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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Revamp Your Job Search Strategies and Get a Job (2)

Show Off Your Energy

The best way to show your energy is to be enthusiastic, said Belknap. Again, take a proactive approach during conversations to advertise your good health, fitness, stamina and high energy level. If you bike, run, dance, lead hikes, swim six miles a week, run marathons, or enjoy walking vacations, say so if and when the opportunity arises.

Dress the Part

Since your age is fairly obvious just from the length of your career as shown on your resume, does it really matter if you color your hair and buy stylish, up-to-the-minute shoes and clothing for an interview?

"You do need to look the part and wear current style, clothing," advised Belknap. But more importantly he recommends that you "find out how the hiring manager dresses and dress one notch above that." For example, if the hiring manager wears causal pants and a dress shirt, show up for the interview in khakis and a dress shirt and maybe a jacket.

The old adage "when in Rome" is still the best rule, explained Belknap. "Do your research on your target company. Understand who it is you would be working for. Sometimes looking at the company web site can give you an idea of the dress code. But if not, call and ask at the switchboard. 'I have an interview how do most people dress?' Or visit the company or find a relative or friend -of- a -friend who works there and ask about the dress code."

Revamp your resume and review and renew your computer skills if need be. If you're not computer and internet savvy, start taking courses. And network to open doors to a potential new job.

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  1. I agree with most of the article, but not with "Never try to hide your age by leaving dates or jobs off your resume." I beg to differ. It was only when I removed my college grad year (a dead giveaway to my age) that I started to get interviews. I am convinced that with that year on it, I would not even have an opportunity to get my foot in the door. I am well over 40, (56 actually) but most people tell me I could pass for mid 40s. No one would ever guess my real age. I am active, energetic,fit, and computer saavy, (I'm a graphic designer) but I am competing with people 30 years younger than myself. I am proud of my age, but there is an awful lot of age discrimination out there.

    I have not stayed in one career, but have had a few incarnations along with adjustments for raising my family, so I do not have 25 or 30 years in one industry. That, coupled with the above paragraph, tends to disguise my age. I am not a naturally competitive person, so I make no apologies for using every advantage I have in this difficult business climate.

    In terms of dress, I have no desire to look like a 20 something. I prefer classic, timeless,flattering professional dress (but not matronly or dowdy) appropriate to the business. I live in South Florida, which is terminally casual, but there are limits. We may not wear pantyhose, but flip flops and spethetti straps with bare shoulders are never business attire, unless you are a lifeguard.

  2. The above mirror my own life... you have to make the best of what is on offer...

  3. I am in my mid-fifties and have had nine jobs throughout my career. In four of these jobs my position as sales manager was eliminated due to the company I worked for being acquired by a competitor and regardless what you may be told during the process, your position generally will be eliminated once the other company uses you to help them transition the business, accounts etc. to their "TEAM" with the end result you being let go. As a result, my work history could initially give the impression that I'm a "job hopper" or worse yet...can't keep a job, so I have been advised by a leading outplacement firm to only list positions back about 15 years or so and for each job just list years and not include month. Finally, I removed the year of graduation from college as way to "de-age" my resume. Although, I am 57, I've been told I look like I am in my 40's and have high energy etc. so my goal is to get by the 'resume scan" and have the opportunity to interview and this will hopefully alleviate the age issue.

  4. Since I started work right out of high school and returned to school after 16 years in the work force, my college date of graduation is not an issue but I agree with previous comments if the job description or the age of the job is irrelevant leave it off. The graduation date could be left off if it wasn't recent.

  5. It would be a mistake to tell the interviewer your age, either directly or indirectly (year of birth, date of high school/college education, etc.) Most of the interviewers are young, 30 at most, and may already have a preconceived notion about people's abilities over 40, which is surprising since being 30 makes a person only ten years away from being 40. Otherwise, the article made sense. There are too many available people competing for the few available jobs out there.

  6. Never leave dates off your resume. If the hiring manager thinks he/she is about to interview a 35 year old and in walks someone who's obviously 50+, you've just destroyed your credibility. My age and experience is an ASSET, not a liability and why would you want to work for an employer who doesn't think so?

  7. I would also add, be careful when going on LinkedIn. Their TMI policies are very much age biased. In fact, if they see your picture, and you look older, they'll pass you by for someone younger (looking).


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