Image: Senior man sitting at desk with computer © Andersen Ross, Brand X Pictures, Getty Images

It is a common -- and somewhat justified -- belief among executives closing in on their 60th birthdays that their age is working against them.

They typically respond by revising their résumés -- leaving off college graduation dates, preparing a topical résumé (don't get me started on my distaste for those) or picking an arbitrary date to start their career history on their résumé, hoping the reader will think they fall within the coveted 45-50 age range, a sweet spot for recruiters.

Do people really think savvy recruiters and hiring managers won't understand that executives are embarrassed by their age and see it as a disadvantage?

While there are undoubtedly companies that want to hire executives who will remain with them for 20 years and may not be interested in someone who has rounded the proverbial "third base" of their careers, other companies value the wisdom and experience of a seasoned executive. Giant law firm Kirkland & Ellis just completed a search for an executive director by hiring a 60-something candidate. So how does an "older" executive level the playing field? Much of it is about having the right attitude and being current.

So what does "being current" mean?

Embrace social media. While younger executives may not be able to match your experience, they instinctively understand technology and the role social media plays in today's business world. Executives who pretend that Facebook and Twitter have nothing to do with them do so at their own peril. I strongly urge every executive to have a LinkedIn profile with a professional headshot that clearly communicates, "I get LinkedIn" and the value of networking. While Facebook participation is more optional, I recommend that executives maintain a Facebook page, whether they use it or not. It is simply another way of staying current. Even if you don't understand social media, don't denigrate it at every opportunity. The people who say, "I'm not really good at this technology thing," place themselves firmly in the "old fogies" category.

Network on an individual basis. You should know your peers at competing organizations on a first-name basis. If a peer is retiring, ask for an introduction to his or her replacement. Staying connected through online groups also keeps you informed about who is relevant in the industry.

Embrace industry meetings and conferences. Executives get busier as they enter their second and third decades in the workforce, and maintaining industry relationships and attending conferences is often put on the back burner. Not only do you miss out on seeing old colleagues, you also miss the opportunity to meet the up-and-coming superstars who might be good networking contacts as your own network starts to retire.

Time for a wardrobe and haircut update. The business dress code has drastically changed over the last 20 years, yet many seasoned employees have been slow to adapt. Sure, older execs understand that a suit is no longer appropriate in every business setting, but their casual dress is woefully out of date. For formal dress, men: lose the pleated pants; and women: ditch the brooch. Look at what your young leaders are wearing and try to be current.

Increase your accessibility. Many people who did not grow up with mobile devices are not in the habit of being available 24/7. And while being addicted to your BlackBerry or iPhone has its own drawbacks, you need to adapt to today's business world where people check their devices after normal business hours. You can't force the world to slow down by simply refusing to be available, because your competitor will be available and your colleagues will move on without you.

Listen more. Have you ever noticed that as people get older, they listen less and talk more? Don't let this be you. As you listen, see what you can learn from the younger generation. If you are too old to learn, you are too old -- too old to work and too old to contribute.

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