A reader writes:

Thank you for the outlet.  I am a 58 year-old male, and my white hair proves it.  I was laid off an executive position in a real estate company in January 2009.  I directed international marketing programs and was responsible for over $200 million in transactions.  But I have been unable to find work, even well below my former position.  I am told that I appear too smart, too qualified.   I have applied for many, many jobs - jobs I could do in my sleep.

Playing by the rules, I post and scour Monster and Career Builder to no avail, not even an interview.  When I see a job that particularly fits my skills, I break the "rules" and contact the employer directly and consistently.  Still, no job.  The State of Florida has a service to help the unemployed.  When I met with my counselor, she was shocked that with my resume I didn't have a job.  As we pursued opportunities, she finally suggested that I dumb down my resume.  That proved a bit difficult.  I was in charge of a large development marketing operation.  My former company was extremely successful (until the financial world changed and mortgages disappeared).

How do I feel?  I cry.  From there it is anger, then depression. As I like to say, I lost my job that January, and lost my pride by June.  I have now lost hope. I eat very little during the day then my (employed) girlfriend comes home and I cook dinner.  She has been terrific.  She is more worried about me than our finances.  As I like to tell her, I guess I used up all my good luck when I met her.

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