Javascript is not enabled.

Javascript must be enabled to use this site. Please enable Javascript in your browser and try again.

Skip to content
Content starts here
Leaving Website

You are now leaving and going to a website that is not operated by AARP. A different privacy policy and terms of service will apply.

How Job Search Has Changed

Hunting for a new position is not what it used to be

spinner image How Job Hunting Has Changed
Job search has changed over time. Here is what is new and how to stay in the game.

If you haven't job searched in a while, then you might be surprised to discover that the process is quite different from what it used to be. Newspaper ads for openings have been replaced with online listings, and a computer is more likely to conduct the initial scan of your résumé than a human being. Here is a roundup of how job hunting has changed over the last two decades.

spinner image Image Alt Attribute

AARP Membership— $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal

Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP the Magazine.

Join Now


  • Newspaper ads were the main source of job listings
  • Résumés were presented on paper and delivered by mail or in person
  • An actual human being read your résumé
  • If you applied for a job, you generally received a response
  • One résumé was all you needed, listing all of your past jobs
  • You had more control over your personal information
  • A lack of technology skills may not have been a drawback
  • There were limited sources of advice for job seekers
  • Finding a job was more about what you knew and less about whom you knew
Work & Jobs

AARP Job Board

Search job opportunities for experienced workers

See more Work & Jobs offers >


  • Millions of job postings show up online every day
  • Electronic applications — emailing résumés or submitting forms online — have become the norm
  • Your résumé may get scanned electronically for keywords. Including the right keywords helps your résumé get noticed
  • Due to the large volume of job applications, many employers won't acknowledge receiving your résumé. Don't take it personally. Keep networking to expand your contacts and job leads
  • Develop multiple résumés based on different positions you're pursuing. List only the past 10 to 15 years of work experience. Focus on key skills and achievements
  • Protecting your privacy is essential when applying for jobs online. Use only trusted sites with a clearly stated privacy policy
  • Many recruiters will be younger than you. Know how to answer questions about working with younger colleagues and bosses. Show you're in step with current industry terminology
  • Computer skills are important to most jobs and change quickly. Highlight your tech skills; get more training if you need it
  • Count on getting not-too-subtle questions related to your age. Be prepared to give examples of achievements that demonstrate your ability to do the job for which you are applying
  • The internet is chock-full of information for job seekers. But try not to let yourself get weighed down by information overload
  • A successful job search includes networking. Sign up for a LinkedIn account and reconnect with former colleagues and friends. You'll be surprised how far-reaching your network can become. Also take advantage of network building through Facebook, Twitter and AARP's Life Reimagined

Discover AARP Members Only Access

Join AARP to Continue

Already a Member?