Why are 40-plus professionals plagued by common stereotypes like having less energy, demand high health and life insurance costs, and are unwilling to learn new technology.

I remember a time when the word "age discrimination" only came to mind when considering men and women nearing the retirement age of 62 and older. However, today's fast-paced, ever evolving world of work is never the same - significantly technology advancements, demographics changes in the modern workplace, global competition and economic instability have caused working professionals as young as 40 to feel the sting of age discrimination.

Many qualified candidates in this age group are finding that their job searches takes twice as long as younger professionals; often 40-plus professionals settle for lower ssalaries or positions below the potential.

So if you are over 40 and have been unexpectedly thrust into unemployment, don't be discouraged. Career success can still be yours - overcoming the barriers of age discrimination takes persistence, dedication, a positive attitude, but it also takes employing this proven strategies.


Your resume plays a vital role in your job search and is one of the primary tools potential employers will use to evaluate your qualifications. Emphasizing the entire breadth of your career and work experience, may put you in the hot seats depending on your job target. Show employers and recruiters everything you have done and too much information will make you look outdated. Consider this - what value does a job you held back in the 1970's bring to your career today.

Consider one of these options:

Solution A: Encapsulate early experience or positions in a summary paragraph without dates

EARLY CAREER: Commenced industry experience through positions in materials and inventory management for 84 Lumber Company. Managed up to $8 million in materials and supervised staff of eight and achieved double-digit performance in efficiency and cost reduction.

Solution B: Remove the dates from your Education section

For degrees completed more than 20 years ago, remove all dates from the Education. Note: If you completed a college degree recently, (within 10 years) you can include the dates; if you have more than one degree completed at different periods of your life, you either exclude all the dates or include all of the dates for sake of consistency.

Solution C: Revise the number of years experience in your profile summary

The following excerpts are from profile summaries for professionals with over 25 years work experience.

“Critical-thinking senior manager with true commitment and passion for programs that empower youth and families. Comprehensive leadership and managerial capabilities honed through 15-plus years’ experience in national education and social change organizations.”

This technique allows you to let reader to know you are experienced without divulging what the “plus” represents.

Solution D: Bring older achievements to forefront on resume

If you have relevant career achievements that occurred earlier in your career, create a “Career Milestones” or “Career Achievements” section on the first page of your resume. The obvious benefit is you get to take credit for your past work without having to date the resume too far back. See example below:


Public Financing. Raised $50+ million from public investors for biotechnology company valued by aggressively marketing to investors nationwide.

Mergers and Acquisitions. Orchestrated successful merger of two start-up companies which maximized financial resources and secured lucrative partnership agreement with larger firm.

Solution E: Highlight current training and technical proficiency

As mentioned earlier, a common misconception about older workers is they are behind in their computer skills or lacking technical proficiency.

Now, it's okay to make this changes on your resume, but remember to make sure that you look the part as well.

Author's Bio: 

Abby Locke is an executive career architect and leadership brand coach who helps 6-figure executives and MBA women become sought after leaders, outcompete their colleagues and earn salaries they deserve. Visit her website to get your f'ree copy of "Becoming A Career Master"