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On this page: Tips for your resume, the interview, and salary negotiation when you are over 40.

Job Search Tips When You Are Over 40

Recently several job seekers over 40 have written to complain that they feel they have lost out on job opportunities because of their age. In many cases, they may be correct. But, probably not always.

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For tips on resume preparation, interviewing, and salary negotiations for job seekers over 40, we interviewed Dr. Jan Cannon, author and founder of Cannon Career Development, Job-Hunt's Mid-Life Career Expert, and a career advisor with over 20 years of experience.

Why does age discrimination happen? Younger hiring managers may feel uncomfortable telling someone older what to do (like bossing around their parents).

They may also feel that someone older is not as technically savvy or as physically and mentally "quick" as someone younger. They may even suspect that you'll be out sick more often than someone younger. Frequently, an older worker is viewed as having higher salary expectations and, therefore, being more expensive to hire and retain.

So, how do you handle the situation?

Keep (or get) up-to-date with your profession and/or industry

Or, do a lot of research before you launch your job search to get back up to date (the Web is great for this!). This issue often torpedoes women who have taken a few months to a few years out of the job world to care for their children or other family members.

Learn the new software and the latest jargon before you send out your resume or apply for a job. Know who the important "players" are (companies, products or services, and people).

Your resume

Since you need to get an interview to be considered, Job-Hunt Mid-Life Career Expert, Jan Cannon, recommends that you modify your resume:


Next, Jan has several recommendations for that critical interview with the younger manager:

The salary negotiation

Finally, Jan offers advice for the job offer and salary negotiation:

"Senior" Job Sites

Another thing the over-50 job seeker can do is visit a Website that specializes in jobs for "seniors," like Workforce50, an organization that matches over-50 job seekers with employers looking for experienced help.

People do discriminate in their hiring practices, but it is difficult to prove. The reality is that 21st century demographics, at least in the United States, are on the side of the older job seeker.

About the author...

Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been  observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. In 1998, NETability purchased, which Susan has edited and published since.  Susan also edits and publishes  Follow Susan on Twitter at@jobhuntorg and on Google+.