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    5 Basic Career Builder Tips for the over-50 job hunter

1 . Attitude Counts

   Stop thinking or verbalizing - "No one will hire me - I'm over 50." With an attitude like that, no one would hire you at 30! You can't do anything about your age, so accept it and get on with life. A positive attitude will have as much to do with your success as anything.

   Optimism reflects itself in many ways. Think about and build on your strengths and stop worrying about your weaknesses. Strengths are what make individuals and companies successful. Believe in yourself: "I'm as good as anyone in my line of work. I must be good or I couldn't have achieved what I have."

   Once you are mentally ready turn your attention to your physical preparedness. Remember, you always need to look professional. You want to present yourself in the best possible manner. How about an exercise program if you don't already have one. You will be surprised how much better you will feel and how that will show in the interviews.

2. Depend less on the classical job-hunting techniques and resources.

   The name of the game is to get to the interview. Avoid phone interviews by saying that you are just on your way out to an appointment but that you can stop by and drop off a resume this afternoon.

   When you first meet the interviewer, stress your experience and maturity. Think of age and experience as a plus and sell it before the issue is even raised. Remember, you can't sell yourself until you get a face-to-face meeting with them. There is no possibility for chemistry until you are actually in the interview. You need to meet key people, so network, network, and network. Get rid of all of your hang-ups about using personal contacts. Your friends and associates will help if asked. Contacts don't have to be movers and shakers. Everybody knows someone, take advantage of that.

3. You need to get noticed.

   You need to get to the attention of the person who can make the decision to hire you. If you don't have a personal introduction, throw away your resume and write a business-like letter. It should present your basic resume data on one page, relating your specific experience to the target company. Address it by name to the decision maker.
   The rationale is simple: Letters get read; resumes get filed. Resumes are a red flag to secretaries, who invariably short-circuit them to personnel. Resumes also have dates on them. A large number of jobs formally develop only when the right individual comes to the attention of the right person. Bring yourself to their attention.

4. There is no one surefire single resource to get that job.

   You need to understand and use all of the resources available to you. Don't let your biases get in the way. Everything makes sense. Some good resources in addition to personal contacts are:
  • third parties (employment agencies and executive search firms).
  • help-wanted advertisements.
  • management consulting firms.
  • alumni placement services.
  • professional and technical society placement services.

   Be inventive and take initiative. It's up to you to make the phone ring. Your results from any resource will be as worthwhile as your level of aggressiveness and persistence.

5. With age comes "Experience".

   Convince the interviewer that you have something younger workers can't offer. You have more knowledge, insight and understanding of the real world. You're more mature, which improves your judgment of people and the situation. You also can be a mentor to younger workers. You have contacts in the profession and the community. Don't think age, think experience.

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