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6 tips for landing a job

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Sunday, January 12, 2014
Posted: 7 am ET

Finding a job when you are older than 50 is no picnic. Here are six tips to make the hunt easier from Kerry Hannon, who wrote "Great Jobs for Everyone 50+: Finding Work That Keeps You Happy and Healthy ... and Pays the Bills."

Polish your presence. "Paper resumes don't have the punch that does," Hannon says. Read other resumes for tips. Make sure yours includes a great photo that makes you appear energetic -- potential employers worry that you won't have enough stamina to do the job, she says.

Make your resume relevant. "People are going to read your resume in 20 seconds, so make sure that it is no more than two pages and tells a story," Hannon advises. Don't just say you worked in sales. Tell potential employers that you grew sales by 15 percent or delivered a project three months ahead of schedule. It's also vital to proofread. Read your resume out loud in search of gaffes, then ask someone else to read it, too.

Don't be afraid to look needy. Tell everyone you know or meet that you are job hunting. Be sure to post on your account and don't neglect those who appear to be unlikely resources. Hannon has a friend who is 60 and who found a job because his teenage son had a friend over to visit. The friend said, "You should call my mom." Hannon's friend did, and as a result, landed a new position.

Bring your A Game to the interview. First and foremost, when you interview with the 20-something human resources person, don't come off as condescending. Practice talking to someone who is younger than you. Tape yourself and see what you sound like.

Don't look old and fat. Spruce up your appearance. No matter what your weight or how many wrinkles you have, appear vibrant.

Look for opportunities where age is a plus. Ride the age wave. There are increasing numbers of jobs for people in their 50s and 60s that cater to customers in their 70s and 80s. You are a perfect candidate.

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February 06, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Discrimination laws are working against older workers. You look like a potential lawsuit when you walk through the door. If for some reason they should want to let you go they know they will be getting a lawsuit.

Don't hire anyone over 40 - problem solved.

January 21, 2014 at 9:01 pm

We all need to contact our elected representatives and scream about age discrimination! Discrimination is discrimination, whether it is racial, religious, gender or age. It needs to be severely dealt with. No company would dare not hire someone because they were, say, Jewish or black or gay or female. But they show their prejudices all the time in declining to hire a person over 40 who is, in most instances, more qualified than the young person they end up hiring. Of course, the joke's on them because the young person usually won't stay more than a few months, and they have to go out and find someone else. When will employers wake up to this? Just because a person has a gray hair or two, or is wearing bifocals does not mean that person is unqualified for a job!!!!