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Transcript: Chat on Jobs and Experienced Workers With AARP President Rob Romasco

Missed the Nov. 2 conversation? Read the transcript

Comment From Candace: If you have 20-plus years experience, how can you compete when college grads are willing to work for so much less to gain experience?

Rob Romasco: Candace, that's a great question – one we get often. Certainly that's the perception that many people have, but the important thing is how you present yourself.

More and more employers are learning the value of experienced workers, including their rich set of skills, work ethic, loyalty and the fact that their experience is well worth attracting them and keeping them.

In fact, one of the best tools I can suggest is our webinar, “How to Stand Out in a Crowded Job Market.” You can find it at aarp.org/webinars. You'll also find lots of resources and opportunities on WorkReimagined.org, as well as www.aarp.org/work.

Comment From June: I am 64, have loads of experience and applied for over 300 jobs. I have had four interviews and when I walk in I can see from the interviewer's face that I am too old for the job. I want to be saved the torture of going to the interview if they don’t want my age group. How do I let the person know my age group without sounding negative?

Rob Romasco: June, I certainly understand your frustration, and you're not alone. It's a fact that 60 percent of folks in our age group have felt that they've encountered age discrimination in some fashion.

The good news is that you're getting some interviews, and in a tough job market that's a good sign. Experts suggest the best thing to do is focus on what you can control, which is your presentation. Practice interviewing with a friend, focus on the relevant skills for the job, how you’ve applied them, and the outcomes, and make sure that your frustration isn’t coming across in your interviews.

Check out “How to Stand Out in a Crowded Job Market” at AARP.org/webinars. Good luck and keep plugging away.

Comment From Gary: What is the trade-off between looking for jobs in my same (and slowly dying) field?

Rob Romasco: Gary, making a career change is a positive thing, and we recommend that if your current field is going away.

The tradeoff is one you have to make: staying in the same field now and taking the risk of looking for work again vs. looking into a new field with better longer-term prospects. Many people are successfully moving into a new field.

You might start by looking at jobs and industries that interest you and would capitalize on your skills. Two AARP resources that might help are WorkReimagined.org and our webinar series on “How to Stand Out in a Crowded Job Market” and “Utilizing Social Media to Revitalize Your Career.” Look for them on AARP.org/webinars.

You can also look at AARP.org/startabusiness.

Next: I am 49 years old and applied to the same company along with other two younger students who graduated at the same time. »

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