What to do when you’re out of work in your 40s, 50s or 60s

There is a range of resources available to help you get back into the workforce. Understanding where the jobs are and how to transfer you skills into these roles is something to focus on when looking for a job.

Before applying for jobs

Think about the skills you need for your new career

Consider what type of job you would like to pursue. Reflect on your previous career experience. Did you enjoy your job? Did it suit your lifestyle? What skills do you have? Are these transferable to a new role? What skills do you need to develop?

The Department of Education and Training will soon rollout a Skills Checkpoint Program for Australians aged 45 years and over. This program provides guidance on how to transition into new roles, whether it is in your current industry or new one. It also includes referral to relevant education and training options to help you get the job you want.

If you need help to enhance your numeracy and literacy, the Skills for Education and Employment Program could help. You may be eligible for up to 650 hours of free accredited language, literacy and/or numeracy training delivered under the program.

An apprenticeship may be your pathway to a new career. Checkout the Australian Apprenticeships website for more information.

Brush up your CV/resume

Now is the time to review and update your CV. Conduct some research to understand what the latest CV formats are so you can demonstrate you are up to date with common practice. Your local jobactive provider can also provide you tips on what to include in your CV.

Consider updating, or creating, your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is a professional social network that links people together through career and other common interests. Some Australians have found out about job opportunities through LinkedIn, some which weren’t advertised.  It’s also worthwhile seeking your endorsements from your LinkedIn network so potential employers can receive insights about your employment experience and attributes.

If you need advice on how to tailor your applications, and practical assistance to develop ICT skills Career Transition Assistance might be for you. Trained mentors and coaches deliver training to build skills using smartphones, tablets, apps, social media and desktop computers. Career Transition Assistance helps you build confidence and become more competitive in your local labour market.

Review your finances

To ensure you are on the right track to a new job, have a plan in place about your financial needs.

Think whether you need to go back to work at the same rate of pay, or whether a reduced wage is suitable for your lifestyle.

When applying for jobs

Reach out to the hiring manager

Give yourself the best chance by reaching out to the hiring manager when applying for jobs. Making a phone call and putting a voice to a name can mean hiring managers take extra time considering your application, and this may you in an interview.

Know your point of difference

When applying for roles and preparing for interviews, think about what skills and experience you have which you can use as a selling point – what makes you more marketable than the next job applicant. Considering this will help with your confidence and assist you in talking about your suitability to the job with potential employers. Having this may also help you with nerves.

Have you considered starting your own business?

A great way to find a job is to become your own boss. Entrepreneurship facilitators can help you turn your business ideas into a meaningful job — from January 2019, 20 facilitators will focus their time to help Australians 45 years and older with their business ideas.

You may also be eligible for the New Enterprise Assistance Scheme (NEIS). NEIS can provide small business training, income support while you set up your business and mentoring as you launch it.