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Business

Monday AM May 3rd, 2010

The job market for Americans 55 and older has never tougher, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, but there’s a measurable demand for experienced workers. In fact, an analysis shows that those 55 and older represent the only segment of the population to experience net employment gains over the past year, according to John Challenger.

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“Companies do value workers over 55 when they hire them.? The unemployment rate’s very low compared to other groups at 6.9 percent.? And so what happens, I think, is that companies—when they do hire over-55 workers—find their commmitment to the job, their know-how that they bring, really makes them good employees.”

Challenger says older job seekers have to put aside stigmas and misconceptions that might be holding them back.

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“You can go into interviews and begin to key your issues to an employer who may say, “well, if he or she thinks they can’t do the job, maybe I ought not to hire them.’? Bring to the table your experience.? You don’t have to answer questions theoretically about how you might handle them, you can say ‘let me tell you how I handled that situation, in concrete form, in another job.'”

Older workers have to convey to the hiring manager their flexibility and openness to changes and continued learning.

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