If you’re older than 50 and you’ve decided to look for a job, you’re not alone. There are plenty of reasons for folks nearing what was once the traditional retirement age to continue to seek gainful employment.
“It’s a mixture,” says Nikki Thomas of Coaching for Ambitious Professionals in London. “People are living longer, are healthier than ever before and a lot of people by the time they hit 50 are enjoying what they are doing—they are not ready to retire. There is also the issue that with a lot of people living longer they realize drawing their pension early or even at the recommended age isn’t viable anymore.”
For many Baby Boomers, looking for a job today bears no resemblance to the hiring process that existed three (or more) decades ago. For one thing, it’s easier—everything’s online. On the other hand, it’s harder—everything’s online.
There seems to be so many options that you might suffer the paralysis of choice—even if you just concentrate on those sites that specialize in age 50 and over job seekers. It’ll be easier (and maybe safer) for you if you start with the most popular alternatives.
“There are numerous resources specifically tailored to those individuals over 50 who are looking for employment,” says Mark Turner, founder and head editor of Gold IRA Guide. “Some good sites include: workforce50.com, retiredbrains.com, and retirementjobs.com.”
Don’t underestimate the value of familiar social media platforms like LinkedIn. While, as a whole, they may not specialize in your needs, there may be specific niches tailored to your exact requirements.
“LinkedIn is a great place to reconnect with your professional cohorts from the past and find out about new opportunities,” says Jon Hill, CEO & Chairman of The Energists, a staffing and management firm based in Houston. “You can search by field and apply for jobs directly through the site. And don’t be afraid to take some risks. Job-hunting past 50 is scary, but there are a lot of opportunities out there. Not every company is looking for kids straight out of college. There’s something to be said for older employees who’ve been around the block and witnessed how an industry has changed over time. There are all kinds of sites out there designed to help people over 50 find jobs, but those aren’t the best resources.”
Arthur Koff, a consultant in Chicago, Illinois, actually built and then sold a site catering to the over 50 market (retiredbrains.com). He knows a thing or two about the subject of online resources for 50+ actively looking for employment.
“Unfortunately,” says Koff, “the sites designed for older worker job search are not very effective as they either have few appropriate job listings or they co-mingle positions for older workers with those for younger workers. I suggest Indeed.com and check the job descriptions to see if they are appropriate for older workers. There will also be many more geographic specific locations that are appropriate.”
Of course, don’t be surprised if you find yourself going down a rabbit hole of frustration in these general sites. “Certainly the more prominent job boards are a resource including LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, CareerBuilder and Monster,” says Dave Weir, a job search and career transition coach with the firm Leadership Optimized in Los Angeles. “However, anyone spending more than 20% of their time applying to jobs on job search sites is in for a long search.”
If you really want to narrow the range of your online resources, what better way to do it than using the one popular site designed specifically for those above age 50. “AARP is one of the most well-known companies out there focused on helping people over 50,” says Chane Steiner, CEO of Crediful.com, located in Scottsdale, Arizona. “This includes resources for those seeking employment.”
AARP has long been the “go-to” resource for all things for the 50+ crowd. “Thankfully, there are a plethora of resources available for people over 50-years of age to help them in their search,” says Atlanta-based Robert Moses, Chief Editor at The Corporate Con/noisseur. “My recommendation would be to check AARP which specializes in resources for older Americans looking to re-enter the workforce. In addition, looking at courses on Coursera or LinkedIn Learning can be beneficial to brush-up on your skills.”
A few weeks ago, AARP hosted its Online Career Expo. But don’t worry if you missed it. “We also offer two in-person classes in 38 communities around the country—Job Search in the Digital Age and Sharpen Your Networking and Interviewing Skills,” says Susan K. Weinstock, Vice President, Financial Resilience Programming at AARP.
In fact, a few years ago AARP updated its own list of online resources ranging from publications to government agencies.
But don’t look at it if you’re worried too many choices might overwhelm you. Keep things simple to start.
Most importantly, though, is to keep your eye on the ball. Know what you are looking for before you start looking.