How Older Workers Can Hunt for Jobs During Coronavirus

Posted on 07/06/20

The coronavirus pandemic’s disproportionate blow to older Americans doesn’t stop at their heightened risk of developing serious medical complications. Unemployment spikes in recent months have been slightly more severe for the country’s older population than for some of their younger counterparts.

And it’s often this older demographic that has a harder time landing new opportunities, says Mike Festa, director of the AARP Massachusetts state office.

“In normal times, it is a challenge to find a job. If you’re over 50, it can be more challenging and is certainly exacerbated by the pandemic,” he said during a recent employment-focused webinar co-hosted by AARP Massachusetts.

The June 17 webinar — the fifth in a series of employment-focused events organized by AARP Massachusetts and several local government and non-profit groups, including Encore Boston Network, the City of Boston Age Strong Commission and the commonwealth’s Executive Office of Elder Affairs — focused on helping job-seekers adapt to a job search process that is dictated by new coronavirus restrictions and the country’s historic uptick in unemployment.

“We’ve found ourselves in the last three months in the middle of this massive remote work experiment — whether companies were ready for it or not,” said Leanne Rodd, director of talent at FlexProfessionals, an organization focused on helping people find part-time or flexible working arrangements, transition to new careers or re-enter the workforce after an absence.

Rodd and other participants on the call recommended job-seekers tap their personal networks for possible networking opportunities while monitoring several different job boards. Another resource is AARP’s Employer Pledge Program, which helps direct older applicants to companies that have committed to hiring an age-diverse workforce.

Panelists also recommended older job seekers stay up-to-date on communication technology such as Zoom and Skype while maintaining an up-to-date and formatted resume. AARP offers a free resume review program and has partnered with Senior Planet to offer Zoom video call tutorials.

You can watch the full job search webinar on the Encore Boston Network’s YouTube page. You can also watch the rest of the five-part series, which provide more guidance on where to look for opportunities and how to network effectively when in-person meet-and-greets are currently not an option.

This story is provided by AARP Massachusetts. Visit the AARP Massachusetts page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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You can find CDC’s latest coronavirus information at cdc.gov/coronavirus; AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.

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