Cover Letters for Over Forty Job Seekers

Recently an associate of mine, Trent, who happens to be over forty and seeking a management position, asked me to write his resume and create cover letters. He expected he would have younger competition and initially wanted to play down his work history in order to conceal his age. Because he had one particular job with the same employer and a great track record of twenty years I suggested he play up his experience instead of playing down his age.

After reviewing Trent’s resume and the job posting he was targeting we discovered that the employer had listed leadership qualities as desirable. Trent had all the required qualifications on his resume so we decided on several attributes that would be important to this employer based on the job description.

Dear Employer,

In a few seconds you will be making a decision. Your decision will have almost no risk for loss yet will have the possibility of immediately solving one of your problems and rewarding you for a lifetime. By the time you reach the bottom of this short letter you will have made this decision.

Because we both know employees can be second only to customers when listing a company’s greatest assets, a wise hiring choice has immeasurable benefits. Attached you will find my resume for your open management position. While you will see my background meets or exceeds all of your required qualifications, no matter how impressive that resume might be, there are some things you cannot see.

A contagious enthusiasm that shines day in and day out that instills a sense of optimism among coworkers that can be an incalculable contribution to your organization.

A work ethic that sets an example and begins with employer respect and never ends at “quitting time.”

An expertise to follow instructions and prioritize tasks that comes only with experience.

Desirable leadership qualities coupled with the humility and strength that inspires others.

Your careful consideration of a job candidate is prudent and commendable and I therefore request only that you allow me the same consideration with a brief meeting to learn more about you, your company, and position. For while my work comes at a competitive rate, my loyalty and dedication are priceless and committed only after knowledgeable deliberation.


A. Job Hunter

P.S. As a person in your position makes timely decisions I will appreciate your immediate response at any of the following means of contact.

While your resume cover letters need to follow the age-old principle of advertising of AIDA – Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action, your message also must stand out. The letter I created starts with a bang to get attention with the line: “In a few seconds you will be making a decision.”

The letter then goes on to build interest and presents sought-after qualifications that most any employer would get excited about in order to create desire. The four attributes listed are all highly desirable qualities that can come with the time and experience of a candidate over forty.

While typically many experts suggest the call to action in cover letters I have often used call to action stepping-stones. This cover letter prepares the reader by telling them right off the bat in the first paragraph that they will be making a decision by the time they reach the end of the letter. These often work as stepping-stones in order to prepare the reader to take action. This letter contains two subsequent call to action statements. The first one is in the last paragraph and requests a meeting and the second call to action is more direct in the postscript which can be a powerful tool.

You can see more cover letters that have proven to get interviews for people of any age or profession from my OneClick Cover Letters program. Oh and Trent got the interview!

Copyright 2011 by Phil Baker – “The Hire Authority” and author of the bestseller on interview questions: Employer Secrets. Freely distribute this article but please leave article, author name, copyright info, and links intact.

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