We have talked about ageism in the workplace before…but ageism is definitely not a numbers game.  It is about how you look and feel and act.  So what can you do to improve your personal brand?

  1. Your look – that means hair, teeth and clothing.  Gray hair on a man is a sign of maturity, wisdom, and eminence.  Not so for a woman.  Unless you are in an artistic or creative field, gray hair is not considered an asset.  Try covering the gray by going to a good salon to get the right color for you.  Your teeth – ever notice how younger people’s teeth sparkle because they are SO white?  As we age our teeth get brown or grey…not very attractive.  Talk to your dentist about whitening if the over-the-counter toothpastes and whiteners don’t work for you.
  2. Your Clothing –  You have heard the expression “Clothes make the man”  Old but true, and certainly true for women.  Men have fewer choices, so a white shirt and suit and tie go a long way in any situation.  A woman, on the other hand, has to put herself together.  Look at your wardrobe and weed out the tired, worn or out of date dresses, blouses, slacks and suits.  No big shoulders, please.  Nothing too short or too long.  Nothing too tight.  What you looked good in a few years ago might not fit the same way as your weight goes up, or down, or shifts around.
  3. Your posture – Stand up straight. Smile. Be confident, feel confident ,when you look confident.  The way we walk tells so much about ourselves.  Are we tired and slow? or are we energetic and raring to go?
  4. Your resume – Do you cover your whole’s story?  No need to.  The resume is an advertisement for you to get your first interview, in what we hope will be a series of interviews.  No need to go back to your first job out of college, unless it is absolutely relevant to your current job target, or unless you are in a field that covets many years of life and work experience.
  5. Your attitude – Are you willing to learn new things?  Are you willing to work                         evenings and weekends?  Are you willing to travel to other cities?  Are you willing to do what it takes to work for this company?  Are you wiling to report t osomeone much younger than you?


It is all about YOU.  You and only can make the changes necessary to stay in the job search.


Amy Geffen is a Five O’Clock Club Certified Career Coach with over 30 years of experience in management, non-profits and associations. She has worked with finance, insurance and engineering professionals, as well as lawyers, editors, marketers, students, and those over 50 experiencing ageism. She has a Master’s Degree from Harvard University and a PhD from New York University.


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