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How do I find a good job at 60?

Whether you’re nearing retirement age and searching for jobs for over 60’s, or you’re helping an older friend or family member with their job search, you’ll find everything you need to get started here.

People approaching retirement age sometimes worry that they will find it more difficult to find work. Try your best to reframe these thoughts – after all, by the time you reach 60, you will have gained lots of valuable skills and life experience.

You’re also covered by the Equality Act 2010, which means an employer cannot decide not to hire you just because of your age.

Update your CV or resume

Before you start looking for jobs, spend some time working on your CV.

Did you know? In the UK, the average job advert receives around 25 applications, and recruiters only spend about 6-7 seconds looking at a CV before deciding whether to shortlist the candidate for an interview.

So, whether you have an existing CV or you need to create one from scratch, a good CV is essential to getting a job.

The key to getting a job in your 60s is showing prospective employers how your strengths will be useful to the role. Dig deeper than just your previous jobs – think about what you’ve done outside of work and how your acquired skills could be used in employment.

Be selective about what you include and try to keep the whole document to two pages or less – its always a good idea to highlight relevant experience in detail and list the non-relevant ones underneath.

Create an effective cover letter

Sending a CV, resume or application form isn’t always enough to stand out from the crowd. A cover letter can be used to detail exactly how you meet the requirements of the job role.

You can also include any critical information that is not covered in your CV, for example, gaps in your employment history.

Build up a network

From friends to family members, do you know anyone who could put you in touch with prospective employers? Does anyone you know work in a job role you are interested in?

Chat to a friend about your strengths and decide on a few ideas for potential career paths. You could also use an online assessment, such as the skills health check from the National Careers Service.

Register for online job alerts

There is a wide range of career websites for job seekers on the internet. If you have been in the same job for some time, or you don’t have much experience with computers, this may seem daunting at first, but don’t worry, setting up an account is easy and straight forward.

Job sites can be used to search and apply for job opportunities. Many sites allow you to set up a profile and receive alerts when suitable jobs are advertised. Some sites even match you with prospective employers.

Which sites to use for job search

Most job vacancies are advertised online, so take a look at the following popular jobs websites to begin searching for job roles:

  • Indeed – search for jobs, register your CV, and research employers.
  • NHS Jobs – search for job vacancies in the NHS. Use the site to find and apply for jobs to match your skills and experience. Set up job alerts, and you will receive emails telling you about new vacancies you might be interested in.
  • Civil Service Jobs – find and apply for jobs in the Civil Service.
  • Reed – search and apply for jobs, and browse for career advice.
  • Charity Job – find paid jobs for charitable organisations
  • Totaljobs – search for jobs, set up alerts
  • Monster – upload your CV and connect with recruiters, apply for jobs

You can tailor your job search according to your preferences. For example, you might choose to filter results by location, industry, or salary. If you’re only looking for part-time work, specify this in the search parameters.

Sign up for a LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn is a professional social media tool. Regardless of your age, it can be a powerful tool when searching for a job.

Many employers use it to find out more about people they have received a CV or application form from. Having a LinkedIn profile shows that you can use modern technology and that you have a proactive approach to job hunting. Employers can also use it to see your business connections.

Just like a CV, your LinkedIn profile needs to look professional and give relevant information on your skills and experience.

Track your applications

Consider using a simple spreadsheet to log the details of your job applications. Not only will this help you to stay organised, it is also a good way to practise your IT skills if they are rusty.

Include headings such as employer, date applied, job title, and a telephone number or email address for the recruiter or manager. If you’re shortlisted, add the details of the next stage of the hiring process. If not, always ask for feedback and keep a note of this on your spreadsheet for future reference.

Prepare for interviews

If you haven’t attended an interview for some time, you might feel unsure what to expect. Being nervous is normal but putting in the preparation will help you to feel more confident on the day of the interview.

Research the company and find out as much as possible about the employer and job role. If you haven’t been given a copy of the job description, ask to see this in advance of the interview.

If you are asked to sit a skills test or psychometric assessment, you can find a range of online practice resources. Make a short list of any questions you would like to ask the interview panel. This will demonstrate a keen interest in the job role.

Dress smartly for the interview, remember to smile, and make regular eye contact. Take a deep breath and try to relax – the interviewer will be keen to get to know you, so just be yourself.

It is important to remain positive during every stage of your employment search. Finding the right job role will probably take time, so try to be patient, and have faith in your skills and abilities.

If things are taking longer than you would like, try to focus on your existing hobbies and interests, or try something new. You could also consider voluntary work. Volunteering your time can help you meet new people, learn new skills, and make a positive contribution to the community you live in.

Help Available to the Over 60s

Age UK provides assistance to people over 60 who are looking for work. If you’ve barely used a computer or browsed the internet for work before, Age UK runs IT training courses for older people. For advice on computers and the internet, visit the Online Centres Network website.

If you don’t have internet access at home, get in touch with your local library to see if they can help. Alternatively, contact the Age UK Advice Line on 0800 678 1602.

Finding Age-Friendly Employers

The Centre for Ageing Better supports employers to implement age-friendly policies to benefit individuals, employers, and the economy. Older workers are often the most experienced people in the workplace.

Age-friendly employers take practical steps to create an age-friendly environment. Steps might include the elimination of bias in the hiring process, supporting changing health needs, flexible working patterns, and the provision of mid-life support.

Renegade Generation is an independent resource for older job seekers. It publishes an up-to-date list of leading age-friendly employers in the UK.

These include:

Charity experience is not essential when applying for roles with Age UK. However, you will need to be willing to take on new challenges. You will also need to have the desire to make a positive difference to the lives of older people.

Aviva strives to make a difference to the lives of its customers. It also prioritises making positive changes to the communities it operates in. Roles are available in all areas of the business, from Customer Service and Marketing to HR and Finance.

B&Q strives to create a ‘family’ feel environment for its employees. Employees receive support with their career goals. The company aims to help customers transform their homes to make their lives better.

Barclays is a well-respected global financial institution. Employees are supported to develop their skills and enjoy a rewarding career with this forward-thinking organisation.

British Gas prioritises an inclusive culture for its employees. It encourages staff to be themselves at work, and offers them the respect and flexibility they need to flourish.

The Department for Transport offers a variety of UK-based roles, from project management and policy advice, to accountancy and law. Employees should be self-motivated and comfortable to work in a team. Effective communication skills are essential. If you’re motivated about improving transport, you could be a good fit for this organisation.

McDonald’s advertises both restaurant positions and roles in its Birmingham and London office locations. 85% of McDonald’s employees say they are happy with the level of flexibility they have in their job role. Every year, the company invests £43 million in employee development training.

Sainsbury’s offers a variety of career paths, from store management to food innovation and agriculture. Whether you want to work in finance, marketing, or on the shop floor, Sainsbury’s offers a supportive, flexible working environment.

Working for the Co-Operative Group means that you can get involved in doing work that makes a difference. The Group is owned by 4.5 million members, and profits are shared with them and their communities. Co-Op is the UK’s number 1 funeral services provider, sixth largest food retailer, leading UK insurance, and growing legal services provider. Choose from a variety of career paths according to your skills and experience.

Best Type of Jobs for Over 60s

Age is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. That means age discrimination is unlawful, so employers can’t reject your application because of your age. You can learn more about your rights on the Acas website.

With this in mind, you can apply for any job that interests you. When it comes to getting a job in your 60s, deciding on your personal priorities is key.

Your reason for job seeking will probably be relevant. If you’ve been made redundant after a long period of time in the same job, you may receive a redundancy payment. Depending on the amount received, this may allow you more time to find the perfect job.

If you want to change jobs due to your current working conditions, think about what you want to get out of your new job role. How many hours would you like to work, and can you be flexible about your working pattern?

Job satisfaction is important. Think about what you enjoyed most about your last job, as well as what you enjoy doing in your leisure time. Here are some ideas:

Gardening

If you enjoy gardening, you could apply for jobs at the local garden centre. There may also be gardening work available at nearby parks, hospitals, or stately homes.

Floristry

Floristry is an enjoyable career path for anyone who likes flower arranging. If you don’t have any experience, contact a few local florists to offer your time as a volunteer.

Customer Service

If you enjoy talking to people, consider applying for customer-facing retail roles or a job in a call centre. Whether you apply for a job in the local supermarket or look for a home-based role in telesales, positions in customer services will make good use of your communication skills.

Care Work

Whether you’ve raised a family, worked in a childcare setting, or taken care of an elderly relative, having experience of looking after others could make you a good candidate for care work.

Driving

Driving instructor jobs are a good choice for experienced drivers who enjoy driving. Apart from being a good driver, you’ll need to be patient, friendly, and able to give clear instructions. No qualifications are required, but you’ll need to pass the Approved Driving Instructors (ADI) standards check.

Other Paths

Self-employment is an option for older people looking for jobs. According to Age UK, the number of self-employed people aged over 65 has increased by more than 50% in the last five years. Just be mindful of the legal aspects and financial risks before making any firm plans.

Setting up a business is a good way to use your existing skills and knowledge to earn money. You could consider starting a business based on one of your hobbies or interests. If you enjoy baking cakes, you could work as a self-employed cake maker. If you enjoy painting and decorating, you could set up as a painter and decorator.

Being self-employed means you can work flexibly. You might decide to work during certain months of the year, or you might decide to only work weekends.

Depending on your career history, you might decide to set up as a consultant, working on a freelance basis. If you’ve worked in human resources, you could set up a consultancy offering advice to local businesses. If you’ve worked in management, you could set up a coaching business to help shape the leaders of the future.

When starting your own business, you will need to:

  • Write a clear business plan, including an income and expenditure forecast for the next few years.
  • Consider how you will fund your business plans. If you don’t have the money available, you will need to approach a lender. Banks have criteria in place to help them decide whether they are willing to lend money. Another option is to contact a Community Development Finance Institution, which offers loans to disadvantaged groups.
  • Seek advice from HMRC. Working on a self-employed basis will have an impact on how much tax you pay and your entitlement to benefits.

Summary

Your age shouldn’t be a barrier to finding employment in your 60’s. Like any job seeker, you should prioritise finding work that you enjoy doing. Be clear about what you want from a job opportunity, and dedicate time to writing a good CV and preparing for interviews.

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