Dear Savvy Senior,
What resources can you recommend to help older job seekers? I'm 60 and have been out of work for nearly a year now and need some help.
While the U.S. job market has improved dramatically over the past few years, challenges still persist for many older workers. To help you find employment, there are job resource centers and a wide variety of online tools specifically created for older job seekers. Here's where you can find help.
Depending on where you live, there are career service centers located throughout the U.S. that can help you find a job. One of the best is the American Job Center (AJC) that has around 2,500 centers nationwide. Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration, AJCs are free-to-use resource centers that can help you explore your career options, search for jobs, find training, write a resume, prepare for an interview and much more. To find a center near you, call 877-872-5627 or go to CareerOneStop.org.
Some other good programs for older workers include the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), and AARP's Back To Work 50+ program.
The SCSEP - sponsored by the Department of Labor - helps place income-eligible workers over age 55 in part-time, temporary community service positions where they can learn job skills. To learn more or locate a program in your area visit DOLETA.gov/seniors or call 877-872-5627.
AARP's Back To Work 50+ program currently offers workshops in 19 locations around the U.S. that provide career counseling, job coaching and skills development for 50-plus job seekers. Or, if you can't attend their workshop, they also offer an excellent guide called "7 Smart Strategies for 50+ Jobseekers." To get a free copy, or see if there's a workshop in your area call 855-850-2525.
If none of the above programs are available in your area, check with your local public library or nearby community college to see if they provide career services.
Job Search Sites
There are also a number of online job search sites that can help you connect with companies that are looking for mature, experienced workers.
Some good sites for 50 and older job seekers include: WhatsNext.com, which offers a job search site and has online assessment tools, calculators, career guides and career coaches to help you; RetiredBrains.com that provides information on finding temporary or seasonal jobs, as well as starting your own business, working from home, writing your resume, finding full-time work, and continuing your education; RetirementJobs.com that lets you post your resume and search for full-time or part-time jobs online; and Workforce50.com, which has job search functions and a list of favorite age-friendly employers by industry. It also gives you the ability to sign up for job alerts.
Work at Home
If you're interested in working at home, there are many opportunities depending on your skills, but be careful of work-at-home scams that offer big paydays without much effort.
Some popular work-at-home jobs include sales and marketing, customer service, teaching and tutoring, writing and editing, Web development and design, consulting, interpreting and medical coding just to name a few.
To find these types of jobs, a good place to start is FlexJobs.com, which filters out the job scams and lists thousands of legitimate work-at-home jobs in dozens of categories. You can gain access to their listings for $15 for one month, $30 for three months or $50 for a year.
Start a Business
If you're interested in starting a small business but could use some help getting started, the U.S. Small Business Administration offers tips, tools and free online courses that you can access at SBA.gov.
Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of "The Savvy Senior" book.