The Bookworm Sez 2-22-10 |

The Bookworm Sez 2-22-10

Terri Schlichenmeyer
LaCrosse, Wis.

Your teenager reminds you of it every day.

Not overtly, mind you. Nothing’s mentioned straight-out, but the eye rolls and heavy sighs say it loud and clear – hands-down, she thinks you’re old and out of touch.

And you can handle that from a teenager. You kind of expect it. But because you’re out of work, your self-confidence begins to wonder if she’s right …

So is it true? Are you “too old” to land a job in this economy?

No, says author Robin Ryan and in her new book “Over 40 and You’re Hired!” you’ll learn that your age may be one of your handiest advantages.

No doubt about it, the rules have changed since you last job-hunted. But then, so did you, says Ryan. You’re no kid anymore, and that’s good – the skills, maturity, and contacts you’ve gathered over the years are exactly what some employers look for.

But first, you need to remake yourself into the Number One Best Candidate for the job, starting with technology. In today’s work world, you absolutely must get up to speed with computers and electronic devices. Take classes, ask your kids or grandkids or ask the people at the cell phone store. Today’s workplace does not operate without technology, and neither should you.

Next, get out your card file and start calling those contacts you spent years cultivating. Through what Ryan calls the “hidden job market,” somebody on your list may know somebody else who has a position to fill, and you can bet they’d rather fill it themselves than go the long route through HR. Never go anywhere or talk to anyone without looking for a job.

Think about your strengths and weaknesses and have ready a “60-Second Sell.” That is, be able to tell someone who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and where you want to be, all within one minute. To bolster this, you’ll want to have a stellar resume and a cover letter that WOWs your prospective new boss.

Ask for what you want and be specific. Update your look and wardrobe and boost your attitude. If you get a lot of rejection letters, ask (nicely) what you could have done differently. Send thank-you notes. And remember – no perk negotiations until the job is offered.

Using interviews with real decision makers, as well as information from her own career workshops, author Robin Ryan gives mature job-seekers plenty of do-able, step-by-step advice on landing the right job, maybe at a better salary.

Ryan’s confidence and can-do attitude is contagious and though most of the information here is level-headed, basic stuff, her updates help make sense of what may be very unfamiliar terrain for even the highest-level job hunter.

If you’ve been laid off, fired, or you hate your current job; if you’re re-entering the workforce after temporary retirement or raising a family; or if you’re looking for work for the first time, this book is just the kind of literary pep-talk that mature job-seekers need. “Over 40 and You’re Hired!” is a book to put your hands down on.

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