Getting a Programming Job When You’re Over 50


Unfortunately, I have seen more people than ever over the age of 50 that are actively looking for a new job due to all of the layoffs in the Houston market. Many of these people have been with the same company for DECADES and now they are in competition with much-younger professionals.


Many of these people come to me without the faintest idea of where to even start in their search. They apply everywhere, call themselves generalists hoping it will expand their options (note: this approach is definitely a no-no, whether you are senior or entry-level in your career), and quite frankly have forgotten how to interview well after being in the same place for so long.


First you have to get your resume together and enlist the help of someone you know and trust to review it and give feedback. I caution against using paid resume writing services unless you have legit references of their work. Make sure you write your resume for the job you want, even if it means having several versions.


Networking is more important than ever when you’re a senior person in the market. It’s all about who you know and you don’t necessarily have to be buds with the hiring manager! 6 degrees of separation are key. Get to know as many other people in your field as possible and ask for introductions.


PRACTICE interviewing! We send a very thorough packet of interview prep material to all of our active candidates that is awesome for entry-level to the most senior-level professionals! Write out your answers and practice them out loud. It’s best to practice with another person but even saying your answers out loud in front of a mirror will make a huge difference!


Finally, although I said already not to call yourself a generalist, it is important to show flexibility and the ability to learn. Employers often fear that more senior people are generally more set in their ways and won’t integrate in to their environment. This is why face-time and referrals are crucial! Getting someone else to speak on your behalf works wonders!


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