Advice » Job Hunt Strategy» Getting Started » Job Search Hints for People Ove ...
Job Search Hints for People Over 50

Job Search Hints for People Over 50

By JoAnn Greco, for Yahoo! HotJobs

Charmian Foster, 52, remembers feeling "quite animated" as she lunched at a luxury Dallas resort with a potential employer in December 2004, but her energy flagged near the end of the interview.  Getting up at the crack of dawn to fly from Philadelphia, then spending all day interviewing before rushing to grab a return flight later that same day had left her bedraggled and sweltering in an inappropriate wool suit.

Foster later learned that the interviewer "thought I wasn't 'dynamic' enough," she says. "This surprised the recruiter, who had known me for over 10 years. She eventually admitted that she believed it was my age that was the issue."

Plan for a Longer Search

Workers in Foster's age group can often feel left in the dust when it comes to the perceived energies of their younger peers. But are employers and recruiters really ageist? And how can older job seekers learn to position their advanced years as a positive?

Those are questions that we're going to start asking with increased frequency as our population ages. By 2012, 20 percent of the US workforce will be older than 55, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And, despite the greater experience and job smarts of these workers, their job searches can take significantly longer than those of younger workers.

Maximize Your Skills

"If you're out of work for a year or two at this age, that's big," says John Challenger, of the Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. "It's crucial that someone in this  group attack the search really aggressively, because he faces special challenges."

"Generational differences are huge," says Jan Cannon, of Boston's Cannon Career Development. "Younger managers see you, and they think of their parents. So you absolutely have to keep your technical skills up to speed. One way to show your potential employer that you're savvy is to use the Internet in your job search."

Get Your Network Involved

Challenger cautions against spending too much time with your laptop, though. "Older workers have real-world know-how, which includes getting out there and meeting all the people they've had any kind of relationship with during their work life," he says. "Get as busy as you can -- don't sit at home."

Most of all, says Cannon, know yourself and your strengths. "Take advantage of the fact that you've entered a new demographic by seeking out companies that sell to your generation," she suggests. "Or look for younger or smaller companies that may be seeking mature workers to guide them to their next stage of growth."

Develop Your Script

Foster, who spent 25 years as an executive in hospital administration and is now biding her time by consulting, says she understands that as an older manager, she is "better able to authentically appreciate and motivate people while quickly sorting out what works and what does not."

The older you are, the greater the number and variety of situations you've dealt with, says Challenger. "Develop a script that emphasizes your accomplishments," he says. "Companies buy track records."

Latest Jobs

Koch Davis
Posted: 05/27/2015
San Antonio, TX
H 3 Technologies
Posted: 05/27/2015
Dover, DE, 19901
Company Confidential
Posted: 05/27/2015
Saint Louis, 63146
Ruler Foods
Posted: 05/27/2015
Northwest Plaza, 63074
David's Bridal, Inc.
Posted: 05/27/2015
Chicago, IL, 60647

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.8.0.34-209