Have a boomer client that has to return to work due to current market conditions? The Olympian quotes an AARP study that finds workers 55 and older take an average of 21 weeks to find a job, about five weeks longer than younger job seekers.

Older workers who suddenly have to apply for another job may be “out of practice” and not know how to make their pitch to employers, the paper quotes Renee Ward, founder of Seniors4Hire.org, an online community for mature workers, as saying.

“Your resume may get you in the door, but how you handle the interview determines whether you get the job offer,” adds career consultant Jill Pfaff Waterbury of Coppell, Texas. Waterbury offers the following tips that she and other job search experts give for accomplishing landing an offer.

- First and foremost, brush off that chip on your shoulder. “If you don’t believe that your age and experience would be assets to potential employers, why should they believe it?” Renae Perry, director of the Senior Source’s employment program, told the paper. “The best way to dispel those stereotypes about older workers is to make sure you’re not that kind of person,” she said. “Be flexible. Be willing to keep up with new trends in your field. Be computer-savvy.”

- Work on your image. Even applicants with a can-do attitude can defeat themselves with a slothful appearance, Waterbury said. “No one expects you to look like you’re 20, but you should look neat, trim and up-to-date,” she said.Beards are a big no-no with Waterbury because she believes they make men look older. Too much jewelry should also be avoided, she said, because it can be a distraction.

- Don’t be rattled if your interviewers are under 30. “Show them respect,” Perry said. “Keep your conversation on a professional level. You’re there to convince them you can help them. But don’t overdo it and make them think you’re after their job.”

- Don’t be shy, but don’t talk too much, either. “Though older workers dislike bragging on themselves, a job interview is no time for modesty,” Perry said. “No one else will walk through the door to tout your qualities, so it’s up to you.”

The full article and more effective interviewing tips are found at www.theolympian.com.