"Throughout the dotcom era ('96-'01) I worked as a contractor, going from one 6 month to 1 year contract to another. In the bust period I had to scramble for work, doing very short term (2 week to 1 month) contracts, before finding a perm position. Many companies hold this against me."
I give a free pass to short-term employment during the dot-com boom/bust. And a resume that clearly indicates that those were explicitly contract positions, no sweat!
"The other factor is my age, 48. It's easy to figure this out from the resume and I probably don't get called in for several interviews due to this."
I *deliberately* ensure that I do not exclude people in that age bracket! My team ranges in age from 24 through 59. I am not going to be naive and pretend that someone who is 48 is precisely the same as someone who is 28. But I have found that the people who have survived this industry for 15, 20, 30 years have a ton of knowledge that is a mine of pure platinum in value. Sure, a younger person may be hungrier or more energetic, but even that is no guarantee. One of the older members of my team *begs* us to put more work on his plate, and loves to (his words) "sit at home working while my wife throws steaks through the door." That's a pretty strong work ethic. Another one of our older members is the first person in the office each day, and is solid as a rock. Both of these gentlemen have an amazing capacity to learn new things (which is a traditional stereotype of older IT workers, that they refuse to or are unable to learn), and they keep building on the years of experience they have in the industry. I was very impressed in an interview I did earlier this week with a gentleman who started college the year after I was born. Again, great history of work and experience. No sir, I highly value the older candidates in the job pool, *so long as they have kept their skill set current and have a good attitude*, which is the same criteria I would apply to anyone else.
If you are on the market and would not mind working in Columbia SC (your profile says Conyers GA), shoot me a private message through TechRepublic. We are still hiring for a number of positions in a number of departments (including mine), and need some more good people.
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