Despite laws forbidding it, age discrimination is a factor in job searches.
On the one hand, evidence suggests that older workers are having an easier time finding work in this difficult economy than younger ones. Steven Greenhouse describes the competition among younger and older workers for less- and moderately- skilled workers is in his March 20, 2009 article in the New York Times. (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/21/business/21age.html?hp=&pagewanted=all)
But even with those odds, an older worker looking for a professional job, especially in fields undergoing extensive technical changes or that are characterized by younger employment, age discrimination is a reality. It will not be overt, but according to Eilene Zimmerman’s February 28 column in the New York Times, but will be a subtle factor (perhaps unconscious). Interviewers will wonder whether you’re up to date on technology or a luddite? Whether you have the energy to do the job or are going to take naps every afternoon in the office? Whether you are looking for something to bridge you until you’re eligible for Social Security or will make a longer-term career?
Read her advice for fending off these perception issues at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/01/jobs/01careers.html?_r=1&fta=y.