Transitioning careers in your fifties can be challenging. The years you’ve dedicated to your career have gotten you to your current salary level, and your skills are likely fine-tuned to your current vocation. Breaking away from the linear trajectory can be tough. However, changing careers now can also be incredibly rewarding. Whether you’re hoping to transition into a more fulfilling line of work or need a new career that better aligns with your life, the tips below will help you get started.
Finding the Right Career in Your Fifties
A career change at 50 requires two main considerations: what do you want to do and what are you qualified to do? Starting from scratch with an internship or entry-level position is not ideal for most people at this point in their lives and careers. Figuring out how your skills can transfer to a different line of work at a salary level that meets your financial requirements is key to successfully changing careers at 50.
So how do you find available positions that align with both your wishes and your resume? One approach is to look for job postings in the career areas that interest you. Pay close attention to the required hard skills and soft skills, determining if you do, in fact, possess these abilities. If so, go back to your resume and make sure these skills are included and prominently placed. They might not be the skills you’re used to highlighting, so it won’t be surprising if your resume requires a total overhaul (more on this below).
You can use Jobscan to see how well your resume aligns with the job description—and how you can improve your chances.
Another option is to use Jobscan’s Career Change tool. Paste in your resume and quickly discover which job titles are good contenders for your search.
Using LinkedIn When Transitioning Careers at 50
LinkedIn has only been around for a couple of decades, but during that time, it has become a powerful professional networking platform. If you’re not on LinkedIn, sign up and create a profile now. You’ll be able to connect with old friends and colleagues, vastly expanding your networking capabilities.
You can also connect with recruiters on LinkedIn and optimize your profile for your new prospective career. If you’re already on LinkedIn, think about how you can adjust your profile (specifically your headline and summary) for your new career goals.
Putting Together Your Career Change Resume and Cover Letter
Along with networking, crafting an optimized, well-written resume is the most important thing you can do when changing careers. Additionally, a carefully crafted cover letter can add context to your transition and the unique value you can bring to a company.
In order to get eyes on your cover letter and land an interview, you’ll first need to get past an Applicant Tracking System. A vast majority of companies use ATS to sort resumes. Because ATS tools aren’t perfect, and because the process of weeding out resumes algorithmically is in itself flawed, many excellent candidates slip through the cracks. Don’t be one of those candidates!
Read job descriptions carefully and make sure your resume includes the hard skills that are required. Use Jobscan to make sure your resume is as well-optimized for the job as possible.
Here are some tips for putting together your career change resume and cover letter:
- Make sure your resume headline aligns with the job title
- Include important, relevant hard skills in your resume summary
- Include keywords from the job description
- Use your cover letter to expand on soft skills and the unique value you can bring to the company
- Leave out irrelevant skills
A career change at 50 can be wonderful. Finding a position that aligns with your skills and tailoring your resume to highlight your relevant capabilities will help your transition go quickly and smoothly. Good luck on the exciting journey!