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Job Hunting? Over 40? Itís a Whole New Ball Game

Age discrimination does exist. Itís illegal, but it does happen. Employers are savvy enough to not come right out and say, ďYouíre old; we donít want you.Ē But when you reach 40, you have a new career problem to worry about Ė your age.

Millions of Americans have suddenly found themselves on unemployment, or hating a job and too fearful to even look for another. Currently there is only ONE job opening for every SIX unemployed people seeking to find work. The new business motto is doing more with less, meaning more work with less people.

Jobs are harder to find, especially a good-paying job when you are over 40. If you are looking for the doomsday report turn on the news. If you are looking for answers to help you get out of this mess, and land a better or new job, this new book, Over 40 & Youíre Hired! was written specifically to help you.

So how do you turn your age from a liability into an advantage?

Here are a few strategies that my career counseling clients have successfully utilized to turn themselves into more desirable job candidates.

Define Your Assets. You must know what your key selling points are and be able to communicate these I quickly and concisely to employers. Make a list of the skills you have, note things you do well, outline your key job duties and responsibilities, and most importantly identify the results and accomplishments youíve achieved on past jobs.

Shave Some Years of Your Appearance. Contemporary and stylish is the look you are after. Fresh!Vibrant Ė no drab colors. You want to look the very best you can. Casual business attire is NOT impressive. Dress to impress is your motto. So try on your interview outfit. Now take a long hard look in the mirror. Does your personal presentation look impressive? Is your hair style contemporary and as complementary to your face as possible? Does your suit/outfit fit well and enhance your professionalism? Does anything look old, frumpy, outdated, or stuffy?

Donít let something you can control Ė your personal attire and the way you present yourself Ė turn off an employer. Look the very best you can. If you need a makeover, then the time to get one is now before you meet the employer.

Attitude Adjustment. Employers want to hire a person who can hit the ground running, and get the job done. Vitality and enthusiasm ó someone with a success attitude that says, ďIím ready to deliver the results you need.Ē These are the essential traits you must display when you are over 40. Why? Because employers frequently comment that mature workers seem out of touch, outdated, that they have lost their drive, they wonít work hard, canít learn new things fast, or arenít flexible. Do everything necessary to get your mind focused on generating a positive ďI can do what you need and be a valuable assetĒ attitude if you want employers to hire you.

You have unique talents and abilities to offer an employer, but to successfully market yourself you must understand the new job hunting rules. To land a better job, or command a higher salary you must radiate the belief that you, as a worker, are talented and offer great value with your services. Employers pay more for perceived value just as consumers pay more for products they discern to be better. Employers are willing to pay more for employees on whom they place a higher value. Therefore, do not underestimate your worth in the marketplace. Instead, stress it.

- Robin Ryan

Source: "Winning Resumes" and "Winning Cover Letters" Books by Robin Ryan.

© Copyright 2010 Robin Ryan. All rights reserved.

America's most popular career counselor, Robin Ryan, is the author of four bestselling books: 60 Seconds & You're Hired!, Winning Resumes, Winning Cover Letters, and What to Do with the Rest of Your Life. She's appeared on over a thousand TV & radio shows including Oprah, Dr. Phil, and has been published in most major newspapers and magazines including USA Today & the Wall Street journal. Contact her at 425.226.0414; email: