If you're a senior who's interested in earning a bit of extra case, here are some remote job search tips for older workers.

5 Remote Job Search Tips for Older Workers

By all accounts, older workers are at a sizable disadvantage in the search for employment. With rapidly changing technologies, strategies, and operations in modern business, companies often see those age 45 or 50-plus as a disadvantage. But all is not lost. Whether you want to switch careers, work from home, or a combination of the two, these remote job search tips for older workers will put you on the fast track.

According to the Virtual Vocations 2020 Year-End Report and Remote Jobs Statistics, 72% of the 4,800 respondents were jobseekers at least 45 years old. Yet despite this age group’s strong experience, background, and professional status, they’re often one of the most overlooked subsections of jobseekers. And with a common misconception that they lack technological savviness, older workers are seemingly less likely to garner consideration for remote work—even with more virtual jobs than ever due to COVID.

Why Companies Are Hiring Younger Workers

In the dynamic landscape of the digital workplace, companies—especially remote ones—find that younger workers offer a competitive advantage over older workers. According to a Harvard Business Review study, nearly two-thirds of companies stated competitive advantage as the reason for choosing younger candidates over older ones.

In addition, the preconceived and often misguided notion that workers over 45 can’t adapt or don’t understand technology can hinder job searches. Throw in the fact that younger workers are often far more willing to accept less money, and the job market for older individuals doesn’t appear robust. However, the tips below can give older workers a new lease on remote employment and motivation for the future. All it requires is a bit of perseverance and the application of some principles that will make your job search easier.

The Ace Up the Sleeve of Older Workers

Since 2018, job vacancies in the United States have eclipsed the number of available workers. That’s an ace up the sleeve for older workers. Instead of firms ushering these employees out the door to bring in youth or cut payroll, companies are now aiming to retain them. Furthermore, many companies now understand the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workforce. This goes beyond gender, sexual orientation, or race; it also includes different ages.

So while you might think a new remote job is a young person’s game, the facts above tell a different story. If you have insight, experience, and the right set of soft and hard skills, you’re just what employers are searching for. You just might need to make some minor adjustments to transition to a virtual workplace.

More Reasons That Employers Want Older Workers

The scope of operations of a business often defines the age of its workforce. For example, social media-based businesses may find more value in younger hires, simply because of their familiarity with the product. Nevertheless, more employers are understanding the importance and success behind multiple generations within their workforce. This list may include:

  • Stronger or more expansive professional networks
  • Better perceived work ethic than other generations
  • Motivated not only by money but also respect and fulfillment
  • Excellent leadership skills
  • Sense of loyalty to the company

Although the above reasons aren’t exactly remote job search tips for older workers, they do provide a valuable perk: motivation. When you’re consistently rejected or don’t hear back from employers, finding employment grows tiresome. But once you realize that you’re an asset, you’ve already won half the battle.

Remote Job Search Tips for Older Workers

Motivating yourself and knowing you add value to a company are the mental aspects of finding a new job. Yet remote job search tips for older workers don’t stop there. By applying various tips, hacks, and suggestions, you can create a strong overall profile that leaves hiring managers wanting more.

1. Bulk Up the Tech Section of Your Resume

Because of the misconception that older workers aren’t tech-savvy, your first remote job search tip for older workers is to bulk up the tech skills section of your resume. This may seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re someone who hasn’t work from home in the past. However, you may have more tech skills than you think. To jog your memory, think of these aspects:

  • Have you made video calls to friends or relatives during COVID? Then you probably are familiar enough to use Zoom or other video conferencing programs.
  • Don’t forget about basic computer skills such as proficiency with Google Docs or Microsoft Office.
  • Researching topics online or familiarity with social media platforms are also a great addition to your resume.
  • Taking online classes through a video conferencing program.

In addition to these skills that you can add to your resume, make certain to keep up with technological advances for remote work, and just as importantly, your industry.

2. Patience Is a Virtue

Just like when you were searching for your first “real job” out of college, patience is a virtue regarding a job search. You may have an impressive resume or experience, but that doesn’t always translate to immediate employment. Because employers can’t meet you face-to-face due to COVID or the remote nature of the job, the vetting process is far more intense. That means that not only will you be overlooked for some positions, but some might take weeks to respond to you.

If you don’t hear back, keep waiting. In the meantime, fill the holes in your resume or build skills that enable you to become a more viable and attractive candidate in the future. Doing so can help you present yourself in a positive light to employers while also discovering the tools you need for success.

3. Learn the Programs that Fuel Remote Work

Even if you feel like you have a firm grasp on technology, this doesn’t always translate to employment. This can be the result of a number of things. However, the hiring manager could leave you off the shortlist of candidates because you don’t have experience with popular remote work platforms. This list may include:

  • Asana
  • Basecamp
  • Canva
  • Hive
  • Monday
  • Slack
  • Trello

Fortunately, each of these popular programs all have tutorials or learning modules that enable new users to learn the basics. Although constant use will make you more familiar, you can also check out blogs or YouTube videos for a firmer grasp on each of them.

4. Leverage Your Network

Another remote job search tip for older workers is to use and leverage your expanding network. Over the years, you’ve probably built professional relationships that may have also blossomed into personal friendships. And as the popular adage goes, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” While you may have gotten by on talent alone in onsite positions, online jobs may require knowing the right person.

As a result, you should leverage your network as soon as possible to discover employment opportunities. Facebook may be a great place to start, but LinkedIn is the holy grail of professional networking sites. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, now is the time to start. Doing so provides numerous upside with little downside, including:

  • Building your personal brand
  • Reaching out to former colleagues and co-workers, as well as friends and family members
  • Putting your body of work online
  • Telling others a bit about yourself

Furthermore, some employers exclusively use LinkedIn for their hiring process, opting for your LinkedIn profile as a makeshift cover letter and resume instead of the traditional route.

5. Acceptance of Varying Expectation

If you’ve taken time away from work or you’re transitioning to remote work, you may have to accept certain facts. Despite your onsite experience, a resume lacking remote experience may result in a pay rate lower than your desired level. Or you may discover that companies may want you for a low or mid-level job instead of upper level. If you need a job, you may have to accept the difference between what you want and what you might get offered for a position. Sure, negotiation can play a huge role in pay or benefits. But declining a job over a small difference in salary isn’t always the best decision.

Jobs and Industries With the Least Age Discrimination

Your industry plays a huge role in whether you might experience age discrimination in the hiring process. According to a 2020 meta-analysis from ResumeLab, the job sectors least likely to hire older workers are finance, manufacturing, and IT. That’s not to say you should just give up if you’re a professional in one of these industries. But you should be aware that ageism may happen or you might get passed over for a remote job.

Conversely, other job sectors appear somewhat age-proof. Some industries that tend to hire workers regardless of age include:

  • Human resources
  • Customer service
  • Consulting firms
  • Writing and editing
  • Teaching and tutoring
  • Transcribing

Although these industries are more likely to hire older workers, that doesn’t mean you should broadcast your age. Don’t include the year you graduated from high school or college and omit the years you worked at certain jobs—especially if it’s been more than 10 years. Doing so will keep you free from bias in the hiring process and provide a quicker avenue to an interview.

Putting Remote Job Search Tips for Older Workers Into Practice

Remote job search tips for older workers aren’t just ideas; they’re tangible assets if used properly. More than anything, however, accept that the modern workplace is always changing. Without putting these tips into practice, you’re essentially becoming obsolete when you don’t have to. So trust your skills and instincts, but don’t forget: keep up with the times or get left behind. If you’re in the market for a remote job, the choice seems self-evident.

As an employee or an employer, do you have any remote job search tips for older workers? Connect with Virtual Vocations on FacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagram, and YouTube to share your thoughts and tips. We’d love to hear from you!

Join Virtual Vocations

Joining Virtual Vocations grants you access to our hand-picked remote jobs database. Learn how our service works, browse job leads by location and career category, or search hundreds of hand-screened remote jobs to find legitimate work-at-home job leads that match your skills and background. Register for free or contact us for more information on our service guarantee.

Check out our menu of Career Services provided by our team of certified professionals, including resume and career coaching services for remote jobseekers. Resume assessments and writing, LinkedIn profile enhancement, and cover letter writing are available to maximize the success of your remote job applications. Discounts on all services available to subscription members, become one now.

Related Articles