5 Stress your adaptability — and truly be adaptable. A big stereotype against older workers is that they're not willing or able to adapt to new technologies and new ways of doing things. Depending on your industry, give employers examples of how you've stayed current and how you plan to keep doing so.
6 Upgrade your job skills if necessary. You may be able to find free or low-cost computer classes offered at libraries, churches and continuing education centers. Also check with local colleges and universities about extension programs that offer courses for professional development, and look into classes offered through community colleges, accredited online degree programs and the New Horizons Computer Learning Center (www.newhorizons.com).
7 Change careers if you must. Let's face it: Your entire industry may be imploding on you. So, for instance, if you've worked in finance for years, do you know of any former colleagues who made the leap to positions that allow them to work with numbers for different kinds of employers? Or if you're thinking about transitioning out of real estate, can you brainstorm other areas where you could apply your sales and negotiation skills?
Check out our "New Career Marketplace" for help
8 Check industry data yourself. Especially if you need to change career fields, study occupational data so you can find out which sectors are hiring right now. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook (www.bls.gov/OCO/) can help you learn about job sectors that may be crying out for your specific skills. CareerBuilder.com (www.careerbuilder.com) also publishes information about who's hiring in its "Advice & Resources" section.
9 Stay upbeat. Negative thinking and speaking can hurt your job search. For instance, if you're an older worker, are you viewing yourself as experienced and knowledgeable, or just old? Most employers want to hire energetic, positive people. To stay positive, remember how much you have to offer. Stay focused and confident about the ways you can help employers succeed.
10 Think about consulting opportunities. If you've been spinning your wheels for far too long trying to find a full-time job, remember that you can always make yourself available as a consultant or contractor. Companies may be reluctant to hire you permanently in this economy, but they may gladly tap your expertise for projects where they could really use your help.
Click here to read part 1 of this article
Laura T. Coffey can be reached at laura@ tentips.org.
Sources: the AARP, About.com, Women for Hire