Many older Americans need to keep working well into their 50s and 60s to supplement income and boost long-term retirement resources. But job hunting can be a huge challenge -- and not only because the economy is weak.
More many older workers, technology is a barrier to finding employment. Many employers are skeptical about the technology savviness of 50-plus workers--and the starting point for most job searches these days is the Internet--specifically, social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter.
In a tough job market, it's hard to overstate the importance of networking, differentiating yourself and highlighting the value you can bring to an employer. Social media platforms offer some important means to those ends through sharing expertise and making new connections. But older job hunters can be at a competitive disadvantage.
"The first time I looked at Twitter, I thought, 'what is this thing?'" says
Silverstein didn't think of himself as a writer with something to say online, but he jumped in anyway with a blog and Twitter account.
"When I started the blog, I saw that I did have something to say, and I started sharing my thoughts," he says. In a short time, Silverstein has built an audience of 600 followers for his tweets and blog posts on leadership development and mentoring. "It's about making yourself findable," he says. "Just sitting and going through the job boards won't get you where you want to be. You've got to give people a reason to discover you."
Age isn't the only factor hampering older job hunters, says
Sharing expertise can be as simple as sharing a link to a relevant article or webpage alongside your own comment, or answering a question in a LinkedIn forum.
But at a more basic level, using social media can help you to get past doubts hiring managers may have about you as an older applicant. "If you are using LinkedIn, have a blog and you're on Twitter, it's going to be hard for people to assume that you can't learn new things," Salpeter says.
Silverstein -- a coaching client of Salpeter's -- agrees. "There's a perception out there that once you hit a certain age you give up on technology. People over 50 looking to transition into a new career or grow a business need to shake that off. Take the time to make yourself relevant."
Salpeter views LinkedIn as the "must have" tool for every job seeker, but Twitter is her favorite platform -- mainly because its networking features aren't built around personal introductions or recommendations. "It's so open," she says. "You find out things about people, mentors and colleagues without needing an introduction. "You don't need an intermediary to find out what people are doing.
Salpeter likes to tie it all together via a "social resume" -- a personal website with your name in the domain name that showcases expertise and hubs together all your social media profiles (
Salpeter also encourages job hunters to jump into Twitter chats to share ideas and tips with other job hunters and experts, and to expand networks. A current favorite is the hashtag #jobhuntchat, one of the largest regular chat groups on Twitter devoted to job search. The group convenes every Monday at
Salpeter cautions job seekers that social media won't necessarily produce immediate results. "It's not an overnight endeavor," she says. "But sometimes it just takes one person to land a job."
For more career and personal development advice, visit iHaveNet.com Careers
Available at Amazom.com: Great on the Job
- Start Living Your Miracle Life
- Workplace Benefits That Are Rapidly Disappearing
- 5 Common Resume Misconceptions
- How Social Media Can Help 50-Plus Workers Find Jobs
- How to Run a Meeting that Won't Tick Off Employees
- Job Opportunity for Entrepreneurial New Grads
- LinkedIn Offers New Options for Students
- 12 Ways to Be More Creative at Work
- Can You Answer the Miracle Question?
- Getting Ahead in Hard Times
- Why New Graduates Should Consider Entrepreneurship
- 6 Tips for the Hopeful Entrepreneur
- Think Startups are Fueling the Recovery? Not So Much
- How the Crippled Housing Market Affects Job Seekers
- 5 Business Lessons You Can Learn From Mark Zuckerberg
- How to Use Twitter to Change Careers
- Tips for College Grads Starting First Jobs
- 5 Ways Your Negative Friends Can Drag You Down
- Job Market Sucks? Not for Techies
- How to Land a Job in Tech Even if You Don't Write Code
- 5 Creative Ways to Showcase Your Resume Online
- Can Profanity Help Your Career?
- Business Schools Hope to Shatter Sturdy Glass Ceiling
- Failure Is Now Fashionable
- How to Mesh In-Person and Online Networking
- How Facebook and Your Free Time Can Get You Fired
- Why You Should Ditch the Quest for the Perfect Career
- Best Travel Companies to Work For
- The Oprah Effect: Ultimate Star-Maker Moves On As Should We
- Companies with the Most Older Workers
- 9 Companies Hiring Now
- Find New Law Jobs in a Slow Economy
- Make a Difference (And a Fortune!) Sharing Your Advice
- Business Management the Dog Way
- Healthcare Jobs on the Rise
- Can I Afford to Take a Sabbatical?
- How to Position Yourself to Change Careers
- How to Create Superstar Employees: Beyond Work-Life Balance
- The 10 Worst Cities for Job Seekers
- Hate Your Job? 3 Ways to Find a Better Job
- Alternative Career Options for Burned-Out Lawyers
- Where the Engineering Jobs Are
- Top 25 Companies for Work-Life Balance
- Tips for Communicating Well at Work
- Where the M.B.A. Jobs Are
- Not Too Late to Find a Summer Job or Internship
- When Surviving is Not Enough
- Navigating the Digital Job Market When You're Not Tech Savvy
- What Your Name Says About You in the Workplace
- Yoga Teaching Increasingly Popular as Second Career
- 9 Tips to Stop Caring What Others Think
- When Using Job Boards It Pays to Go Niche
- New Site Helps You Use Facebook for Your Job Search
- Tips to Create More Energy and Confidence
- When Your Dream Company is Hiring on Twitter
- Grads May Find More Jobs at Entrepreneurial Firms
- 3 Steps to Create a More Powerful Self-Image
- Switching Jobs in Bad Times: Should You Make the Leap?
- Extra Income: Bring in the Cash
- Treat Your Career Like a SmartPhone
- And on the Side, I'm an Entrepreneur
- Trouble at the Office
- How to Invest Your Time and Energy for Maximum Success
- Is It Time to Go Back to School?
- A Balanced Life is for Losers
- Thinking of Starting a Business? Look Before You Leap
- The Most Effective Ways to Look for a Job
- The Death of the One-Page Resume?
- Brighter Job Outlook for Class of 2011
- Quitting Fear Inc
- How Morning Exercise Can Boost Your Career
- Women's Day: Life (and Work) Lessons Every Woman Should Learn
- Stop Waiting for Permission
- Proactive Job-Search Strategy: Pitch Your Dream Company
- Cover Letters That Work
- Change Your Life and Create a Personal Revolution
- Taking a New Job Without Burning Bridges at the Old Job
- The Right Job at the Right Time
- The Quickest Way to Radically Improve Your Life: Use Radical Change
- 8 Workplace Perks for New Parents
- Reach Your Goals More Quickly: Use Incremental Change
- What the .Jobs Domain Means for Job Seekers
- Finding the Right Skill Set
- Project Management Tips From the Pros
- 10 Best Cities to Get a Job
- How to Be a Smart Job-Hopper
- How Job Seekers Can Build Their Online Brand
- Take Your Resume to the Next Level: Video
- 5 Smart Tactics for LinkedIn Self-Promotion
- Rise in Social Media Jobs Means Opportunity for Job Seeker
- Want More Clout? Stand Up Straight
- Hang Onto People Who'll Help You Advance
- Best Jobs 2011: Emergency Management Specialist
- 10 Jobs That Offer a Big Bang for Your Buck
- Best Career Advice: 2011
- Career Advice Hits of 2010
- Careful Actions Can Lead to Good Luck
- The Top 50 Companies to Work For
- Never Let Excuses Drag You Down Again
- Why Power Naps at Work Are Catching On
- 6 Steps to Polish Up Your Resume
- 6 Tips for GenY on the Job Hunt
- Be Wary About Chancing a Workplace Romance
Careers - How Social Media Can Help 50-Plus Workers Find Jobs
Copyright © 2011 Tribune Media Services