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Tips For Landing A Job Over 40: Put The 3 P’s To Work

Tips For Landing A Job Over 40: Put The 3 P’s To Work

Being back in the job market in your 40s and 50s can be more challenging than earlier days on the job-hunting trail. Many of my 40-plus coaching clients feel out of interview shape and daunted by the job-search process, especially if they’ve been steadily employed for years, or even decades. 

While ageism certainly exists for over-40 job seekers, many of my mature clients have successfully landed jobs by focusing on three very important ‘P’s – Presentation, Positive attitude and Perseverance.


Some studies say we have thirty seconds to make a good first impression...others say we have as little as eight! You can make the most of those first few seconds with a polished presentation.

[Related: 5 Interview Mistakes Most Eager Young Employees Make (And How You Can Be Different)]

Resume And LinkedIn

Focus on jobs and experiences within the past 10 years. While sales awards or other kudos from 1999 or 2002 may be career highlights, it’s best to focus on your more recent accomplishments.

Highlight technical skills and social media experience, and, if you feel you need improvement in these areas, take classes at a community college or through online sites like Indicating a knowledge of social media and the latest software of your profession on your resume or LinkedIn is helpful in demonstrating that you’ve been changing with the times and are up to the current speed of your industry.

The Interview

When impressions are formed in the first few seconds of an interview, the way you present yourself, appearance-wise, can be the deciding factor. Get the ball rolling in the right direction by presenting a look that’s professional -- and in line with current fashion -- as well as appropriate for the industry in which you’re interviewing.

Use the interview as an opportunity to sell yourself and your unique abilities. The more you can solve an employer’s particular problem or fulfill their needs, the less the hiring process is about age, and the more it’s about what you can contribute.

Positive Attitude

A can-do, positive spirit is essential for over-40 workers.

Demonstrate Flexibility

Employers may be reluctant to hire more mature workers if they feel they’re set in their ways. Be prepared to show your interviewer how you’ve been open to change, and will continue to embrace change going forward.

Highlight Work Ethic

Younger hiring managers may have a perception that older workers are looking to slow down and not work as hard. Allow your natural energy and vitality to shine through in the interview, and have examples of your work ethic and willingness to take on additional duties at the ready. Include any volunteer activities, in which you’ve been involved, as well.


As intimidating as it can be, putting yourself out there is the way to a new job. The well-worn sayings are so true, “Feel the fear and do it anyway” and “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again!” Blake Nations, of, says perseverance is key. “Be persistent on the job trail since the process can take time,” Nations advises. “And remember, it only takes one 'Yes.'"

[Related: Six Behavioral Traits That Define Executive Presence]

Benefits of Maturity

We hear it all the time, “40 is the new 30," “50 is the new 40," “Age is just a number!" As the Baby Boom generation starts making its massive exodus from the workforce, older workers are going to be in greater demand than ever before.

Put the 3 ‘P’s – Presentation, Positive attitude and Perseverance – to work for yourself, and leave no stone unturned. "Women of a certain age" bring a greater depth of experience, patience and stability to the workplace, and that’s a tremendous benefit to any organization.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.