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Over the hill but on the job

By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Posted: 11 am ET

Cash Nickerson, who is president of PDS Tech, one of the nation's largest engineering and IT staffing companies, believes that boomers are going to keep working well past the age when most people slide into retirement.

He says his company employs four people in their 80s, more than 100 who are in their 70s, and hundreds who are working during their 60s. They are still on the job not only because they need the money, but also because they are doing some of the best work they've ever done in their lives. "These folks are absolutely critical. You simply can't create a 40-year experienced rocket scientist overnight. It takes 40 years," he says.

Nickerson, who is the author of "StagNation: Understanding the New Normal in Employment," offers this advice for older workers who want and need to make employment part of their retirement planning:

Avoid "I" trouble. Nickerson says baby boomers who have years of experience tend to focus on that -- ''I did this and I did that." Instead, he advises rewording your letter of introduction to let a potential employer know what you can do for him. "Make it about the employer and how you can solve their problems because of what you have done. I think that is critically important. That little twist makes a big difference."

Cut your resume to one page. A long list of past jobs makes you look old.

Dive into social media. Connections count. "There is virtually no hope these days of getting a job when you apply to strangers," Nickerson says.

Don't advertise your age. The picture on his Facebook page is of him 10 years ago. "What difference does it make -- just take 10 years off," he says.

Get out of the house. Nickerson thinks volunteering at not-for-profit events is smart because you'll meet attendees who are in a position to hire. "Make sure the people you meet know you are a jobseeker. Create a card that says, 'Looking to make a great contribution at a great company.'"

"The retiree of the future will work," he says. "We need their skills. They need a job. They just don't want the grind."

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