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Job Interview Strategies for the Over 50 Job Seeker

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job interview strategies

Perception is reality, right? Not so fast! As you know, the perception some have of job seekers over 50 is that they are overqualified, inflexible and possess limited technical skills. Let’s turn these perceptions around and nail the interview.

Tap into these job interview strategies for the best results:

1. Highlight your skills and experiences that will immediately deliver results.

By researching the company, the industry and asking questions about current issues they’re facing, you open the door for an opportunity to share solutions. Applying your hard earned knowledge to successfully problem solve showcases your abilities and further communicates that your experience and expertise can immediately impact the bottom line.

2. Share examples that demonstrate your ability to creatively innovate.

With years of professional experience and workplace knowledge comes a tendency to be stereotyped as inflexible. Communicating your willingness and ability to think outside the box is important in showing you can be innovative. One way to do this is to select and share stories about creative solutions you and you alone created and implemented. Use real-life work examples that clearly demonstrate that when it was important to shift gears, you easily did so and succeeded! This lends credibility and further provides insight into your innovate way of thinking and debunks any myths that you are resistant to change.

3. Showcase your technical knowledge by providing powerful examples of how technology improved your productivity. (AND THE ROI OF THE COMPANY!)

Lack of technical knowledge and computer skills are another concern for hiring managers when interviewing job seekers over 50. It is difficult to determine the level of computer skills in a short conversation. As part of your job interview strategy, prepare specific examples of how technology has enhanced your productivity or improved a project. Weave into the discussion your professional use of social media, highlight recent technology skills you acquired, technology articles you’ve recently read or webinars you’ve attended. Also, communicate your willingness and ability to learn new software products and provide examples of when you mastered a new technology quickly. All ages are being constantly introduced to mandatory new software or computer programs. Show how this is just the norm for you, too!

Bottom-line, job seekers over 50 have an advantage when developing job interview strategies because you are mindful of strengths, have a track record of proactively addressing weaknesses and have a breadth and depth of experience no one else can bring to the table. You already have the skills necessary to overcome stereotypical interview challenges and you possess the wisdom to prepare for the interview in a fashion that allows you to showcase your unique experiences and abilities. Keep these suggestions in mind when developing job interview strategies and you’ll be able to communicate the impact you have made, and will make, for an employer.

“I think the best role models for women are people who are fruitfully and confidently themselves, who bring light into the world.” —Meryl Streep


Does Your Resume Match the Job You are Pursuing?

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overqualified for a job

If you have been told that you appear overqualified for a job position or that your resume may be just a tad overwhelming for the job you are pursuing, it’s time to simplify.

If your resume appears to showcase you in a way that showcases your skills as the next CEO, but you have decided to apply in a vastly different, albeit less stressful role – it’s time to simplify.  The key here is to pare down the high level experiences and play up the experiences and skills necessary for the job position.

Just like you choose how to add only the right accessory to create a sleek look, so goes it with what you select to include in a new resume. In this case, you are consciously choosing to simplify your resume to get your foot in the door. Simplifying does not mean you are less, but instead, that you are savvy enough to know when to exclude something that just doesn’t serve your current situation.

Prepare for the Why Question

Just like preparing the perfect outfit takes thought and planning, so does preparing a response to the inevitable question people will ask – “why.” Why are you moving from CEO to sales associate? Is this is a conscious decision or a midlife crisis? Think of your answer in advance. It will serve you well when networking and while being interviewed. Your fully planned and prepared response to these inevitable questions serves as the foundation when employers are assessing your hire-ability. When responding, it is important not only to be honest, but to allow your response to still showcase yourself as a qualified applicant for the position. Explain that this is a well thought out and quite strategic decision. Then, go on to highlight the skills you have learned from your previous job that will be useful to the targeted position and focus on the future.

The term, “overqualified,” does not have to mean that you are “too good” for the position. Here, it is all about utilizing your skills gained over the years and applying the ones that prove to be most beneficial to the company’s progress.

Even with the challenges that arise in being viewed as “overqualified,” remember to simplify, simplify, simplify. Simplify your resume, your networking messages and your interviewing answers to focus not on ‘why’ but ‘why not.” Utilize the skills you have attained to work to your advantage so you can go from overqualified for a job to a perfectly suited strategic hire!

“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, simplify! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail.”
Henry David Thoreau

Partnership with T.M. Lewin

We are proud to announce a partnership with T.M. Lewin, a clothing company based in the United Kingdom. Interested in finding out how to crack the office dress code? Check them out at 

We are excited to partner with a clothing company because your personal brand can be presented by more than just your resume and LinkedIn profile!

If you’re looking to dress smarter on your professional journey, T.M.Lewin has been dressing the workforces of the times since 1898. These London based tailors are best known for the wide range of men’s shirts, and women’s blouses to compliment your professional yet personal style. 

A Resource from!

At DMD & Associates, we are proud and excited to share with our readers a great resource: – a website dedicated to conducting unbiased and in-depth research about products, services, and industries.

This resource is another fantastic, valuable resource to share with our clients. From discussing the best career searching websites to analyzing the highest-paying career venues, this website has it all!

Check out their “The Best Job Sites for 2017” article which as some incredible resources for job searchers in 2017. They provide a great review of the sites by analyzing quality, experience and freshness – truly a great source for those looking to change paths in 2017!

Check them out at

Confronting the “L” Word: What to Do (and NOT Do) After Your First Layoff

It is a normal Thursday morning. You are sitting at your desk, plugging away at this project or that file that you have been working on, sipping coffee and thinking about paying that bill that is almost overdue. Then, your manager wants to have a word with you, if you have a minute. That is when you find out you have been laid off. Sacked. Fired. Let go. Terminated. Outplaced. The company is moving in a different direction, or is downsizing, or is reorganizing, or needs to make a few cuts just to get through this tough financial time. In any case, the result is the same: you have just lost your job. So, what do you do now?

First, you must manage your immediate situation: actually departing from the company. This stressful period is crucial in securing a positive continuing relationship with the company which is useful when pursuing your next goals, whether it is a return to education for further certifications, a transition into a new company, application for a volunteer position, or even returning in the future to the company that just let you go. You absolutely do not want to burn this bridge; no matter how angry or upset you are. Do not argue, do not beg, and do not badmouth the situation on your way out the door. Your coworkers do not need all the details. Simply thank your manager for the opportunity to have worked for the company, gather your personal effects and data, and depart.

Speaking of opportunities, you have just had a major one fall into your lap. Rather than immediately careening into just any new job with any company, recognize that this is an unexpected opportunity to assess your strengths, talents, and the hopes and goals you have put aside while working. Maybe you want to go back to school, or maybe you want to focus on that startup you have been dreaming of. Maybe you have been thinking about taking a year to live in Thailand or moving back home to be closer to someone you have been missing. Here is your opportunity to retake control of your life, free from impending work deadlines and repressive schedules. Here is your opportunity to make your own choices and live your own life.

Whether the layoff is expected or out of left field, the event can be a major psychological challenge. No matter what you are hoping to do moving forward, focus on the best qualities that make you a valuable person and future employee or boss. Even the most independent person learns from interpersonal feedback and in some way crazes the approval of others; it is a basic, instinctive survival mechanism. Your employer just told you in so many words that you are not worthy of being part of that group. Of course this is going to be upsetting. Fortunately, this is almost never personal. It is not you that they rejected; it is your entire position within the company. You are still walking out with experience, skills, talents, achievements, and other characteristics that employers, educators, and collaborators seek. You still did valuable work and developed yourself further in your career. There is no logical reason to question your own worth as a person or as an employee. Know who you are and what makes you worthwhile, and wear those qualities with pride.

Do share your situation with your family and your friends. These people will support you through your hardship, but do not dwell with them on negative dramatics. Instead, get word out that you are moving toward something new and better for you. They will support your goals as well as your emotional state. If you are not up to date with your social network outside of your immediate family and friends, reach out to those that you might have lost touch with over time: previous employers and coworkers, teachers, classmates, coaches, group leaders, volunteer partners, and previous job or volunteer leads. Re-energize your newly updated resume. Update your LinkedIn profile. Check your other social networking platforms to ensure you are representing yourself the way you wish to be seen by others. If you are invited to attend some kind of going-away event with the company that just let you go, do not feel obligated to attend. However, if you see some advantage in attending, some benefit to you in the way of job leads or networking opportunity, there is likewise nothing wrong with attending. Make the choice that is best for your future and psychological well-being.

Once you’ve decided how you want to move forward in your life from this point, do engage in online research regarding community resources to achieve this goal. Job postings and job fairs are obvious sources of career-related openings. College websites have scores of information about programs available to you. There are online courses for further education and websites for any certification information you need for any licenses you need to maintain. However, the world does not begin and end on the computer screen. Visit potential workplaces and places of education. Engage in the outside community. Talk to strangers. Most job openings are never publicly posted, and many industry-specific events are advertised by word of mouth within established circles like the one you just left. It can be tempting after such a rejection to hide away in one’s own safe home, but it is in the bright light of day that your path will be visible to you.

Be brave. Be bold. Be you.

Redefining Age Discrimination in the Job Search

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There are many job search challenges that impact finding a good career fit. Some of these obstacles include inexperience, lack of education, slow economy, over qualification, and age discrimination. This latter, ageism, is becoming more prevalent than ever with baby boomers losing their long-term stable jobs due to a reduction in force (RIF) with company downsizing. Dealing with age discrimination for older workers is a new reality.

 Four tools to address age discrimination:

 1. Understanding Ageism

In a 2015 survey by the Harris Poll, 65 percent of boomers rated themselves as being the “best problem-solvers/troubleshooters,” yet only 5 percent of millennials agreed. Fifty-four percent of millennials thought boomers were the “biggest roadblocks,” per an article in The Washington Post. This attitude of the younger generation is influenced by the media, Hollywood and young, successful entrepreneurs.  Recognizing an inaccurate perception exposes untruths so age discrimination is reduced. Being aware of this potential obstacle and how it affects the job search helps when assessing marketable skills in the workforce.

2. Assessing Marketable Skills

When job loss occurs, it helps to evaluate your years of work history and current marketable skills. Then, improve on your strengths by researching  new skills, updating certifications, and acquiring new ones. Online courses are easily available for advancing or developing new skills. Keep these educational options in mind when considering what talent you can apply to the latest industry trends.

3. Researching Market Demand

Figuring out the market demand for popular industry jobs is helpful when applying transferable skills or hobbies. In general, the oil and gas industry is on a downturn, but recycling, energy efficiency, and healthcare services are on an upswing. Researching the type of expertise needed with the in-demand industries helps to better confront ageism when it arises. Be flexible with job options and get creative when expanding job knowledge and updating skillsets.

4. Flexibility and Creative Options

If finding employment becomes difficult because of ageism, think outside the box. For example, consider hobbies that can be turned into likely work opportunities, or get involved in your community by volunteering. Exposing yourself to different situations and people broadens the network of people who see or know of great opportunities. Being open to creative ways to find employment and staying flexible are sure ways to get hired. Read Holiday Cheer and a New Career for networking tips.

“There’s ageism in everything. I don’t give a hoot. It isn’t what other people think; it’s what you think.” -Cyndi Lauper

Partnership with Resume2017

At DMD & Associates we are proud to announce our newest partnership with Resume2017! Enjoy our latest article below which was posted on their site here:

Walk Your Way Right into an Interview


Having a well written, authentic resume will help you to be a stand out piece from all other entries. Your resume is the first impression that HR managers and the interviewer receives prior to meeting you. This is your opportunity to show your best attributes and show why you are the best candidate for the job.

Authentic yet Original

Authenticity and originality are two compelling characteristics to a healthy resume in 2017. No need to use clichés or re-using the descriptions from the job posting; demonstrate, instead, how those attributes have been exemplified through the work or jobs you have done. Authenticity also means being truthful about who you are and what you do while still being mindful of any confidential information that need not to be shared.

Specific and Relative

How relative are your skills and characteristics to the job you are applying for? When crafting your resume, relativity is an important factor to being considered for the position. Take time to analyze what all the company and job position entails and what they are seeking before listing your involvement in the sewing club for a position in offshore marketing. In addition, you should also analyze any relative, applicable skills attained from your previous work and volunteer experiences as well as knowledge gained from collegiate courses (if a recent graduate). The key here is to ensure and exemplify how these skills are transferable in a short, concise manner. If you are concerned that your lack of work experience will deter your consideration for hiring, you are still able to demonstrate your relative skills through assessing your volunteering experiences and coursework taken.

Being specific also entails being short and concise. This allows for an easier read for the eyes but also requires careful consideration of the words you choose to use. It is best to stay away from any objective or controversial statements, negative connotations, and “space-fillers”. Instead, you should choose to go for attention grabbing verb words, specific words that make you stand out, and highlighting (recent) academic, personal, and job related accomplishments/awards. When referring to any advancements made in your previous job(s), include numbers to tell specifically how your contributions caused the company you worked with to advance. If there was a change in position, specify your new title and the time-frame in years. Lastly, if you are referring to your school achievements, include your involvement in things such as honor courses or being a summa cum laude graduate.

Summarize and Summary

Knowing that your resume is the first impression, providing a short summary of who you are, your experiences and achievements, allows the company to get a sense of who they will be interviewing and what to expect throughout the resume. Your summary is important because it will be the first thing they read before getting into your educational background, skills and experiences, so make it special. In addition, when writing your summary or listing your skills and work experiences, summarizing is the best way to go. If there is an area that has bulleted information, do your best to keep each to one line; no need to go into extreme depth and detail.

Format your Frame

Formatting is the time to make your resume 2017 as visually-yet professional-appealing as possible. If you are unsure exactly where to start, you can find resume template examples to give you an idea or two. Also, including an appropriate infographic can make your resume be a standout piece as well. Be sure to take note of your font usage and size by using no more than two font styles that are either 11pt to 12pt and not going overboard on bolding. Additionally, if your resume contains too much information that you are flowing to two and three pages, check your font size as well as your choice of content. Make sure you are including information that is most important and relative to the job position you are applying for. How long should your resume be? As debatable as it can be, do try to stick to one page. Having a master resume with all the details of your work experiences, skills and volunteering is helpful when searching for information to use and pull from. With all your information on one master resume, you can choose which to include on the resume you will be using for submission.

DMD & Associates, Inc.

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