“Ask Patra!” Column … Edition #007

Posted by Patra Frame

Each week, Patra Frame, a frequent presenter at the Cleared Job Fairs will answer a job seekers question. These are questions that are either asked at the Cleared Job Fairs or sent in to Patra. The questions can range from job searching, interviewing, or career strategy.

This week’s question:

Q: I am an experienced professional with a good solid work history and now I cannot even get a reply when I apply for a job. I think it is age discrimination but what do I do?

A: Many more senior workers worry about whether their age is being used against them. And sometimes it is. But often you are just being treated like all the other folks who are sending in a resume for a job. Badly, but not personally so. So what can you do?

First, target specific employers that your research shows have the kinds of work which you want and where you can contribute. Recognize that part of this is a numbers game, so you have to look beyond the top few you first think of – find 25 or 30 to start.  And then do your research on each.

Second, look for contacts who are already in each of your target employers. You may already know someone there or one of your friends may know someone there.  Or you can do a search on LinkedIn or other social media websites for a contact.  Check the employer’s website carefully.  You also can look at a resource like ZoomInfo for contact information.  Once you find a contact, you need to ask for the information you need to confirm your interest, to find the right hiring manager, or whatever.  Don’t ask a new contact to help you get the job — they don’t know you well enough.

If there is an open position which you know of and which interests you, apply as directed. BUT don’t leave it there – send a nice note and copy of your resume directly to the hiring manager you have identified, telling him briefly why you are interested in them and what you can do for him right now.  If you do not know of an open position, you need to find a more personal way into the right manager so that you can show how you can solve her current problems.

Finally, be sure your self-presentation is top notch. You need to be and look comfortable with modern job search methods.  Your online presence needs to be sharp and up to date. Your resume needs to demonstrate the value you can add immediately in the terms and keywords vital to the targeted employer’s needs. And how you look and act and respond when contacted all need to be checked out — too many of us grey-haired folks sound less than energetic or enthusiastic or present a little out-dated look. Ask close friends for feedback on anything about your personal presentation and style that they think could be improved.

Good hunting!

About Patra Frame

Patricia Frame is an experienced human resources consultant and executive. She has managed development of HR and administrative functions, organization development, employment, process restructuring for productivity, compensation, training, and the human resources aspects of mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. For more information, please visit

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 3:40 am

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