Alice Bumgarner, Moderator: There's a definite upside here: You're a mature worker. You can offer experience and sound judgment to a manager.
The challenge, though, is in appearing "relevant" to today's workplace.
I recently wrote in Administrative Professional Today about Lisa Johnson Mandell, the 49-year-old who was stalled in her search for a new job ... until she removed old jobs and dates from her resume and added youthful energy to her appearance.
If you’re an administrative professional over 40, it pays to spend some time on your image and appearance, and not merely when you’re job hunting. I liked these tips from Marci Alboher, who writes about careers for The New York Times:
__ "You can remove graduation years, early jobs and other tip-offs about your age from your résumé," says Alboher, “as long as you don’t lie.”
__ Form your own board of advisors (trusted friends who know the standards within your field). Ask them to weigh in -- honestly -- about your wardrobe and appearance. Be ready to toughen up.
__ Learn technologies that people are using in your field. Do you know a teenager who could tutor you on blogging, Twitter, social networking, RSS, instant messaging, wikis or other tech tools you aren’t quite comfortable with?
__ Play up your online presence, and keep it professional. If you don’t have an online presence, create one. A growing number of employers say they look for that.
__ Exude enthusiasm when it comes to new things. For example, says Alboher, “If someone asks you to do a video chat or use some other technology you’ve never used before, your answer should not be, ‘Is there some other way?’ It should be, ‘Can you walk me through it?’”
__ Stay current within your field by going to a conference and reading professional journals and newsletters. At the very least, find the Web sites of upcoming conferences to see what topics are on the agenda.
__ When you speak, present ideas about what you can do in the future, rather than harkening back to the year 1996.
One final tip: You can find a great list of job-source resources and websites for older workers here.
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