Workplace Trends

Job Seekers Over 50: Work Your Strengths

By Greg Simpson on December 26, 2012

The Adecco Staffing Mature Worker Survey indicates hiring managers are “three times as likely to hire a mature worker (60 percent) as they are to hire a Millennial (20 percent).” The 501 hiring managers surveyed identified reliability and professionalism as the two most desirable personality traits demonstrated by mature workers. Managers reported that mature workers have stronger writing skills and also found it advantageous that they have a turnover rate one third the rate of Millennials.

In her recent Wall Street Journal MarketWatch article, “Where the jobs are for mature workers,” Andrea Coombes discusses how shifting demographics have improved employment opportunities for mature job seekers. According to Coombes, “Baby boomers—some 78 million people born between 1946 and 1964—started hitting age 55 in 2001.” Furthermore, it’s estimated that “by 2020, 25% of the labor force will be 55 and older, up from 20% in 2010 and 12% in 1990.”

So just where are these jobs? According to lists compiled by AARP and, the industries that employ the highest percentage of employees over 50 include airlines, utilities, insurance, health care, retail, financial services, pharmaceutical, higher education, aerospace and defense, and food/beverage. Many organizations in these industries have workforces with as many as 39% of their workers over 50. Consulting is also a field that values and recruits subject matter experts with extensive business experience.

Over the course of a career, a mature worker has solved thousands of problems; collaborated with hundreds of diverse personality styles; and played numerous important roles in countless business initiatives. But it’s up to the job seeker to sell himself: clearly articulating accomplishments achieved, demonstrating enthusiasm and making the connection between skills and experience and the needs of the company.

3 Responses to “Job Seekers Over 50: Work Your Strengths”

  1. Stephanie

    Encouraging article . . . after having my job eliminated after 26 years of service to the same corporation.

  2. Henri

    Looks like that there is light at the end of the tunnel for the old workers. Thanks Richard

  3. Vicki

    Great article. Would love to know the level of the positions in which they are willing to hire?


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