From personal experience, I can testify that age does not necessarily insure someone being “over-the-hill.”

Attitude and preparedness, along with energy, passion, up-to-date skills, and physical fitness contribute to employability of older job searchers.

Search firms now have set 57 as the age beyond which they might have concerns in hiring. This “age of concern” — the age that is a significant negative factor — had been gradually increasing since 2004, when it was 51.2, according to ExecuNet’s 20th annual Executive Job Market Intelligence Report.

The report highlights that the “age of placement” of executives placed by search firms has increased from 45 to 50 since 2007. This good news should give hope to some of the fears of top-level executives over 50 who are concerned that their age is a negative when it comes to making a career move, as depicted in ExecuNet’s latest infographic “Does Gray Matter in the C-Suite?”

“Although age discrimination is still a reality for the older executive, recruiters say it’s less of an issue because the skills they seek in today’s world increasingly relate to experience and judgment, things often found in more experienced executives,” says Mark Anderson, president of ExecuNet.

The top 10 advantages of hiring executives over 50 as reported by corporate recruiters to ExecuNet are:

1. Depth and breadth of experience.

2. Business knowledge.

3. Credibility in the field.

4. Politically savvy and influential

5. Good judgment.

6. Work ethic.

7. Decision-making ability.

8. Wide range of contacts.

9. People skills.

10. Emotional stability

Successful tactics to selling yourself, if you are over 50, include:

• Having personal marketing materials that brand, package, market and pre-sell what you can do for your next company.

• Emphasize what you are passionate and expert in.

“Avoiding keywords that telegraph your age or that indirectly raise an issue before you get the interview is key,” says Don Weintraub, managing director of ExecuNet’s Performance Improvement and Career Services team.

ExecuNet is a recognized authority in executive employment, retention and recruitment, as well as human capital trends.

Do what others fail to do.

• Marvin Walberg is a job-search coach based in Birmingham, Ala. For contact information, see

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