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Thinking of Returning to Work After Retirement? 5 Preparatory Tips to Get You Started

Encore Careers, Seniors, Job Search...

In unprecedented numbers, seniors who have previously retired are returning to the workforce. There are many reasons that skilled professionals re-enter the labor market, either in a previous role they held, or by transitioning into a new profession that capitalizes on their transferrable job skills.  A new term has been coined for Baby Boomers returning to work; ‘boomeranging’.

The current generation of retired individuals aged 65 and up, have garnered a lifetime of valuable work and life experiences.  Sometimes, it can feel like the job market is slanted toward new graduates, or younger candidates.  The global workplace culture is shifting, thanks to many qualified retirees returning to work full-time or part-time, and employers do value the experience, ethics and integrity that senior candidates can provide.

If you are considering a return to work after being retired (or semi-retired), here are some expert search tips you can use, to market yourself and the expansive professional experience you have acquired in your career.

1. Consider Your Target Employer and Ideal Role

A return to work strategy starts with some introspection, and an evaluation of the type of role you would like to have, and the sectors that you would enjoy working in.  If you traveled extensively for your pre-retirement career for instance, you may want something a little different.  A role closer to home, or one that is not management oriented, if you were previously in a leadership position.

For many seniors, salary is not the objective. They may wish to transition from corporate to non-profit or charitable work.  Something that involves a benefit to the community in which they live. Others still may choose to return to their pre-retirement role, and depending on experience and skills, may be easily able to transition back to a full-time role.

Spend some time thinking about your ideal job, and the kind of organization(s) that you would enjoy working with.  Do some research into the professional requirements of each role you are considering; start by looking at employment advertisements or a quick search on LinkedIn.  Define where you want to work, and the responsibilities that you would enjoy on a weekly basis.

2.  Do a Technology and Skills Audit

Before you begin to actively search for a new career opportunity, start by researching the requirements of the specific role that you are seeking.  Technology changes rapidly, and if you were previously employed in a tech role, some upgrading and continuing education courses (or certifications) may be required, to position yourself competitively in the job market.  

If you are not in a rush to rejoin the workforce, consider engaging in online learning, or credentialed certificates from Universities or Colleges. This indicates to both recruiters and employers, that you are committed to life-long learning, and to keeping your skills marketable and agile, in response to changing industry needs.

3. Style Your CV to Highlight Transferrable Skills (If Making a Career Change to a New Profession)

Many seniors return to work, not because they have a financial need, but out of curiosity and an eagerness to try something new.  If you are attempting to segue into a new career, or a ‘second act’, reformat your CV to demonstrate the transferrable skills that you have acquired that would lead to success in your new role.

For instance, include any volunteer work that you may have done in your target sector, internships or community involvement within your target niche.  Discuss how transferrable skills such as leadership and lengthy and proven supervisory experience, position you as a candidate who is comfortable working independently, or with a large team. 

4. Spend Some Time Improving Your LinkedIn Profile

When an employer or recruiter receives a CV in application for an employment role, one of the first things they do is find the individual on LinkedIn.  Once they have located the individual (professionals should provide their LinkedIn profile URL on a .pdf version of their CV), they look at a number of criteria to pre-qualify a candidate.

  • Change your job search settings to ‘seeking new opportunities’ to alert businesses and recruiters are you are looking.
  • List the names of software platforms that you are proficient in using.  Many recruiters recommend doing this in a bulleted list near the top of your profile, to increase views of essential technology skills that may be required for hiring.
  • Update your profile picture.
  • Ask for referrals from previous managers, colleagues and former co-workers.  Positive referrals are tremendously valuable for job pre-qualification.
  • Don’t forget to include volunteer experience, charitable organizations or in-community work that you have done.  Employers do value both the skills that are acquired through volunteer opportunities, and the positive implication on character and integrity.
  • If you have been employed in a creative field, such as marketing or advertising, add some of your best work to your portfolio section on your LinkedIn profile.  Images and a brief description of some of your most notable career accomplishments, help take your LinkedIn profile to all-star status.

Consider writing a few blog articles and publishing them on your LinkedIn profile. Focus on sharing insights from the niche industry that you are targeting.  LinkedIn Pulse actively circulates these articles throughout the social network, improving your visibility as a candidate seeking new opportunities.

5. Consider Using a Professional Recruiter

If you feel that you have skills that are competitive and in-demand, working with a recruiter can be an excellent fit.  Start by contacting professional search agencies locally and provide your updated CV and a cover letter.   The more recruitment agencies that have your information and job search criteria, the higher your likelihood of getting connected to a larger organization.

Remember that many of the best career opportunities, may not be advertised.  Increasingly businesses are utilizing professional recruiters to save time and money, while sourcing the most experienced candidates that have been vetted through a pre-interview review of skills and experiences.   What is like working with a recruiter?  Typically, the recruiter will email you with a job description, estimated salary range and details about the role.   You can review the information and respond, if you feel interested in the role and wish to pursue an application to the organization.

With average post-retirement life expectancies almost doubled since 1960, more retirees are re-entering the job market for part-time or full-time employment opportunities.  If you are planning an encore career, prepare yourself with some of the helpful tips from our recruiters, and set-up a candidate profile with reesmarx.  Start browsing career opportunities in your community and contact us if you feel you are a good fit for a role we have advertised.

Industry experience, work ethic and soft skills are always in demand.  Cultivate your encore career, and find a new role that offers enrichment, engagement and an excellent salary and benefits.