Close to Retirement and Out of a Job

older executive







Today, it isn’t at all uncommon for people to move from job to job every few years. A lot has changed since the days when people used to stay working in the same position and for the same company from their first day of work until retirement, and most hiring managers are understanding of the fact that resumes will often reflect multiple job changes for applicants now. So long as those changes aren’t occurring too sporadically, it can even be seen as a strength when you have varied experience as a result of those shifts.

But the closer you get to retirement, the more advisable it may be to stay working for the same company. That’s because as much as we all hate to admit it, and as illegal as it may be, age discrimination does occur, and it can sometimes be harder to find a new position when you have a retirement on the horizon. As understanding as hiring managers are of previous job changes, they aren’t usually as keen to hire someone who they know up front will only be around for the short term.

So whenever possible, staying the course is usually a good idea as retirement nears. But when you don’t have a say in the matter, how can you boost your chances of avoiding that discrimination and landing a new job?


Rely On Your Reputation

If you are nearing retirement, that likely means you have spent decades building up a reputation in the industry and making a ton of networking contacts along the way. Now is the time to fall back on all of that hard work you have put in up to this point. Reach out to those in your network and let them know you are looking. Contact managers you have worked for in the past, those who had a favorable opinion of you and are more likely to keep you in mind for any openings they have now. And don’t be afraid to ask for references and recommendations from the people most likely to sing your praises. The one benefit you have on your side is more connections and experience then the other applicants you are competing against – so use those things to your advantage.


Look to Startups

Newer companies in your industry are likely trying to create a corporate culture and find a foothold among more established corporations. Many may be open to your experience, and even to your limited timeline left in the workforce, as they work to build their own reputation and establish themselves in the industry. You may actually find you could achieve a higher position in these corporations, and take on a strong leadership role as new policies and ways of doing the work are being created. While this can sometimes mean taking a pay cut, it could be the opportunity to provide truly valuable insight and to spend your last years before retirement feeling respected and validated in your work.


Know the Value of a Recruiter

A respected recruiter in your industry is going to have insider information on the upcoming openings that could be a good fit for you. They are also going to be in the position of being able to talk up your experience to hiring managers before you ever walk through the door. Even if you have never worked with a recruiter before, now may be the time to do so.


Consider the Alternatives

The workforce is changing, and not every job has to be a standard 9 to 5. It is possible that your experience could make you the perfect candidate for contract positions, where you serve as a consultant or freelancer to companies who aren’t in a position to hire full time employees. If you’ve ever wanted to work for yourself, this may be the time – and alternative work arrangements can provide the ability for you to do just that, often making your own schedule and setting your own rate of pay.




Knowing When and Where to Apply








Let’s be honest: job searches are stressful. Whether you are currently gainfully employed and just looking for a better opportunity, or have been out of work for months and are worried about how you will pay your bills, scouring help wanted ads and putting yourself out there for work is time consuming and anxiety inducing. Nobody really enjoys this part, but it has to be done if you are hoping to find yourself in a new role soon.

Still, there are ways to reduce some of that stress, starting with how you go about making your application decisions.

Quality vs. Quantity

One of the mistakes a lot of job seekers make is in thinking that they are better off applying for as many openings as possible. They convince themselves they are hedging their bets by throwing their hat in the ring for any and every opportunity that might potentially be something they could see themselves doing. The problem is that this approach often means losing a lot of quality in the application process. They are haphazardly sending copy and paste cover letters and failing to pay complete attention to the requirements of the job at hand.

Applying like this creates two problems. The first is that you waste your time applying and interviewing for jobs you may not actually want, and the second is that you send out subpar applications for jobs you might actually be perfect for. Instead of applying for every opportunity you come across, be discerning about where you send those applications to – focus on customizing your cover letter and resume to the jobs you are truly interested in, and on passing over the opportunities that probably wouldn’t make you happy in the long run.

Find Your “In”

Networking is forever important when it comes to working your way up the career ladder, but it is easy enough to argue that it serves its greatest purpose during a job search. Making and maintaining those connections with others in your industry can mean getting a heads up when new openings are around the corner and having an internal recommendation for position that might have a lot of competition.

Obviously, if you are currently employed, you want to be careful about who you let know that you are looking elsewhere. But good networking means knowing who your friends are and being able to find your “in” to corporations where you would really like to get your foot in the door. Even if you aren’t currently looking, you should always be trying to make those ties – because you never know when they could come in handy down the line.

Follow Instructions

Pay attention to job postings and to a company’s preferred method of applying. A lot of job seekers make the mistake of thinking that all they have to do to get an interview is turn in a really great resume and cover letter. In some cases, this is absolutely true. But if a job posting dictates filling out an application as well, you need to be sure you are doing so to completion. Don’t write “see resume” on every line or skip the application entirely, purely because you believe your resume covers all the questions asked. Follow a company’s protocol and show you have respect for their way of doing this by applying with their preferred method. This includes paying attention to deadlines and filling out those applications online when requested – many companies today like to maintain online databases of applicants for future job openings.


Following Up, Without Getting a Restraining Order

Interview CoachingThe most generic piece of advice given to jobseekers is “follow up!”

“Follow up on your application!”

“Follow up on your interview!”

“Follow up on the selection process!”

It is advice that has been repeated and handed down so often, that people now almost see it as a must – without realizing that following up can absolutely go too far.

We need to remember that hiring managers are people too. People with jobs and important tasks to handle throughout their day. They aren’t just sitting around waiting to field your follow up calls, and they do have better things to do than respond to e-mails from applicants. So while following up can be a great way to reiterate your interest, it can also go too far.

Think about your job search in terms of dating – remembering that you wouldn’t want to obsessively call or e-mail someone you’ve just met. And then, tread carefully when it comes to the follow up.


Making a Call

Placing a single phone call to inquire about a job opening or to check that your application was received is acceptable, particularly if you keep that call short, pleasant and to the point. But calling more than twice absolutely places you into stalker territory, and convinces hiring managers that you are either too desperate or too high maintenance. Sometimes, job searches are just a waiting game. So trust that they have your information, and then give them time to call you if they are interested.


Sending an E-Mail

There are times when sending an e-mail can absolutely be a valuable professional courtesy to extend. Thanking a hiring manager for the opportunity to interview for a position, for instance, usually goes a long way to express your interest in the job. But remember to keep it at that. You may want to improve upon your answer to an interview question, or follow up on something that you discussed during that interview, but always aim to keep it as short and to the point as possible. And then, don’t e-mail again. No matter how much you want to check in to see if a decision has been made or to ask if they have set up a timeline for second interviews yet. This is another area where being too eager can very easily come off as desperate. And just like in dating, desperate is the last thing you want to be perceived as being when searching for a job.


Dropping By

Don’t do it. Under no circumstances should you ever just pop by the office and ask to see the hiring manager. You may be convinced that this is the best possible way to show how much you truly want this job, but the real message you are sending is that you don’t value the hiring manager’s time; that you assume they are just sitting around waiting for you to show up. They aren’t. In fact, they are incredibly busy, with schedules that include interviews with applicants who have waited until they were called and meetings were arranged before showing up. There is a perceived arrogance in applicants who just drop by, and it can be a surefire way to have your name removed from the list of possible hires. So instead, exercise a little patience and be willing to wait to meet with the hiring manager until you are called to do so. If that call never comes, it wasn’t meant to be. But showing up and putting your face in front of theirs unannounced never would have changed that outcome. And it could absolutely be detrimental if they were otherwise considering you.


Recruitment 101: Things You Need To Know About Executive Search

shutterstock_123574294When it comes to hiring staff, a lot of people tend to think that recruitment can only be done one way: by posting advertisements on job boards or newspapers. This type of passive recruitment is better known as contingency staffing, and it is usually acceptable for entry-level or junior positions (or intermediate level jobs, in some cases). However, contingency staffing is not adequate if you are looking to fill in higher-ranking positions, such as those for senior managers and executives. This is because these individuals are usually not exposed to such advertisements; a person with an impressive set of credentials is most likely to be happily employed already and thus unlikely to apply for other jobs. In this case, companies can only hire them through executive search.

Executive or retained search, which is also known as headhunting, is a type of recruitment method that involves directly approaching suitable candidates with the company’s offer. This is a particularly good method to attract senior candidates, and it is usually done in a discreet manner. There are many advantages to working with executive search firms, the most important of which is the fast turnaround.

With contingency staffing, a company will have to write an advertisement, post this in the appropriate job boards, and then wait for applicants to submit their resumes. This initial process takes time, but the waiting does not end there. Once resumes are submitted, recruiters will have to sort through them, find suitable candidates and then schedule interviews. More often than not, a majority of applicants to such postings may not be suitable for the job, particularly when the opening is for a high-ranking position. As such, this makes contingency staffing a truly inefficient and time-consuming process for hiring senior managers or executives.

With executive search, on the other hand, recruiters can just source from their pool of talents for people who are suitable for the position. This effectively reduces the amount of time spent on searching for candidates and companies can proceed with negotiations quickly.

Another benefit that comes with executive search is getting a guarantee of quality. Unlike contingency staffing, most executive recruiters already possess verified information regarding their recommended candidates, and this eliminates the need to do further research. Executive recruiters keep tabs not only on the talents already in their roster, but also individuals who show promise as leaders in the industry. This way, companies can be sure that they will get high-quality hires, whether they appoint an experienced executive or one who is new to the job.


kylie hammond

How to Access the Invisible Job Market

Invisible job marketThere is an obsession that goes hand in hand with a job search. You check and re-check the same company websites for new job postings daily. You know who is hiring and for what, and you submit applications to all potential openings that suit your line of work. So when you hear about a position being filled at your dream company, you immediately wonder how you could have possibly missed the posting. The reality might just be that you didn’t miss it, because it was never posted at all; a commodity of the invisible job market, recruited for and filled without any public notice. Now that you realise such a market exists, how do you tap into it for yourself?

Know the People who Matter

Take the time to consider the organisations you are most interested in working for, and then make it your mission to connect with people within those organisations. Start with social networking, using LinkedIn to reach out to anyone who might have inside knowledge about new positions opening up. Then extend beyond the social network, making those connections in person by bringing a resume directly to hiring managers during business hours. Take the initiative to introduce yourself and express your interest in working for the company. Follow up every few months or so to keep your name relevant and to continue expressing your interest. Avoid coming off as pushy by keeping interactions short and sweet, but remain confident and genuine in your desire to become a part of the organisations you are most interested in.

Appeal to Recruiters

Research the most frequently used recruiters in your area and set up meetings with them to introduce yourself. Oftentimes companies may rely on a well-known recruiter for jobs that are higher up rather than ever submitting a public posting. This is because the recruiters make it their business to know the top talents in the area, eliminating much of the need for vetting and sifting through unqualified applicants on the part of the corporation. If you endear yourself to the recruiters and make sure they know what you are capable of, they will absolutely think of you if something in your line of work comes across their desks.

Start Anywhere

Don’t be afraid to start at a lower level of an organisation you are truly interested in working for. If there are opportunities for internships or lower level positions, take them. Often, organisations advertise upcoming openings within their current workforce before ever putting out a public call for applicants. This allows companies to encourage hiring from within, giving you the opportunity to move up to a position more fitting of your background if you are privy to it from the inside. Never accept a job under the pretense of wanting to remain there long-term, but instead make it clear you are hoping to find a stepping stone within the organisation. If there is a possibility to move up eventually, most interviewers and hiring managers will let you know from the start.

Build Your Reputation

The true key to utilising the invisible job market to your benefit, is first building your professional reputation. Many of the jobs filled prior to being publically posted go to applicants who benefited from word of mouth. By making a name for yourself and constantly expanding your social network, you are opening yourself up to opportunities you never otherwise may have had. Focus on mastering specialised skills and continuing your education while also working hard and being a team player. If you build a positive professional reputation, the invisible job market will open right up for you.

Visit Resumes Australia to learn more about how we can influence your career, from growing your networks to helping you develop clear goals and strategies. Alternatively, take advantage straight away of our services here.


kylie hammond

5 Myths About Search Consultants You Should Know

Search consultantSearch consultants and executive recruiters can be invaluable people to connect with over the course of your career.

They can deliver key opportunities to your door, provide advice on the industry in general and offer you precious insights when meeting with particular organisations and employers.
Yet there are many common myths surrounding Search Consultants and their roles within the recruitment industry.

What are these myths and how can you navigate around them to strengthen and solidify your Search Consultant relationships?

Myth #1: Search Consultants Work For Me

Many job seekers enter into a search consultant relationship under the assumption that they are the only person the search consultant is trying to find work for and that they deserve special attention or regular phone calls.

On the contrary, search consultants will often have many executives they are working with and are usually so busy networking with employers and leaders that they don’t have time to act like your personal assistant. Once you’ve met them, be patient with your search consultant; it can take time to develop opportunities and find the right role in the marketplace that is best suited to you.

Myth #2: Search Consultants Only Care About Their Clients

This is a common myth surrounding search consultants, since a consultant essentially works to fill an organisation’s vacancies. While this is true, it doesn’t mean that a search consultant’s interests are only one-sided.

Building strong relationships with both client companies and quality job seekers is the key to a search consultant’s success and matching the right executive with the right company is something they take very seriously. As a job seeker, they will be concerned about whether the role available is right for you and will want you, as well as the client, to gain much from the placement, both now and in future.

Myth #3: Search Consultants Read Every Resume

Many executives think that because Search Consultants work at such a top level, they pour their efforts into reading every resume that lands on their desk. This is not true.

Like any other agent in the recruitment and HR industries, Search Consultants are extremely busy people and they often don’t have time for hours of desk work; instead, they will simply scan and screen resumes quickly. For this reason, your executive resume must grab their attention quickly and it must highlight the talents, skills and experience you have to offer. Failing to do this will result in your resume being passed over.

If you are not confident about our resume, seek assistance from a qualified resume writer who has experience writing for senior level positions.

Myth #4: Search Consultants Don’t Check Resume Details

If you think a search consultant simply acts as a middle man and flicks your resume over to the employer once they’ve read it, think again.

Search consultants will conduct thorough research into a candidate’s background, scrutinising their skills, salary and other qualifications before recommending them for a position. When they send your application through to an employer, it is also their reputation, as well as yours, that is on the line.

For this reason, being honest on your resume is essential, no matter who you are applying for a job with. Exaggerating your experience, skills or salary is not a smart move and it’s likely a search consultant will uncover your lies or embellishments quickly.

Myth #5: Search Consultants Are Lazy

This couldn’t be further from the truth. However, I have had some candidates approach me with the impression that Search Consultants are lazy or self-serving simply because they don’t return phone calls or respond to emails.

What executives need to keep in mind is that search consultants are extremely busy, with a multitude of meetings, interviews and networking to be conducted each day, plenty of which also takes place out of usual business hours. Search Consultants are also never simply recruiting for only one role or working with only one employer. Instead, they are often juggling a huge volume of clients, positions and executive candidates.

They key to working with Search Consultants is to be patient – they will get in touch with you, particularly if they are making progress with your application. In the meantime, consider expanding your opportunities elsewhere or doing some networking of your own.

Resumes Australia is a leading Australian organisation specialising in job seeking, career management and executive resume writing. For expert career assistance, Contact Us or visit

Kind Regards,

kylie hammond

How to Get the Most Out of Your Executive Search Consultant

Executive Search consultantWorking with one or more executive search consultants throughout your job searching periods can be highly beneficial to your career.

Executive search consultants will possess a thorough and holistic view of your industry and they can become extremely valuable assets when it comes to finding the right job for you.


They can enhance your job search strategies dramatically, source positions that ordinarily wouldn’t be open to you and even lend you useful insights on particular employers.

Once you’ve networked well and made some great consultant connections, how do you get the most out of your Executive Search Consultant?

Meet With Them

One of the best ways to kick start a strong and long lasting relationship with your Search Consultant is to meet with them face-to-face. This will take you out of the realm of being simply another job seeker and provide you with a chance to begin developing some rapport with them. From your meeting, they’ll also gain an idea of your demeanour and how well you come across as a professional. As a result, they may be more likely to discuss future opportunities with you, since they’ll already have confidence in you as an executive.

If You Can’t Meet With Them

Executive Search Consultants are extremely busy people and spend much of their time networking out in the field. As a result, you may not be able to secure a meeting with them or even get them on the phone. If at first you don’t succeed, try other networking techniques, such as attending seminars and events they might be at, sending them your professional resume or participating in activities offered by their business.

Review Your Resume

Your cover letter and resume are two of the most important documents of your career. It will be worth investing in your professional resume and ensuring it is up to scratch before sending it to a Search Consultant. Executive Search Consultants are inundated with hundreds of resumes and if yours is poorly written, or lacks engagement and confidence, it will most likely end up in the bin. Ensure that your resume is convincing, powerful and accurate before you send it through; if in doubt, find a valuable professional resume writing service.

Stay In Touch

Staying in touch with your Executive Search Consultant on a regular basis will also help you get the most out of them. However, make sure you get the balance right between maintaining contact and becoming a pest. Instead of badgering the Search Consultant, look for other ways to stay in touch with them, such as meeting up with them at seminars, subscribing to their RSS feed or updating them on your skills or capabilities as necessary.

Don’t Expect Miracles

It is important to remember that while an Executive Search Consultant can make a major difference to your career, they aren’t miracle workers, nor are they there to solely serve your needs. Furthermore, they spend a lot of time networking and building rapport with organisations themselves and it can take time for the right job to surface.

Instead of pushing your relationship, give your connection with your Search Consultant time to grow and mature – the better you get to know him or her, the better they’ll get to know you as well and the more chance you’ll have at being put forward for a valuable and career-changing position.

Are you looking for an experienced Executive Search Consultant or do you simply need to revise your professional resume before sending it to a consultant? Contact Resumes Australia today – we offer a variety of resume writing services and search consultancy services to enhance your career.
kylie hammond

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