One of the things I was most surprised by when I got into the jobs business over a decade ago was the prevalence and practice of age discrimination in hiring right here in the USA. Oh, sure... we're not like some overseas markets where job ads explicitly demand youth, or a particular gender, or beauty(!), in the applicant, but there it is...
Every job has a different set of requirements, and every hiring manager has to justify the salary you're asking them to offer you. Help them by building enough evidence to make it clear you're worth the money.
Sum up the bottom-line effect of specific projects in which you participated, and be ready to assign a dollar figure to the role you played; be able to describe that role and why the estimation makes sense.
Count your chickens: If you're in sales or business development or services where part of your role is to generate billable hours, compare your revenue growth to others’ or to your quota. Provide more detail than you think you should; be ready to back them up with more evidence.
– Russell Watkins, principal of Executive Search Professionals,
If you're in a heavily regulated industry that requires certifications for specific job roles, don't even apply until you have the right ones. Once you have them, list them high in your resume to make it clear that you have them and get them out of the way.
If certifications aren't required, do some research to figure out which ones will do some good. An MBA isn't required to get into the executive suite, but having one doesn't hurt. Being a certified aromatherapist, on the other hand, won't enhance your chances of landing a global supply-chain operations jobs.
– Sharon Jautz, an HR consultant specializing in online and digital media. Jautz was previously a HR executive at companies such as Forbes Inc. and Playboy Enterprises Inc.
Lots of companies are avoiding overqualified candidates because they're too expensive and too great a flight risk. Make sure you either have the right number of years of experience or can make it obvious in your resume and cover letter that you prefer the level of responsibility in this job and won't be moving on any time soon.
– Russell Watkins
Get your hands dirty
The poor economy and relentless flattening of corporate hierarchies has forced companies to do more with less – often to do more with a lot less. They want to hire people that are good strategists and managers, but also good individual contributors. In your resume, talk up your leadership and strategic contributions, but don't forget to show what part of the project you accomplished personally, and show them how.
– Shane Cox, manager of talent acquisition at Harvard Business Publishing