How up-to-date are your computer skills these days? What about your LinkedIn profile?
Updating your computer skills is the fourth success strategy for finding work after age 55, according to the MetLife study of the job market for baby boomers, “Buddy, Can you Spare a Job?”.
The study found that interviewers are looking for people who are familiar with social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as able to hit the ground running with the current software programs required by the job.
It’s a Competitive Job Market Out There
The job market is challenging enough right now due to the economy, but you’re also out there looking for work alongside younger people who are up-to-date with the latest technologies.
You can remain competitive by updating your knowledge about relevant programs and technologies. You don’t need to learn them all, and you certainly don’t need to become a computer guru. As with anything, it’s important to target your efforts.
Computer Skills Can Also Help With Job Search
There are two reasons for updating your computer skills: (1) to prepare for the requirement of the job or career you’re targeting, and (2) to equip yourself with the tools you’ll need to conduct an effective job search.
- Job requirements. The important thing is to get up to date with what you’ll need for the particular work you’re targeting. This means first taking some time to research what technologies, if any, the job will require. Then take a class, practice on your own, do whatever it takes to learn the new skills.
- Job search. Social media, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, are increasingly important for networking and finding jobs. Keep in mind that employers are also checking you out online. Make sure you appear in a positive, professional light. And even if you have someone else prepare your resume, learn how to use a word processing program so you can edit and change as needed. Each resume you send out should be tailored to the needs of each employer.
Have a Beginner’s Mind
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”
I love this quote by Shunryu Suzuki. When you decide that you know all you need to know about something, you close off your options. You stop growing.
Allow yourself to open up to the new, to continue learning, and to see things with fresh eyes. To have a beginner’s mind. Successfully transitioning to a new job after age 50 means being receptive to what is required and enhancing your skills where needed.
What computer skills would you start with?
In case you missed them, here are links to the first three job search strategies:
- Navigating the New Job market After 50 – understanding the new realities in the job market
- Finding a Job After 50 Takes More Than Experience – translating your experience into a value proposition
- Job Search Networking After 50 – making career networking work for you