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Older Workers Still Take Longer to Get Back To Work

Finding A Job After Fifty

Over 50 Jobs?

Call it what you will – the Grey Wall or the Silver Ceiling – people over 50 are still struggling with unemployment. Once unemployed, these middle aged job seekers also tend to be victims of long-term unemployment more than than younger job seekers. According the the US Bureau of Labor statistics, the unemployment duration for older works was 53 weeks, compared to 19 weeks for teenagers.

If you think it’s taking you longer to find a good job than it used to, it probably is not your imagination. It is harder for middle aged workers to find new jobs. Consider some figures from an Urban Institute brief on age disparities in unemployment.

  • The median pay declined 21% for the new job than the one that workers between 51 to 61 were laid off from.
  • Between 2008 and 2011, job seekers in their 50’s were about a 1/5 to get a new job than those who were between 25 and 34.
  • While older workers may be somewhat less likely to become unemployed, they have a tougher time finding new employment. When they do, it is likely to be at a significantly reduced salary.

Tips To Re-Enter The Job Market After Age 50

In a way, older laid off workers need to approach the job market almost like people who have been out of work for years. This is true if the middle aged workers have been unemployed for awhile or not. This is largely because. the job market has changed a lot over the last decade, and so are the tactics used to successfully find good opportunities. It may also be true because, like it or not, it might be harder to roll with some of these changes as easily at 55 as it was at 35.

Embrace The New Online Networking

Offline networking is still a viable tactic, but employers and headhunters have embraced social media as a source of prospects. Yes, people really do find work from B2B social networking websites like LinkedIn, and if you are still that guy without an account, you should get one and learn how to use it.

Quick LinkedIn Tips For Over 50 Job Seekers

  • Set up your profile and resume
  • Search for your friends and old business connections
  • Join some groups related to your interests or industry
  • Check out the job boards

Consider Freelance, Temporary, Contract, or Consulting Work

If you were used to full-time work with lots of great benefits and perks, it can be tough to adjust to freelance or contract work.  But many companies hire their permanent employees from the pool of people that they initially bring in as temporary workers. If your are not finding a permanent job quickly, you could be earning a paycheck, keeping your hand in the business, and making lots of great connections by being flexible about the type of work you will accept. Some over 50 job seekers may have to be flexible enough to accept these alternate working arrangements as a way to get their foot in the door.

Update Your Resume

Resumes are different than they were a decade or two ago. At least, employers and headhunters are looking for different things when they scan the one or two pages that might summarize decades of work experience. A lot of over 50 job seekers fail because they are not presenting their information so a very quick scan highlights the experience that employers and recruiters are looking for. In a way, the advice for any middle aged job seeker might be the same as the advice given for stay at home mom’s resumes.

  • Emphasize the skills, experience, and education that would make you a good match for a specific job.
  • Yes, this means you might need to write a different cover letter for each position.
  • It also means you might need to re-format your resume, or keep a few different resumes, for slightly different jobs.

A one-size-fits-all resume may not be effective. Let’s say you worked as an accountant for 30 years. Perhaps you had both experience in corporate taxes and accounts receivables. If you are applying for both of these types of jobs, format slightly different resumes for each type of position.

Can You Get Back To Work After Fifty?

Plenty of over 50 workers reenter the workforce every day. The reality is that it does take longer, requires more flexibility, and might also mean updating your job hunting strategy. It is also true that there may be some employer bias against hiring workers who are either considerably older and more experienced than they are or might be seen as short-timers anyway since retirement is looming.

That may be one reason why many unemployed baby boomers are turning to freelance or consulting work, or they are even turning to starting their own businesses. If you are having trouble getting employees to see your value, it might be time to employ yourself.





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Informing baby boomers!