Career Transition at 50+ Balance Perceptions of Age and Experience


Executive career transition at 50+ provides a unique challenge of balancing experience with perceptions of age. Confronting age bias is a reality faced by many executives, but handled expertly by few. To advise on these unique challenges, Louise Kursmark, Principal of Best Impression Career Services, delivered an executive seminar on how to stay relevant and counteract bias.

Louise discussed how to revamp a tired executive resume/CV, how to best present oneself at interviews to avoid age bias and the importance of being visible online. Learn from a selection of her top tips, but access the full executive seminar below to truly revamp your career at 50+ 

1. Start with Your Resume/CV

  • Disguise your age: You are not too old, but you want others to think that too. By omitting certain dates from your resume/CV, for example the date of your graduation you can help avoid being pigeon holed as an older candidate.
  • Make it ‘sticky’: Sticky resumes stay in the minds of executive recruiters, downplay responsibilities and highlight unique accomplishments.
  • Get rid of the fluff: Use the focus of your current executive career as a lens to edit down the ‘fluff’ your resume/CV, you don’t need to talk about your traits and personality, use the space to emphasize performance and expertise.

2. The Job Interview

  • First Impressions: Wear well tailored clothes that fit perfectly and that you feel comfortable in, sit up straight, walk briskly and smile.
  • Topics to avoid: Try not to talk about your retirement plans, the grandchildren, how much better the good old days were or any physical problems.
  • Always focus on the positive: Be upbeat and optimistic and be curious, ask questions and listen to the answers.

3. Stay Visible

  • Networking: Most jobs come through recommendations from friends and colleagues. Do not neglect your network, combine both traditional and online networking to make the most out of your contacts.
  • Stay up to Date: One common misconception of older candidates is that they may not be ‘up to date’ with current technology and trends. Prove them wrong by knowing what a ‘Tweet’ is, being active on LinkedIn and being able to send your resume/CV in any format a recruiter could possibly dream up.
  • Online: Make sure your email signature is working for you, create/update your LinkedIn profile, start a blog on your area of expertise, you should also investigate other social media forums and see what works best for you.

Listen to the full seminar recording - BlueSteps members receive an exclusive discount on executive seminars. If you are a senior executive, see below for membership details.

This article was written by Sarah Wright, Marketing Assistant at the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC).

BlueSteps is the exclusive service of the AESC that puts senior executives on the radar screen of over 6,000 executive search professionals in over 70 countries. Be visible, and be considered for up to 50,000 opportunities handled by AESC search firms every year. Find out more at www.BlueSteps.com.


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