Navigate the employment landscape: use your age to your advantage

| April 23, 2013


Are you a mature worker who is looking for your next break, or have you thought about the benefits of hiring someone with experience? Heidi Holmes shares some quick tips which will help you land that new role.

Finding a job is hard; finding a job when you are a mature age worker can be even harder! This is often a time when your confidence takes a knock and financial pressure builds. 

There are strategies however that can help everyone, including mature age job seekers become more successful in the job search process.

In partnership with boutique HR consulting firm Selection – a Job Board and Online Community for Experienced Workers aged 45 plus, will be hosting a workshop on Thursday 16 May in Sydney designed to assist and empower mature age jobseekers.

The workshop is targeted towards any mature age jobseeker that is currently looking to get back into the job market or reinvent their personal brand. The recruitment landscape has changed significantly in the past 10 years, which for many jobseekers was the last time they looked for a new job. 

Topics covered will include how you can best use your CV as a sales tool to get an interview and how to effectively use LinkedIn to tap into the hidden job market. We will also analyse the current environment in which jobseekers are competing in – explore how hiring managers and recruiters work and what you, as a candidate, could do to engage more effectively with these gatekeepers.

For those that can’t make the workshop, we’ve compiled some ‘quick tips’, which place an emphasis on staying positive while also remaining realistic during the job hunt process. 

  1. Keep an open mind but remain assertive: Understand what your motivations are for finding employment and prioritise. You are not going to get a tick in every box. For example, increased flexibility may lead to a decrease in salary. If you are unsuccessful in a job application, don’t initially think it is because of your age. Often there is another reason. Ask for feedback. If you can’t get a response or you feel it is too general, call them on it. Often employers aren’t made accountable for poor candidate management and frankly there is no excuse.

  2. Review your CV for your own age bias: Do you have a Rocketmail, Hotmail or AOL email account listed on your CV? It might be time to switch to something more current. A gmail account suggests you are slightly more up with the times. Also don’t include a home phone number, just list your mobile. The vision that you are sitting at home waiting for the home phone to ring is not doing you any favours. Finally, one of the most common mistakes made by mature jobseekers is to include all of their experience on their CV. Instead, keep it to the last 10-15 years, no more than 4 pages long and place greater emphasis on what you achieved in each role rather than your responsibilities.

  3. Build an online profile: Set up a Facebook or LinkedIn account at a minimum. Regardless of what you think of these networks the fact is they are here to stay and very much a part of the recruitment process. By putting yourself in this space you automatically debunk the myth that the mature age jobseeker is ‘out of touch’ and ‘unfamiliar with technology’. You can also join network groups based on your interests or experience enabling you to stay up to date with industry news and also potential vacancies.

  4. Prepare: Yes, I know, isn’t this obvious! However, I have some specific advice. We all know and love someone from a generation different to our own. Whether it is your children or a neighbor or a past colleague, get someone to review your resume and how you present yourself (a wardrobe review might also be worthwhile). They don’t necessarily need to be from a HR background. Chances are, when you apply for a job you will be interviewed by someone in their 20s or 30s therefore it is important to understand how they might behave. Unfortunately perception is often reality so use this to your advantage.

  5. Stay engaged: The longer you are out of the workforce, the harder it becomes to get a job so it is important to stay engaged. This may be in the form of unpaid volunteer work, training, mentoring or even writing about your experiences. Staying engaged keeps you relevant.


An employer is always going to hire someone based on the organisation’s needs, not yours. They want to know how your skills and experience can be used to solve their problem. Regardless of your age, if you bring the expertise required to the table you will always present as a potential candidate.


Heidi Holmes is the Managing Director of, a job board for mature age workers.