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Interviewing Advice for the Older Job Seeker

Ken Sundheim

Since our firm does senior level and above staffing, our clients (believe me or not), do not discriminate due to age because a lot of people in these positions have a good amount of work experience, but it seems that many companies do shy away from hiring older employees. What is the reason for this perceived notion? I do not know because I've always felt that talent is talent. Though, if you, as an older job seeker, feel that you are not getting in the door due to your age, here are some tips for that should assist you upon implementing a successful job hunt.

Dates and Titles of Older Positions Held If you want to look younger on your resume, don't put that you were a Sales Manager in '77. Instead, change that title to a "Sales Representative" or similar (if you are going for a position other than business development) job and focus on sales you did for the company, thus shying away from and not mentioning the word "management."

Out of all the outlined tips provided below, this is the first and most crucial way to start to conjure up some interest in your resume and what the assets that you can bring to the companies that you are applying to work for.

Male vs. Female Tendencies A recent study by Rutgers University showed that males who are dominate during an interview are much more likely to get the job than males who cannot control the conversation in any sense and, subsequently are only talked at and who fail to make the interview a "give and take." Conversely, the opposite goes for females. Therefore, equipped with this knowledge, upon getting into the interview, you will be more likely to seal the deal and get the offer you deserve.

Go For Broke - Might As Well Put Your Age on the Table If you feel that, during the interview, you are "behind," simply state, in a firm voice, "I understand that I am older and that it puts me a little behind, however I can assure you that I can produce faster and more swiftly than the others going for the job. I've done it before and I can do it again."

Regardless of age, this is what any interviewer wants to hear from any applicant. Also, putting your age in the equation should kill all doubt that you can successfully do the job and that you are worth hiring. Make the interviewer understand that you "understand," then you are on more than on a level playing field.

What Have You Been Doing Since? If you have not been employed by the last employer stated on your resume for over 3+ months, it's best that you don't have a work history that begins with a specific date for that job and ends with a "- present." Instead, have a consulting job on your resume.

Then, if asked during the interview as to what you have been doing since your last firm and yourself stopped the relationship, you have something to tell them. Make sure that you are doing something work related while technically unemployed or the interest in your resume will deteriorate.

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