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Experience Can Trump Age in Job Search

Friday, July 12, 2013

Job seekers in their 50’s and 60’s should not shy away from new opportunities due to fears of age bias. In fact, older workers are in demand because of their skills and expertise. Witt/Kieffer president and CEO Chuck Wardell recently spoke with CNN Money on the topic of seasoned workers. “If you’re good at what you do, age isn’t an issue,” he says. Witt/Kieffer has numbers to support that statement: 2012, about 14 percent of the CEOs the firm placed were over age 60, up from 3 percent a decade earlier. For C-suite jobs overall, the figures were about the same: 13 percent over age 60 vs. 3 percent in 2002.

The key for job seekers, when speaking with recruiters and employers, is to discuss the specific skills, experiences and expertise that will make her the most successful candidate for the position. "Be very upfront about [one’s age], and then focus the discussion on what you bring to the job that competing candidates -- whatever their date of birth -- may not be able to offer," says Wardell.

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