Your 40-plus career reinvention checklist

These questions will help you put your best self forward.

Your 40-plus career reinvention checklist

As a person over 40 who is making their way through the world of work in an uncertain time, are you portraying yourself as the truly confident, capable man or woman you are? Whether you’re trying to land a job, advance your career or hold onto the position you have right now, you need to be sure you’re presenting the best you possible.

Ask yourself these questions in our handy checklist to get on your way.

Your appearance

Outdated clothes and hair along with poor grooming can make a negative impression on a current or future employer. To make sure you’re up-to-date, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is your wardrobe polished, professional, current and projecting confidence? 
  • Is your hair giving away your age? When was the last time you had it cut, styled or possibly even colored to keep up with the times? 
  • Do you keep your facial hair shaved and/or trimmed? 
  • Do you look like you take care of yourself? Could stained teeth or bitten nails be detracting from your total package?

Your resume

You’ve been working for awhile, and your experience is a plus to potential employers. But don’t let your resume date you—use it to show off your assets. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Have you removed older, irrelevant experience and degrees? 
  • Have you played up your most relevant recent experience?
  • Have you emphasized current technical skills, such as familiarity with the latest computer programs?
  • Did you leave off potential discrimination points like age, weight and marital status?
  • Have you played down inflated job titles, if necessary—like vice president—in order to avoid appearing overqualified (AKA too expensive)?

Your interview skills

So they like your resume and called you in for an interview. Ready to show them what you’ve got? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you comfortable with the fact someone younger may be interviewing you? 
  • Have you kept up with current industry terms as well as the potential employer’s place in the industry? 
  • Have you prepared examples of past accomplishments that illustrate your flexibility, loyalty, patience and willingness to be a team player—all important assets of older workers? 
  • How’s your attitude? Do you project confidence (but not overconfidence), positive energy and unflappability? 
  • Are you prepared for surprises, such as a group interview?

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