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October 2010
Too Old to Get a Great New Job?
by Susan Reynolds

In these times of incredibly intense competition for too few opportunities, job seekers must evaluate every potential explanation. But when does reaching for an explanation become a sorry litany of lame excuses?

So many times when I talk with job seekers about the positions that got away, I hear them conjecture that they think they must be too old to compete with "younger people". While it would let everything off the hook to be able to hide behind age, it's usually not that simple. Here are issues to think about:

Are you up to date or behind the times? Are you conversant regarding business tools that are popular and necessary in today's business climate? Not only are you computer-literate, but are you ready to utilize current software tools? Are you up to speed in Internet and social networking strategies? If you give your interviewer a blank stare when these topics arise, you're probably a dinosaur.

Beware of jumping into a certification or degree program without carefully researching the probable marketing outcome. Many people get bogged down attempting to add extensive studies to their resume that will in fact not make them more marketable, whereas a couple of strategically chosen courses or seminars would have been faster and less expensive!

Is your appearance professional and polished? If you're carefully current in your "look", and are wonderfully groomed and impeccably neat, you’ll get past whatever challenged hairline you might be sporting. But out of date apparel, hairstyles, and footwear are going to give you a bad label. And ladies, some carefully applied makeup is almost certainly beneficial. If you're unsure, consult a professional so that you can be confident in looking current while being "age-appropriate".

Isn't it interesting that these ideas are not just for the over fifty crowd, but necessary for ANY age group! Be hired for being the best answer to an organization's needs!

Susan Reynolds is a senior partner at NewMarket Careers in Santa Clarita, a job search, career strategy, and resume-writing firm geared toward managerial, executive, and senior level professional careers. She can be reached at or

Other Job and Career Success Related Articles:
Negotiating the Best Possible Compensation

Job Search Grief

Cover Letter Strategies: What Can You Accomplish?

Negotiating Compensation in this Adverse Economy


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