Advice for 45-Plus'ers
1. Do not hide the fact of your age; leverage it by seeking situations
(full-time employment or consulting) that “reward” sagacity.
Don’t pursue situations which appear to penalize age. There are many
companies who need your experience and realize it. Seek them out.
(Recruiters will become much less useful in your post-45 career search;
learn to target companies on our own through research and networking).
2. Do not lead with a resume; lead with a one-page biography, your story.
You are no longer a young, untested executive needing a resume to list your
work history. You are an accomplished executive whose story should be very
appealing to well-targeted recipients. Use a brief cover letter (why you are
writing to them; three key aspects of your candidacy that you believe should
be of value to them and their current business activities/goals; and a promise to follow-up in the next week or so).
As an executive coach for the last ten years, and headhunter (ten years as a partner at LGES in San Francisco), and after more than twenty-five years as a marketing executive at Citibank, Ampex, FCB and Saatchi (New York and San Francisco), the issue of age has always been of special interest to me.
3. Target no more than 10-15 companies within a reasonable commute of your home and learn everything you can about
them. Use that knowledge to gain entry to the target companies. Focus on key executives and members of the board (who may
not receive many queries but actually run many aspects of the company).
4. Ensure that your references are willing to be called, are fully informed of the specific search you are involved in; thoroughly versed on your background and achievements (people forget things); and are good on the telephone.
Weak or unprofessional references can be disastrous to your candidacy.
5. In general, act like a grown-up and leverage your expertise, and years of valuable experience. Don’t apologize, and don’t work for less money. You have excellent value to the right company or organization.
Finally, I believe that post-45 year olds should be looking for WORK, not just a JOB.
Seek companies who might need exactly what you can provide. Job postings are often very bland and unspecific. Companies need WORK done for them. Attempt to talk with companies about work you can do; it may well turn into a FT job or an attractive consulting engagement.