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Friday, April 18, 2014

Top 10 Tips for Older Job Hunters

Thanks to their seniority, folks 55 and older were once less likely than their younger co-workers to be laid off during a recession. Not this time around. Steep manufacturing cuts have hit older workers particularly hard. And even in workplaces where seniority still provides protection, older men have less of it than they used to; only 44% of male workers aged 58 to 62 work for the same employer they were with at age 50, down from 70% 25 years ago.

Here are some tips for older layoff victims.

No. 1: Keep Your Health Insurance

If you have employer-provided health insurance, use "COBRA"--a federal provision that lets you continue in your ex-employer's plan, but without an employer subsidy. It was always essential to stay insured, and now it's affordable too. Under the stimulus package passed in February, the feds will pick up 65% of your COBRA premium for nine months. Warning: If your adjusted gross income is more than $250,000 for a couple or $125,000 for an individual, you'll have to pay some or all of the federal subsidy back when you file your tax return.

No. 2: Consider Americorps

If you don't need too much income and would like to do work such as tutoring, consider Americorps. A law President Obama signed in April slowly increases the number of federally funded Americorps slots from 75,000 to 250,000 and aims to fill 10% of them with folks 55 and older. The jobs pay minimum wage plus a $4,725 education grant (increasing to $5,350 Oct. 1) for each year worked. Under the new law, this grant can be transferred to children or grandchildren. Another senior-friendly change: Americorps slots used to be full-time jobs lasting a maximum of two years. Now they can be turned into part-time jobs lasting longer.

No. 3: Find Senior-Friendly Employers Online

At, you'll find 20,000 listings from employers that say they're open to applications from older workers. AARP, the 40-million member organization for folks 50 and older, lists 41 companies, from AT&T to Walgreens, that have won spots on its "National Employer Team" and links to those employers' job sites at

Click here to read part 2 of this article

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      8 Ways To Age Proof Your Resume

      8 Ways to Age Proof Your Resume:

      Preparing a resume that emphasizes your value is a good first step to preparing for your job search. Here are eight ways to age-proof your resume:

      1. Don’t provide your complete work history: This is the number one mistake job seekers make. If it’s before 1990, employers probably don’t care. Hiring managers are most interested in what you did recently, so concentrate on your recent career. If you feel compelled to delve into earlier experiences, create a section called “Early Career” and provide just the highlights and no dates.

      2. Watch your language: Avoid age-revealing statements such as “35 years of experience” or age-defining clich├ęs such as “seasoned professional.”

      3. Stick to a “combination” resume style, leading with a strong “Career Summary” section: You may have been advised to mask your years of experience with a functional resume format. But employers do not like to see functional resumes because they are often used by candidates who are trying to hide something. You don’t want employers reading your resume and searching for a possible problem. Unless your work history is extremely spotty or you are completely changing careers, stick to a chronological format.

      4. Show that you’re current with technology and industry trends: Are you proficient with Wang or an expert at BASIC programming? While these programs were once cutting-edge, they have been replaced with new technology. Show that you’ve kept up with the times by removing antiquated equipment, programs, and tools, and highlight your knowledge of modern technology.

      5. Consider dropping dates of education: This is a tough call, because hiring managers who want to know a person’s age will go right to the “Education” section and do the math. If your education occurred in the 1970s or earlier, it might be in your best interest to eliminate graduation dates.

      6. Keep your school names updated: If you graduated from a school that has since changed its name, include the new name. If you are concerned about discrepancies in case an employer asks to see a transcript, write the former name of the school in parentheses.

      7. Show that you’ve been continually learning or taking on new roles: The key is to demonstrate that your skills are fresh and in demand. It is important that you show that you are flexible and willing to adapt to organizational changes.

      8. Quantify and expand on your achievements: As a professional with a long work history, this is your chance to accentuate the positive. You have what younger workers may lack — years of practical experience. Provide examples of how your performance contributed to your employers’ goals, mission, and bottom-line results.

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        Wednesday, April 16, 2014

        So... You Were Thinking of Buying a Business?

         Register Here to learn the "5 Advantages of Owning a Franchise That you must know."

        Thinking of Buying a Business?
        But... Are you ready? Are you one of the people who is concerned that they don’t have all of the skills and resources to ensure their success as a business owner? Common fears include lack of experience, financing and support. These fears are valid, and and there is an answer for many with franchise ownership -  "Be in business for yourself and not by yourself."

        There are many reasons why franchise ownership might be the key to your success in business. A good franchisor will offer you support across all crucial areas of the business. Whether it is technology, staffing, sales, human resources, or advertising,  the franchise company will have a knowledgeable and experienced staff to help you.

        Buying a franchise from a well known company with market share and name recognition can give you immediate clout and will maximize your advertising efforts. Most companies have national or regional advertising plans in place to support their local franchisees, and you will be able to take advantage of their corporate buying power to negotiate your own ad expenses.

        No, you won’t magically become an expert in all of these areas. But, you will be able to perform as if you are an expert because you will have the support and resources of your corporate team.

        Buying a franchise can be a proven system of success, but it still takes your hard work and commitment. And be sure to do your research!

        Learn the "5 Advantages to Owning a Franchise That You Must Know" at this FREE webinar on April 22, 2014 (10 a.m. PDT)  at  Register Here 


        8 Interview Questions & Answers for Older Workers ¤

        Here are eight sticky questions that older job candidates often encounter—with several appropriate responses to each:

        "You appear to be overqualified for this position. Won't you get bored?"

        • " You are an excellent company. You deserve excellence in employees. "
        • " Experience is a great premium today. "
        • " There is a greater return on your money if I hit the ground running. Less training time."

        "This company is on the fast track. Do you think that you can keep up?"

        • " I have stayed on top of the industry and am computer literate. " (Use this opportunity to showcase any training classes or courses you have taken.)
        • Consider hitting this question head-on by stating politely that you have not noticed any slowdown or stagnancy in attitude or energy.

        "This is a completely different industry than you were in before. Can you tell us how you will transfer your skills?"

        • " I have accessed your website and have read everything about your company. " (Then, draw some analogy to a previous area of expertise, and relate it to the new company's product or service.)

        "I have noticed that you have been out of work for over six months. Can you explain this break in employment?"

        • " I tried retirement, and it's not for me. I am a do-er and like to be active. I feel I have many more years of productivity left. "
        • " I am looking for something different. I am fortunate to be in a position to take time to make sure this job is right for both of us. "
        • " I have used this time to brush up (or learn) a new skill, and now I am ready to contribute my knowledge and expertise to a viable company such as yours. "

        "Why do you think you are qualified for this job? I don't see where you have experience that would match our business needs."

        • " My excitement at learning new things never diminishes. With my work experience, I know I will be a quick learner. "
        • Take this opportunity to point out any skills you have added to your repertoire.
        Identify a skill you have, and align it to something you would need to do on the new job.

        Click here to read part 2 of this article

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