How to Compete With the Kids for Jobs
Here are some additional point-by-point tips from Harris for middle-age job-seekers:
Stay cool when interviewing with younger managers. The chances are good you'll be interviewing with a younger hiring manager younger. Harris advises staying cool and avoiding red-flag terms such as "when I was your age."
Have fire in the belly. Harris says managers love to hire employees who show "vim and vigor." Show a company your entire career has been defined by your energy and fire to succeed; that's the type of compelling story Harris wants you to tell.
Ace the interview. Don't mention old technologies you have used in a job interview -- managers are especially watching for that, Harris says. Also, ask ahead about any dress code, since the traditional "blue suit" office culture is going by the wayside. Plan ahead for some good questions to ask -- that's where Google (GOOG) and company websites can really help.
Your "thank you" note should be done via email. Hand-written notes went out of style long ago, Harris says.
Use social networking. It can help gain a foothold with new employers. "Perhaps most important is the need to network," she adds. "Know how it works and be sure to get out there and meet with people once a week for drinks, dinner or coffee. The days when you reviewed the classifieds on Sunday mornings are long gone. LinkedIn (LNKD) is a great tool to connect with old -- and make new -- contacts. Today, finding a new job is about connecting with the right people that can help make an introduction for you," Harris says.
That's great food for thought for middle-age workers. The jobs are out there, but the landscape has changed. That means that to some extent, they'll have to change, too.