge majority of younger applicants.

  • Watch your language: Make sure you are comfortable using all the latest jargon and be careful about using slang that will date you. You may be hip to what the younger generation is doing but don't use the word hip to show it.

  • Prove why your experience matters: Illustrate areas where you can hit the ground running, delivering benefits and solutions immediately. Highlight how you can make a company money, save a company money, or improve a company's image in the marketplace.

  • Point out how good you are at crisis management: That's a skill that comes from the experience of having seen everything that can happen in the world of business.

  • Point out how good you are at not causing drama: Many young workers haven't learned to leave their personal problems at home. You have. You know you're there to do the job and you'd be surprised how many people don't.

  • Get the dust off that resume: Have a qualified friend or professional do an audit. Don't include anything from more than 15 years ago unless it is huge.

  • More age doesn't mean less hustle: Make it clear you've still got passion. Also make it clear that you really can work smarter than a newbie.

  • Clothes make the person: Update the wardrobe. Got a suit that's still good after all these years? Don't wear it to interview. Wear it to the office after you've got the job.
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