Job Search Help

Job Search Help For The 50+ Stay-At-Home Mom

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Hello Dorothy, I have been a stay-at-home mom for five years and now going through a divorce. I am 50 years old but do not look like it. I have applied for about 40 jobs and can’t even get an interview! It is very frustrating! Can you provide any job search help?

First, I’m going to project something in what you’ve said. You’ve mentioned your age, so I suspect you’re concerned about it. While I know there are stories about ageism, I would point out there are bias’s for all kinds of things like too young, too old, too fat, gender, race – the list goes on.

With what you’re saying, people probably haven’t got far enough along in the process with you to be age biased most likely. But just know that no matter where we are in life; there will always be people that just don’t want us.

What does that mean? Almost nothing.

Most of us have to work hard to get a job, so I wouldn’t get overly concerned with that as a barrier. Now if you truly are there is a book called: Over 40 Job Search Guide by Gail Geary. It will give you tips on such things as creating an ageless resume.

Your work gap could be an issue (although due to the economy right now is the best time to have a gap). You can fill in the gap by volunteering for a nonprofit, but you need to be doing work other than taking tickets for an event. It needs to be in your area of expertise – so employers can see you still “have it going on.”

I’m going to project again. When you say “applying,” I’m guessing you’re saying you’ve sent your resume to posted job openings. Statistically, the odds are against you with this method, particularly if you have only sent 40. Here is the expert number: For every job filled with posted jobs, you have to apply for 1000. Now, if you were in a specialized profession like sales or nursing, the ratio goes down sharply. For everyone else, you need to be sending huge volumes.

Here’s how the math works: Let’s say you sent 40 resumes in the past month it would take you 25 months or about two years to get a job solely with that process.

See the problem?

Also, because of high volume with this method, employers will want a perfect match, which might be an issue for you at this point. What this all points to be: You need to network your way to a job. That is truly how most people get their jobs.

From what I can tell here, this should be your action plan:

  • Get to volunteering immediately.
  • If you keep applying for online posting, double your send rate.
  • Pick up the phone and start making coffee dates with people and let them know the kind of work you are looking for.
  • After you get the book, assess yourself top to bottom and your resume to see if you need to make some changes.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Dorothy Tannahill-Moran

Dorothy Tannahill-Moran, founder of New Chapter New Life, is a career coach, speaker and author. Download her e-workbook called, Should I Stay or Should I Go?

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