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Glenford Smith | Too old to get a new job

Published:Sunday | February 11, 2018 | 12:00 AM

QUESTION: I am about to lose the job that I have been in for the last 11 years. The problem is that I am 46 years old. I am starting to think that employers will not want to employ someone my age. They will want someone more youthful. Also, how can I present myself in the best possible light? Thanks in advance.

- Delroy

CAREERS: Thank you for your letter. There are many persons at your age who are seeking a job. It is either they are, like you, anticipating an incipient layoff, or just unemployed and seeking a job. They are out there in the job market with the young graduates, and they are not as worried as you seem to be.

Relax, Delroy. There is a job awaiting you that only you can fill with your experience and your attitude. This a job where no young, inexperienced graduate stands a chance. Approach your upcoming joblessness with an upbeat attitude.

With the following attitudes and the application of the following strategies, you will be well on your way.

One thing that you need to get is that at 46 years old, you have the requisite experience. Nothing can compete with that. Sure, you may be wondering how to present yourself and how to maximise your employment where you are going. But concentrate on being positive.


Employers may want their fair share of youth. But every employer perceive older workers as stable and reliable, mature in their approach, and as having good interpersonal skills. Of course, many young persons have these qualities, too. But one thing older people can offer that younger people may not to able to is experience.

So the question becomes. How can you emphasise your experience without filling it with a long list of previous jobs? Having done eleven years, you do have enough experience to serve you well.

You can summarise your career path in a career profile at the top of your rÈsumÈ. This speaks much more fully and persuasively for you than a list of job titles in your career history. An example of a career profile and a template for setting up your rÈsumÈ were done by me for the Careers Section, and is online.

On your rÈsumÈ, you really have to highlight your key experience section. This will clearly emphasise what could be one of your strongest selling points. You must make your most relevant experience stand out and be easily identifiable.

Demonstrate that your experience brings results and that you have the track record to prove it. Your key achievements may be combined with your key experience and put in a separate section.

With regard to your career history, it is best that you concentrate on your most recent jobs. I advise that you edit the rest ruthlessly. You may group early jobs and put them under the heading 'various', or simply list the jobs and job titles.

Focus on the bright outlook for the future. Plan ahead. I wish you the best.

n Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power' and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'.