There are an alarming number of skilled workers looking for employment. The economy has clearly played a role in this and older job seekers are facing new territory when it comes to job hunting and the task can be overwhelming.
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the jobless rate for people 55 and older remains lower than it is for the total labor force – 6.9 percent vs. 9.1 percent. That said, older workers are losing their jobs at a rate faster than the overall labor force; and joblessness for them has more than doubled since the recession began almost four years ago. But there is help.
Finding Work@50+ seminars are designed to be a comprehensive look at finding employment in today’s tough job market. “We help job seekers with tips, tools and resources they can use to assist in their employment search,” said Daniel Rodriguez, 62, an AARP Oregon volunteer who spent 30 years working in education before re-careering to become a human resources recruiter. “Searching is far different than it was even ten years ago, so the classes cover what’s new and different than in the past,” he said.
AARP Oregon works with community partners to bring insight into programs and resources available to those looking for work. Networking, social media, interviewing skills, resume tailoring and tapping into local resources are just a few of the items presented.
Rodriguez offers these tips for older workers:
- Redo your resume: List only the past 10 years of experience.
- Network: Tell everyone you’re looking. Get names to call.
- Brush up: Keep your skills – especially technology skills – fresh. Take a class. Join professional groups and volunteer.
- Be creative: Explore internships and fellowships. Consider starting a consulting business. Or work for a temp agency – it could lead to a permanent job.
- Get a professional photograph and put it on your LinkedIn profile. Many human resources managers use social media to recruit now – and they expect you to know about it.