Mistakes Middle-Aged Job Seekers Make

Every generation sees and experiences the world differently. You could even say they experience different worlds. But one constant is sure, and that’s that they can sometimes feel at odds with the other generations around them.

There is no exact number of years old that makes you middle-aged. Some say it’s your 30’s, your 40’s, your 50’s, even your 60’s, or some arbitrary combination. Some just say you’re only as old as you feel. Speaking generally, though, if you are a Gen X-er or a Baby Boomer, you probably consider yourself middle-aged.

And with so many younger candidates competing with you for jobs (and often taking a completely different approach to their careers than their predecessors), you might feel like you’re being elbowed out of the workforce. Truth is, though, that it’s not your age, but your approach that might put you on the sidelines for a career change!

Here are the top 4 mistakes that middle-aged job seekers make which anyone can easily avoid in order to stay relevant to recruiters!


Outmoded Email Addresses

When you email an employer a copy of your resume, or correspond about a new interview or application, your words are obviously very important to making the right impression.

But it’s not just what you send, but how you send it!

Don’t use outmoded email addresses, that make you look like as much of a relic as the domains themselves. @AOL? No WAY-O-L! @hotmail? Not so hot.

Get yourself a personal Gmail account. Not only is it a way to make you seem current, but it always helps to track your professional correspondence with a separate email address for work-related items.

Tip: be sure to have an obvious and appropriate email name. We suggest you first and last names, and possibly an initial.

If your field requires you to have a portfolio, or another reason to have your own website, then consider an @yourwebsite domain name. They can look even better!


Staying “Off The Grid”

While tempering the amount of time you spend online and on social media can be good for your mental health, if you have no online presence whatsoever, you simply don’t exist in the eyes of many employers.

Nowadays, recruiters will seek you out online to learn more about you and your personality, both to make sure you are who you say you are and to see if you’re a good fit for the company culture. If they can’t see you online, chances are they won’t want to see you in-person.

You need to build relevant profiles, and show that you are active on them every so often, at the very least. The best social media for professionals is LinkedIn; you can host your resume and describe your work history and experience. Recruiters may even approach you if you show up in their targeted searches for potential recruits.

Other major platforms that employers check are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You don’t need to have a huge following, just be there and be aware of the type of content you curate for yourself.


Dusty Resumes

Did you know that employers cannot ask for your age as part of the recruitment process? That means that your resume, while being relevant in terms of your key qualities, doesn’t need to give exact dates for graduations and long-forgotten jobs you’ve had.

Resume formats and tricks have also evolved (and continue to do so daily). What worked to get you jobs early in your career may not be the new normal. Especially if you’ve held a position for a long time, or been out of the workforce for a while, chances are it could use a makeover.

Talk to an employment expert to learn more about how you can dress up your resume in the latest fashion!


Putting Credentials Over Culture

Today, while of course many positions require specific credentials, most recruiters are more focused on finding a right match for their company culture.

Part of this has to do with soft skills; you cannot train a new employee on the personality traits that make them a good fit. But you can teach them the job mechanics. So, even if you have a long and impressive track record doing the nitty-gritty, be sure to focus on what makes you an amazing match for the work environment you’re applying for.

Highlight your creativity, flexibility, social skills, determination, drive, passion, and whatever makes your persona perfect for this profession! It can be particularly useful if you have little work experience due to taking time to raise children, or if you are semi-retired.



Every generation is different, and every generation is experiencing different obstacles to finding work. But they all have their own unique assets, too! Take time to find a job that matches your personality, not just to make getting it easier, but to make it more enjoyable for you as well. And when you do, steer clear of these 4 pitfalls to make it to your goal. Good luck!