Job hunting

Job Hunt – Advice For Mature and Entry Levels Job Seekers

By Jacqueline Kariuki.
“I need a job, I have been laid off and I need to make money to cater for my family’s upkeep.” These honest cries from a 55 year old job seeker got me thinking. Can one get employed after 50? Does the Kenyan job market cater for the older generation?

Triza Kemboi is a secretarial and administration professional, has a solid career history but following a mass of redundancies at her previous company she has found herself back in the job market.

With today’s economy, most workers cannot afford to retire hence the need for jobs that accommodate older job applicants. This is the story for Triza. She isn’t having much luck getting another job. “I’m not getting interviews for jobs that I have actually done previously. It’s annoying because these are things I have experience in and I thought that was the golden ticket for any role.” She says.

READ ALSO: 7 Things Qualified Job Seekers Forget When Applying for Jobs

Most job hunters today face obstacles in their job search but those over the age of 50 and the entry level group have a few extra hurdles to clear. Reality is, majority do not want to employ senior citizens or graduates with no experience. For older job hunters, this may be due to a number of reasons, including; being perceived as slow, expensive or possessing outdated skills whereas for entry level lack of experience is usually the reason.

Damaris Kimani, a college graduate is facing the same problem as Triza. “I apply for so many roles but when I do actually get some feedback, they say that I’m not experienced enough.” This is common feedback for most graduates but that doesn’t curb the frustration. Damaris continues, “Many of the roles I’m applying for don’t seem to be the types of role that you need experience for, they’re things I’m skilled for”.

The good news is, with the right strategy, gray hair and inexperience shouldn’t keep you in the unemployment lines. Here are a few ways in which Triza and Damaris can ease their job search.

Entry Level Job Seekers
When applying for an entry-level position, let your personality and enthusiasm shine. This may be done through your CV or in an interview. Entry level is all about personality fit, basic skills of good communication and a sign of eagerness and genuineness are key in securing an entry-level position.

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Senior Job Seekers
Match skills not level – just because you fall into a certain experience bracket doesn’t mean you can’t apply for a position that requires your skills but is on a lower level. Also, use your experience and training in the industry to your advantage. More importantly, format your CV and LinkedIn profile in a way that will make your skills and passion for the job stand out.

At the end of the day, hard work will prevail. Stay positive, keep networking, focus on your skills and competencies, and sooner or later you’ll be identified as the best person for the job.

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