Finding – and Getting – a job online

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It’s the perfect time for seniors to find a job online.  Experience is an asset in today’s tight labor market.

The Covid pandemic changed the employment landscape for everyone, but especially older people fighting age-discrimination.   Baby boomers left the workforce in droves during the pandemic, not wanting to face the risks of being exposed to the virus.  The country is now facing a labor shortage, which means employers will have to be more flexible about age.  Additionally, remote work is now an established trend, which also favors seniors who want to work from home.

First Things First: Get Online! 

First you have to get online, something that can be difficult for low income seniors with no access to the internet.  There are organizations that will help, including Senior Planet which gave out 10,000 tablets to low income New York City seniors. Victor Vasquez – a resident of a New York City housing project – got one of those tablets…and two weeks later found a job with Amazon.  He says:  “It was all because I was able to apply and interview for the job using the tablet.”

Once you’re Online:

  • Create a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn has become the default for employers seeking to fill positions.  Here are tips how to make an appealing profile.   As a model, here is the LinkedIn Profile of Barbara Goodheart, a 65+ medical writer who highlights her experience without dates that reveal her age.
  • Pay for a professional resume and/or cover letter. It’s worth it.   Be prepared to spend between $100 and $400.  Here’s some guidance finding a good service. It’s against the law to ask about age, so an employer can’t legally ask how old you are.   Once you have a resume you’re proud of,  you can post it in a lot of different places.
  • Use job search engines. There are a lot, including Indeed, Glassdoor, Zip Recruiter and others.   This article will give you a guide with links to the best ones.
  • Google specialized sites. Don’t overlook search engines for your specific profession or job category.   No matter what you do there is probably an association or organization for it. Check out their website for job leads.
  • Get your Zoom skills together. No need to face a hiring manager who looks like your grandchild or co-workers who treat you like you’ve never seen a computer. If you’re worried about age discrimination (and who isn’t?) here’s how  Zoom can actually make you look younger.

Promising jobs for older workers:

Here are some promising areas where older workers are needed.  If you aren’t sure what field you want to go into, check out this article about part time jobs for retirees.

  • Teaching. A number of services have popped up online that hire teachers as tutors for students all over the world.   They provide the students, set you up with a virtual connection, and pay you directly.   Here’s an article about of how it works and the best online teaching platforms.
  • Customer Service. As consumers get more and more fed up with overseas customer service reps who barely speak English, more and more companies are training Americans to do the job.  Check out this site for a list of companies that are hiring.   And this article from AARP about a retiree who is working from home with tips on what sites to contact.  Be aware that hourly pay has risen substantially since this was published.    You can earn $20 an hour and up once you get some experience.
  • Virtual Assistant. All kinds of employers use virtual assistants these days.  Anyone who handles a large volume of clients may need one.  Duties range from making travel arrangements to sending letters and other support services that can easily be handled remotely via email and phone.
  • Government worker. Both state and federal agencies hire part time workers for a variety of jobs, both remote and on-site.  Check out this page for more info and links

Keep Trying! 

The most important job qualification for older workers is persistence and the ability to think outside the box.  Whoever you are and whatever you can do, there is an employer out there that needs you!

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