Over 55 and unemployed? Finally a bit of good news - Fortune Management
"Companies that cut way back all through the recession are starting to realize that they need highly qualified people to get the work done," he observes. "Older managers understand nuance and hierarchies. They have accumulated a lot of wisdom, and they know how to run projects." He adds: "Experience matters. It will always matter."
Maybe so, but the AARP's Russell says that, in and of itself, long experience isn't enough. "People 55 and older belong to a generation that was raised not to 'blow your own horn,'" she says. "So a lot of the career counseling that we do is centered on showing people how to promote themselves and create a personal brand that will help them stand out."
To help the 47% of its 38 million members who are either working or looking for work, AARP has built an array of online resources, including a new job-search portal with 1.3 million job listings.
Russell and Levin agree on at least one thing: Chemistry counts. "The person who gets hired, at any age, is the one who makes an individual connection with a potential employer, and who understands how to bring value," says Levin. "I know 28-year-olds who are good at this. I know 58-year-olds who are good at it, too."
One subtle advantage that more mature job seekers have, adds Levin: "They know how to craft a well-thought-out handwritten note. ... The personal touch never gets old."