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Mature workers face hurdles finding jobs

Older jobseekers often feel they are discriminated against and that companies favour younger - and possibly cheaper - employees.

But, companies wanting to hire should remember that older workers can offer much that a younger person can't.

Ford Myers, career coach, speaker and author finds that mature workers offer experience and skills that younger workers don't have - and will bring other benefits.

"Mature workers are more likely to stay put for longer than their younger counterparts, thus reducing turnover, which lowers the costs associated with hiring and training," says Myers.

Regardless of the benefits mature workers offer employers, many face age discrimination when searching for a new job.

Myers suggests the following four strategies to increase the chance of landing a great job at any age:

1. Maintain a high level of energy and project real vitality. This allows you to take on challenging projects, keep up with the fast pace of business, and get things done efficiently. So, make sure you exercise to stay fit, show up early, move fast throughout the day, and work hard. Bring a sense of urgency to everything you do.

2. Leverage technology skills. Employers are much more likely to hire mature workers who can demonstrate strong computer skills and possess a demonstrated comfort level with technology.

3. Pay extra attention to your personal image. Make a deliberate, consistent effort to present yourself in the best light. Now is the ideal time to take stock of your appearance, and adjust your "look" to be more current and stylish.

4. Pursue a temporary, part-time, or contract position. Volunteer, provide pro bono work, take on a consulting contract, or complete an internship or apprenticeship. This will show that you've been engaged and productive, even during periods of unemployment.

"You can't change your chronological age, so don't waste mental energy thinking about it. Older workers who understand that their maturity and expertise are assets are more likely to land the job they want in the long run," adds Myers.

Reprinted by permission of Ford R. Myers, a nationally-known Career Coach and author of Get The Job You Want, Even When No One's Hiring.