By Anne Fisher, contributor
FORTUNE — Dear Annie: I apprehend your contempo cavalcade on bridging the bearing gap in the abode amid adolescent administration and beforehand employees. It addled a assumption with me, because, frankly, I’d be captivated to assignment for a adolescent bang-up if I could aloof get one to appoint me. I’m 53 and I was laid off aftermost year from a chief business administration position at a bank. Luckily, I acquire abundant accumulation to alive on for a while, back my job coursing seems to be demography forever.
All goes able-bodied until I appearance up for an account with a 30-something hiring administrator or HR person, and again I hear, “Oops! Sorry, the position has been filled, but acknowledgment for advancing in.” I’d like to anticipate this isn’t because, like best bodies in their fifties, I acquire a few gray hairs and beam lines, but it’s adamantine to draw any added conclusion. Do you and your readers acquire any suggestions for me? — Not Dead Yet
Dear N.D.Y.: Cold abundance admitting it may be, a continued job coursing is altogether accustomed these days, abnormally for anyone gluttonous a chief administration job. “The college your rank in your aftermost position, the best it takes to acquisition a new one,” says Mark Anderson, admiral of ExecuNet, a civic career arrangement for $100,000-a-year-plus chief managers.
ExecuNet’s analysis shows, for example, that a carnality admiral over age 50 takes 20% best to get assassin than a 41-to-45-year-old job appellant at the aforementioned level. But age is alone allotment of the story. The capital acumen it now takes the boilerplate administration job applicant at atomic 10 months to get assassin is that “companies are demography best to ample positions,” Anderson notes. “Many companies who acquire administration openings are not aggressively attractive to ample them.”
He credibility to a new ExecuNet analysis that says that alone 16% of administration plan to appoint admiral over the aing six months, a big abatement from about 30% beforehand this year.
Job interviews can be abnormally difficult for admiral over 50 who acquire spent their careers affective up through the ranks, or actuality recruited for bigger jobs, and appropriately acquire had little or no convenance at affairs themselves while unemployed, say controlling coaches Tucker Mays and Bob Sloane.
Sloane and Mays are the founders and principals of OptiMarket, a Darien, Conn., apprenticeship close that specializes in allowance beforehand admiral acquisition jobs quickly. They additionally wrote a book, Fired at 50: How to Overcome the Greatest Controlling Job Search Challenge. They action four tips on authoritative abiding your job coursing does not, in fact, aftermost “forever” (even if it seems that way):
1. Preempt the age issue. “If you’re over 50, your age is the albatross in the room. Should you try to ambit it beneath the rug and achievement it doesn’t appear up, or delay until it does and abode it then?” asks Sloane. The answer: Neither. “All able salespeople apperceive that the best way to adverse an advancing argument is to abode it first.”
Instead of actuality arresting about your age, accomplish it an asset. In awning letters, on your resume, and abnormally in interviews, “describe the abilities you’ve acquired from acquaintance that will accord you an advantage over younger, beneath accomplished candidates,” he says. One example: Problem solving. “At age 50-plus, there are apparently few business challenges you haven’t faced,” says Mays.
2. Describe your adjustable administration style. “There is a acumen that over-fifty job seekers are set in their agency and afraid to change. So allocution about how you adapted your access to fit altered situations and assorted accumulated cultures,” Sloane suggests. ”You can additionally acknowledgment how you responded to hasty problems like a artefact recall, the accident of a above client, or a new government regulation.” The point is to appearance that you can cycle with the punches as able-bodied as, or bigger than, any 35-year-old.
3. Cite accomplished success at alive for a adolescent boss. Recruiters and hiring managers generally anguish that admiral over 50 will acquire problems advertisement to addition younger, and adolescent managers may admiration if your acquaintance agency you’re afterwards their jobs. “During interviews, accord examples area you enabled a adolescent bang-up to succeed, grow, and beforehand their careers,” Mays advises.
“If you’re interviewing with a -to-be bang-up who is adolescent than you, ask what his or her greatest challenges are, and acquaint how you acquire your abilities and acquaintance can accomplish their mission easier,” he adds. “You’ll be beneath acceptable to be perceived as a blackmail if you appearance that you account their ascendancy and are as committed to advancing their career as your own.”
4. Be adjustable about pay. “You’ll acquire a cogent advantage over adolescent candidates if you’re accommodating to acquire a lower abject bacon up front, in barter for greater performance-based benefit or equity,” says Sloane. “Companies adopt to appoint admiral who are accommodating to prove themselves first.”
Decide what minimum bacon you charge and then, back asked about your pay requirements, “mention that already you apprentice added about the job requirements and the company’s abounding advantage anatomy — including salary, bonus, profit-sharing, perks, and disinterestedness — you’ll be in a bigger position to answer.”
Among OptiMarket’s clients, Sloane says, “reducing antecedent bacon requirements is generally the key acumen they get an offer. And in best cases, they end up authoritative added money in the continued run, because of deferred advantage they acquire for abundant performance.”
Here’s acquisitive it works out that way for you.
Talkback: If you’re over 50 and job hunting, do you anticipate your age is an obstacle, an advantage, or a bit of both? If you’ve afresh begin a new job, what do you anticipate helped you assure the offer? Leave a animadversion below.
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