"And That Was When I Started Coloring My Hair" – An Older Man Looks For Work In The Recession

David was out of a job for two years and faced the difficult prospect of being a 54-year old looking for work as an IT manager. He carefully edited his resume so it had no hint of age. The only dates it mentioned were his last 10 years of experience. After sending his resume to a lot of places, he finally scored an interview, only to have the hiring manager react “dumbfounded” when she saw his age and his gray hair. The interview went well enough. The rejection email came a week later. “And that was when I started coloring my hair,” David writes.

He shares his full tale over at downbutnotoutletters, a Tumblr the Lookout blog put together to showcase the 50 best of the over 6,000 letters they got when they asked for stories from readers who had been out of work for over 6 months. Many of them are quite moving and inspiring.

David says that for all the time he spent on the employment sites, like Indeed.com, it was his personal connections and networking that opened the door to his current job, at only 10% less salary than he had before.

So if you’re stalled in your job search, get out from behind the computer, stop emailing your resume down into electronic circular filing bins, and start talking and hanging out with people. It’s the personal referal that will open up those real opportunities. And, if you need to, pick up some hair dye — or whatever your literal or figurative equivalent is in terms of tweaking something small about yourself to make yourself more marketable).

‘I kept a job pursuit log … it wound up being a 70 page Word doc’ [downbutnotoutletters]