5 Tips for Gen X and Boomers to Dominate Today’s Job Market

Tips to Dominate the Job Market

Think your days of exciting job opportunities are far behind you? Consider this: Julia Child wrote her first cookbook at age 50. Ray Kroc founded McDonald’s at age 52. Laura Ingalls Wilder published the first of her “Little House” books at age 65.

What each of these incredible people have in common is not just that they found success later in life, but the fact that they applied decades of experience and skills into new or even first-time careers. To apply YOUR experience and skills in a newfound career, here are 5 easy tips to show potential employers that with age truly does come wisdom.

Tip #1: Know Your Passion

“Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” As clichéd as that may sound, there is a profound truth in this statement. Look at those things you do in your spare time and translate them into job opportunities.

Do you love to read? Consider positions in publishing or journalism. Does organizing make your heart sing? Project management may be for you. If creating budgets and spreadsheets is your idea of fun, then analytics may be your calling.

Tip #2: Skills are Skills are Skills

One of the most difficult things about entering the job market in your 50s or 60s is that you’ve likely gathered years, if not decades, of experience in one or two very specific areas. Fortunately, that also means you have a plethora of skills to showcase.

Look at your experience and focus on the skills you used to excel in those positions. In most cases, these skills will translate from one field to another. Some examples of skills that are universally desired, regardless of market or audience, include creating spreadsheets, writing, managing a budget, leadership, and communication.

Tip #3: Sharpen Your Tech Savvy

One of the biggest judgements about Gen X and Boomers is that we are technologically illiterate. Whatever your chosen field, be sure you are aware of and up to date on the technology most often used in your desired role.

In the case of marketing, there are many programs and platforms that address different functions. Some of the more common include:

  • Salesforce/Pardot — email campaigns
  • MailChimp/Constant Contact — emails
  • Google Analytics — website metrics
  • Hootsuite – social media
  • HubSpot – marketing automation
  • Google AdWords – SEO

Tip #4: Create a Strong LinkedIn Profile

The days of mailing in a resume are far gone. Today, email and social media are the two most common ways to submit your CV, and when it comes to job-related social media, LinkedIn is far and away the top platform for employers and candidates alike.

Many companies will use LinkedIn as a quick screening tool. It gives a snapshot of a potential candidate — and you want to be sure you are looking your best.

Whether you already have a LinkedIn profile, need help optimizing yours, or need to create one from scratch, there are seven key elements you’ll want to include:

  • Name — Use your full name, including maiden name if appropriate, and avoid nicknames.
  • Profile photo — Profiles with photos get 21 times more profile views, so be sure to include a recent, clear and professional photo.
  • Headline — Highlight your experience and expertise in a few short words.
  • Summary — In 50 words or less, explain who you are and what you bring to the table.
  • Experience — This is your resume, in a nutshell; limit it to just one or two sentences per role.
  • Education — List your most recent education first (i.e., secondary degrees, then bachelors, then associates, then high school).
  • Skills — List 5 to 10 skills that make you competitive in your field; think SEO – you are marketing yourself. What keywords would you want to “rank” for? Make those your skills.

You can also learn more about optimizing your LinkedIn profile by reading our article “

Tip #5: Invest in a Resume Coach

Have you ever applied for a job that you know you were perfect for, yet never even got a phone call? It’s likely because your resume didn’t make it past the applicant tracking system, or ATS.

An ATS uses AI (artificial intelligence) and natural language processing to score and sort resumes based on a predetermined list of job requirements. Candidates who pass this screening are then sent on to the hiring manager. However, according to a study from Harvard Business Review, 88 percent of employers believe that highly skilled, qualified candidates are rejected by an ATS before a hiring manager even saw their resume. By working with a resume coach, you can fine-tune your resume to include the keywords and skills that an ATS will likely be scanning for to ensure you end up in a hiring manager’s inbox, and not in their trash.

by McKinley Marketing Partners