About Don Wilde
Don Wilde BSc, MCIPD
Don has many years experience in
outplacement and career consultancy, latterly on a self-employed basis but prior to that
within the IT industry, where he was employed for many years in a variety of human
resources, business and project management, and staff development roles.
Don has managed large scale closure and redundancy
exercises and the assistance programmes to train and help individuals in finding
Don is an experienced trainer and training
developer, mentor and counsellor, and has created and managed new training operations.
His expertise also includes psychometric instruments and the design and
implementation of assessment and development centres.
In addition to assisting many IT staff, his
clients have included staff from leading organisations in other industries such as
merchant banking, manufacturing and distribution and HR consultancy.
Job Searching - Finding and
Gaining a Job that suits you in later life
We all now recognise that jobs for
life is a dream of yesteryear, and that we will find ourselves - whether voluntarily
or involuntarily - looking for a job at some time or other. When this happens in our
fifties or sixties it raises specific issues in addition to the many questions relating to
general job search. For example:
Do I have a chance of getting another
job at 58?
I last had a job interview 27 years ago
what do I do and what has changed?
Are some methods of identifying
vacancies more appropriate than others for the more mature job-seeker?
Do I attempt to hide my age or
How do I represent my 40 years of
career achievement without producing a ten page CV when I want them to know everything
that I have done?
This 'Job search in later life' guide is
primarily concerned with helping those looking for a new job to increase their chances of finding and winning a position that will suit their needs. The subjects covered are very similar to those in any job-search textbook
but written with the over-50s in mind. In addition you will find further
sections covering coping with redundancy, self employment etc.
The topic is divided into subject headers
Planning Your Campaign covering the areas of logistics and initial
analysis. You must have order, discipline and systems in place because an extensive search
will be both time-consuming and information-laden. You must also, right at the start,
identify what the product that you are selling ie you offers to
the potential buyer and also what you require from any potential job. This requires
analysis of yourself in terms of experience, skills, knowledge, needs, values etc that is
essential bearing in mind that if you ARE job-hunting at 55 you probably want the
job to be right for you (and vice versa) until you are 65, rather than one that turns out
to be wrong after six months or so.
Routes to Market we
traditionally think of the key ways of identifying current vacancies as being press adverts, agencies and the internet. But at
our age there is every chance that our next role will actually be found by talking to
those we have built up as a network over the preceding decades, including social and
family contacts as well as work-based colleagues. And the further route of speculatively
approaching organisations has one of the highest success rates of all. This section
provides guidance on the five approaches, encouraging everyone to try them all, at least
initially, and then concentrate on the ones that appear to be proving most rewarding.
Winning CVs - the first of the two key
marketing activities, the other being the interview. How do we ensure that the document is
read at all? How do we ensure that we provide the information that will get us
interviewed, but not so much that we turn them off? How important is length, layout,
grammar? Emphasising that the purpose of a CV is not to get the job, but to get an interview, is an essential part of the positioning, and
there is no doubt that time and care spent producing the CV can dramatically affect your
Methods of Selection - when we were last selected
for a new job, the decision was probably made on the basis of just an interview and
a fairly unstructured, hypothetical one at that. Selection methods have advanced a long
way over the past 10-20 years, and we may now find ourselves faced with ability tests,
psychometrics, assessment centres etc and
any interview held will probably be more structured and objective than we are used to.
Being prepared for the fact that these methods MAY be sprung on us, and having an
understanding of how they function, goes a long way to reduce our apprehension and improve
Preparation and Behaviour - having produced a CV that is successful in getting us in
front of the hiring manager, there is a large amount of preparation that we can do in
advance to increase the chances of success. This includes research into the
job/organisation as well as planning our own responses to questions. The section then
looks at how to optimise behaviour at the interview to keep the interviewers interest and
present ourselves as well as possible, and how to avoid some of the small,
un-thought-of obstacles that might upset our performance.
on Image – the way we look, speak, dress, behave has been with us for a long time
much of it is by choice and we have no intention of changing it. BUT we do need to just check out whether any
aspects of this are likely to decrease our chances so that we can at least pose the
question do I modify this during the selection process to increase the chance of
success?. Remembering that over 60% of how a person forms an opinion is based upon
how you look, this may be the time to swallow our principles for a brief while and, for
example, wear quieter ties, longer skirts, different jewellery, shorter hair.
with Redundancy - some of those using the job search guide will be looking
for another job because they have been made redundant. This can arouse a wide variety of
emotions, often negative, which may well get in the way of our ability to positively sell
ourselves into a new job. This section is written to hopefully provide some assistance to
those who are going through this difficult situation.
Self-Employment Option - a significant number of those changing job,
particularly in a redundancy situation, consider self employment as an option. This
section is not intended to be comprehensive but provides some initial pointers and
references to start people on the right road.