Comment From Debbie: I think employers are age discriminators! I am 49 years old and applied to the same company along with other two younger students who graduated at the same time, and they got hired. I, on the other hand, did not even get an interview even though I called and left messages. Why am I being disregarded?
Rob Romasco: Debbie, I understand your frustration. All too many of our age group have felt or encountered age discrimination. However, more and more employers are coming around to the value of older, more experienced workers and their skills, work ethic and maturity.
The best thing each of us can do is make sure you have every possible advantage. The resources that we have for you include our free Job Seeker toolkit at AARP.org/jobtips. Also, WorkReimagined.org, which can connect you with hundreds of companies and thousands of opportunities for experienced workers. Over 150 companies have signed our pledge valuing older workers.
Comment From John: In my work search, I have been told that without being able to contact my old employer, they won’t even talk to me. What can someone do when their employer closed and are out of business?
Rob Romasco: John, that's a great question. To prove you worked at your former employer, make sure you have a W-2 or paystub handy. See if you can track down a former boss or former colleagues by searching the Internet and social media. Try your boss’s name on Google, LinkedIn or Facebook.
Another option is to contact your local Chamber of Commerce or other local business association to see if they have any information on how to contact the former business owners. It will take some investigative work, but getting this information will help you move your job search along.
Comment From Mike: I am 57 years old – out of work for a while now – and wonder how I let interviewers know that I am still relevant.
Rob Romasco: Hi, Mike. We’ve been encouraging experienced workers to focus on developing a “Personal Brand.” That means what makes you special ... your unique set of skills and experience, and work characteristics. There are lots of techniques you can use to help you do this, and do a realistic assessment of how your rich experience matches up with a particular job requirement.
There is a lot of good advice available on our WorkReimagined.org site, and our AARP job search webinar tools. They can help you package your considerable skills and experience for today's job market.
Comment From Cindy: I'd like to know about the SCSEP program. I'm in desperate need of employment and retraining.
Rob Romasco: Cindy, I’m happy to share with you that the AARP Foundation Senior Community Service Employment Program, or SCSEP, provides subsidized training opportunities for low-income individuals age 55-plus and helps them find permanent, unsubsidized jobs.
AARP Foundation operates more than 70 community-based project sites in 22 states and Puerto Rico. SCSEP is a fantastic program because it trains people for new job skills and enhances current job skills, so you can gain an edge in today’s increasingly competitive job market.
AARP Foundation’s Work Search website, www.aarpworksearch.org, contains additional information on SCSEP and a list of telephone numbers for all of the SCSEP project sites, as well as other job search resources. Good luck to you!
Next: Isn’t it illegal to discriminate against older people? »
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