Career Book Review: Job Searching After 50 by Carol Silvis – A Mature Worker’s Competitive Advantage

Long-term unemployment is recognized as any individual who has been jobless for six months or longer. Currently, 5.8 million Americans define that category; and among them, are many people over the age of 50. Older adults face unique challenges when seeking employment.

Course Technology publishes a variety of Professional, Reference and Technology titles. One of its current releases is Job Hunting After 50 by Carol A. Silvis.

Silvis has a master’s degree in Adult Education and is an assistant director and department chair at a Pennsylvania business institute. She also presents workshops and seminars for schools, businesses and professional organizations.

Eight chapters comprise Silvis’s message. Following are highlights from each topic to help jumpstart your job search as a mature worker:

Skills and Qualifications

The job search process begins by matching your unique abilities with a company that needs them. Define your purpose for working. Whether it’s full or part-time will guide your employment pursuits. Shift the focus from your age to how your workplace, transferable and life skills meet the needs of the employer. Consider too, your personal traits, like energetic and forward thinking, vs. the old-fashioned ways of a mature worker. Share only relevant abilities vs. listing every duty you’ve done over your 30-year career span. Too much experience can shun an employer. This is the age of lifelong learning. Keep your skills current by attending classes, workshops, earning a degree or certification, participating in online webinars, etc.

Resumes and Cover Letters

No career assessment would be complete without attention to resumes and cover letters. For older workers, key elements to a successful approach include:

  • Accomplishments vs. Duties. Highlight your unique value-added accomplishments at companies you worked for, vs. mere duties.
  • Contact Information. Provide any links to your professional online presence, including blogs and/or websites.
  • Digital Resumes. Write a targeted resume for each desired position. Use industry-specific keywords to help with search engine optimization (SEO), to increase the odds of being read by a person.
  • Education and Training. If you earned your degree more than 20 years ago, omit your graduation date.
  • Qualifications Summary vs. Objective. A qualifications summary highlights your major accomplishments, skills, education and personal traits. It’s a brief paragraph or bulleted list that employers can easily scan; and provides more insight than an objective.

Always include a well-written cover letter. It increases your odds of grabbing an employer’s attention; and provides an opportunity to expand on information not resume appropriate, including salary history.

Technology

Today, computer skills are essential, both in the workplace and during your job search. Increasingly, employers require such abilities for hire; and many available jobs are now posted exclusively online. Research a company’s website to determine its key players. Use industry-related key words in online applications, cover letters and resumes. “This is not the time to say you are too old to use technology or have no use for it,” says Silvis.

Now, social networking is a necessary component of your job search. Maintain a professional presence on the big three platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Many employers use these sites as recruitment tools; and mastering them can increase your odds of being discovered for industry-related positions.

Networking

Networking is a ubiquitous word; and its need is often downplayed, especially regarding mature workers. “Creating a solid support system is important for job seekers, especially as they age,” says Silvis. It’s challenging to conduct job searches in a healthy economy and even tougher in an anemic one.

Build and nurture long-term relationships; and you’re networking. It’s also a two-way process. Before constructing a contact list, define your networking goals. The most successful network includes a mix of both personal and professional contacts. Consider everyone you know, including your dentist, hair stylist, Post Office clerk, etc. Choose enthusiastic, optimistic people. Finding a job is often a numbers game; and it’s never too late to begin or resume networking.

Attitude, Appearance and Energy

It’s not easy to maintain a positive attitude when you experience a job loss before you’re ready to retire; but you must, especially as a mature worker.

It’s hard to hear that your appearance needs updated, but it may be a roadblock in your job search. Comb-overs on balding men, and outdated hairstyles can convey antiquated skills as well. Consider doing a makeover at a department store or salon. It will not only enhance your appearance but boost your self-confidence too.

Employers seek candidates who will fit in and bring positive energy to the workplace.

Mistakes Job Seekers Over 50 Make

  • Failing to Get Along with Other Generations. Today’s workplace is multi-generational, with as many as four different generations working together. As a mature worker, you must ask yourself how you’d feel being interviewed by someone your children’s or grandchildren’s age? Could you interact as a colleague instead of a parent figure?
  • Unwillingness to Change. A younger interviewer may be concerned that an older worker is stuck in their comfort zone; and resists change. Expand and consider how your skills can be industry-transcendent, if your former field is extinct.
  • Being Overqualified. “Having too much baggage, even in the form of experience, should not be mentioned,” says Silvis. Focus on specific skills and accomplishments, not your previous titles, which can make you seem overqualified.”
  • Not Embracing Technology. Make sure you’re current in the software programs employers are requiring in want ads and job descriptions.
  • Lack of Enthusiasm. You must convey your enthusiasm and eagerness to land the job through your mannerisms and words. Express your anticipation.

Who’s Hiring?

Job seekers over 50 may be surprised at the number of their seldom-considered employment options. They include:

  • Adjunct or Full-Time Teacher/Tutor. Teaching is a wonderful opportunity, for you as an older worker, to convey your expertise to younger generations.
  • Entrepreneurship. Launch a business of your own, utilizing your niche skills and expertise.
  • Government. Think out of the box with regards to government jobs. Consider Homeland Security, the IRS and U.S. and state transportation departments, parks and recreation, etc.

Instead of applying for traditional jobs, use your imagination and creative skills to land an exciting, enjoyable job in a fun environment, or create your own. “Sometimes a complete change of venue affords the most rewarding opportunities,” says Silvis.

Creating a Success Plan

Statistically, mature workers endure a longer job search. Persevere. Be willing to put everything you have into your employment search, until successful. Set goals, write them down; and take consistent action to achieve those goals. Break major goals into secondary goals that serve as benchmarks toward your progress. Tie each secondary goal to action steps. Realize that setbacks are inevitable, but persist.

Expect to find the right position for you. Reinvent yourself, if necessary; and adapt to available jobs. Challenge yourself. Step out of your comfort zone; and try new things. Visualize success. Be constantly aware of what you’re aiming to accomplish, and what it will like when realized it’s realized.

No one will ever care more about your career and job search than you. Throughout Job Hunting Over 50, “Take Charge” summary boxes serve as signs of your career success accountability.

Finding employment in mid-life does have its own challenges; and Silvis shows us it’s possible. Preparation, persistence and positivity are key. Many libraries and programs funded at the federal, state and local level, provide workshops on topics including Behavior-based interviewing and resumes. Make sure you’re utilizing your community resources to gain a competitive advantage; and realize your employment goals.

Dometic Corporation Breathe Easy Air Purifiers Review and Numbers Analysis

Dometic Corporation is a private company in Legrange, Indiana that specializes in heating and ventilation equipment. They care a residential and a commercial air purifier model called the ‘Breathe Easy’. These systems use photo catalytic oxidation (PCO) technology to oxidize gases in the air. They only use PCO technology. This means they are not effective at removing particles from the air. They are not effective against odors in the air. They will be affective against some gases and some bacteria.

Cost estimates on this technology are based on the Breathe Easy Portable (residential model). This system costs 27 cents per square foot of air cleaned each year. It covers 500 square feet and has an MSRP of $129.99. Costs for the commercial version of this technology will be higher based on the limited information available. However, it seems to cover a lot larger area and may be more economical in cost per square foot.

These air purifiers are specialty items. They are designed to address very specific issues. These are not the models to use for most common residential indoor air quality needs. Depending on how effective this PCO technology is, some examples of good applications for it could include: daycare centers to keep the spread of germs down, certain commercial settings where toxic gases are released into the air, and environments where mold and mildew are common problems. PCO effectiveness is determined by the number and types of metals used for the catalyst and the catalytic surface area for creating the reaction. Most residential environments require a combination of technologies to address the different types of ongoing pollution.

The cost to benefit ratio of the Breathe Easy models is high when compared against other PCO models in the industry that have both greater reputation for performance and incorporate other technologies with the PCO for a more rounded approach to air purification. Some of the high end PCO technologies on the market run below 10 cents per square foot in cost and address odor and particle pollution at the same time.

Dometic only backs its air purifiers with a 90 day limited warranty. This is below the industry minimum standard of one year for low-end purifiers and 3 years for high-end systems. Warranty backing is a crucial piece of information in the air quality industry because cleaning toxic air causes air purifiers to break down over time. So warranty becomes an indication of how durable a system is. If you decide to invest in an Breathe Easy system, its possible you would need to replace it every year. This frequency of replacement was taken into account when calculating costs of operation. Over 10 years, it would cost you $1338.71.

This air purifier could be the perfect fit for certain situations. But remember that it’s a specialty system with a specific purpose.

Apple MacBook Pro ME662LL/A Review of the Turbo Technology, and Connectivity This MacBook Comes With

There are so many different types of notebooks out on the market these days, and many of them aren’t worth the price tag. If you really want to make sure that you are getting a good deal, you might want to go with a MacBook. Apple is consistent when it comes to creating good laptops: the Apple MacBook Pro ME662LL/A is proof of this.

With 8 GB of memory and a dual-core processor, you can expect to receive the power and speed you need for doing daily tasks. The processor is Intel i5 with TurboBoost technology that can go up to 3.2 GHz. This is enough to handle a lot of demanding programs and multimedia. You can even multi-task with multiple applications running at once.

There are two Thunderbolt ports on the MacBook that will allow you to connect it to digital devices and sync files. Also included with this model is a flash storage drive with 256 GB of space. This is more than what many other 13.3-inch notebooks offer.

The 13.3-inch display comes with breakthrough Retina technology. It has over 4 million pixels. This makes the density so high that it’s impossible to see the pixels with the human eye. On top of that, the display has a 2560×1600 resolution. Details and colors show up in images like never before. Text has never been clearer or easy to read.

The keyboard is a full-size model with 78 keys, including arrow keys and 12 function keys. The touchpad is well-designed and supports multi-touch functions, such as inertial scrolling, one to four-finger swiping, tapping, pinching, etc. The Wi-Fi network and Bluetooth 4.0 make it even more portable, since it doesn’t have to be connected to a modem or router. Access the internet wirelessly wherever and whenever there is a connection available.

It works well as a portable device. The ME662LL/A has a sleek build and weighs less than 4 pounds. The battery life can last up to 7 hours. This gives you more flexibility about when and where you can use it. You can easily move it from room to room, or take it with you when you leave the house.

Some more features it comes with include dual microphones, integrated speakers, and a high-definition camera for video conferencing.

This is simply an overview of all of the great things the Apple MacBook Pro ME662LL/A has to offer. No matter what your reasons are for wanting a new notebook, this Apple model offers. With its X Lion OS, fast processor, flash drive architecture, etc., it offers a lot of good performance.