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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Top 10 Tips for Older Job Hunters

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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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      24 Post a Comment :

      Anonymous said...

      I found this article informative, and helpful to bring up new ideas for older job seekers. While I am unemployed, I did not realize the topics discussed on certain agencies and areas of financial planning coordinate with those looking to work. Setting goals for being prepared and knowing more on where to get organized can assist a person person to present their best assets for employers.- jenia silver

      Tula said...

      let's re-title this "Top 10 Tips for People We Would Like to Put Out To Pasture." This assumes that most people 55 and over are ready to take a volunteer job, be classified a senior citizen, and give up. Advice about not tapping a retirement account and keeping health care is obvious, and doesn't really help anyone market themselves to an employer. Would anyone write this kind of crap for someone in their 40s? You now, advising middle-aged people to get a volunteer job, and maybe to look on line for middle-aged friendly employers? Not helpful. Not helpful. Not helpful.

      Anonymous said...

      I found the article informative but lacking in some details about maintaining medical coverage under COBRA. I was laid off from a company of four people. In order to qualify under COBRA, the company has to have a minimum twenty employees.
      I will be paying my own expensive medical coverage shortly with no help from the state or federal government.

      Anonymous said...

      If you start to collect Social Security before your full retirement age you certainly can pay it all back. However, you have a maximum time limit of 90 days from the day your suspend your claim to return ALL of the money paid out. Otherwise, after 90 days and no repayment, your claim is automatically restarted.

      Bill said...

      Thanks for the information on AmeriCorps. There seems to be more for the senior worker than I thought.

      Mind if I use this article for my blog? The Job Swami Career Advice Site?

      Bill Morgan
      The Job Swami Career Advice Site

      PR Happenings said...

      I am 50 plus and last year left my job voluntarily because of health problems.

      Now that I am as fit as any fiddler's fiddle, thar just ain't no-one interested other than the "would you like fries with that?" type of jobs.

      So I have started up a Virtual Assistance enterprise. People who need experience but can't afford full-time communications help, and can't leave project work to youngin' interns. My URL is Maybe something similar is in your future?

      As for health insurance, because I was sick for so long, I became poor! Great! :(

      Anyway, I am now on medicaid, and in essence, that is enabling me to become an entrepreneur WITH health insurance. I hate this situation, but well hey with two kids ya got any better ideas?

      There are laws against age discrimination, but just try to prove it. Older workers are the new African Americans. "We just don't hire those kind of people."

      I have been on the mountain, and I'm gettin' back up.

      Anonymous said...

      These options are great and I would love to take advantage of almost any of them. However, I need the income of a full time position for the next ten years or so.

      Anonymous said...

      Thanks for posting this information. For those interested, we have some great tips on how to avoid making age so apparent on your resume:

      Miss Patrice said...

      This article was very informative. I especially appreciate the information on Americorps. I'll be sure to share the info with others. Thanks!

      Anonymous said...

      This was a valuable article and a good read. I agree it is important to have a great resume and cover letter that highlights your qualifications. I've used for my resume and was very pleased with the results. The price was fair too. Thanks,

      Anonymous said...

      The writer of this comment points out one of the big drawbacks of working for a small business. Small businesses (under 20 employees).don't need to follow anti-age discrimination, healthcare privacy protection or provide COBRA continuation coverage. Leaves a lot of put population without these important protections!

      Anonymous said...

      I read the beginning of the article and, like so many, I started reading the comments. Yes, at 65 I do feel like I've been "put out to pasture". This is not only ego shattering, but it makes me REALLY feel old. I am seeking a recruiting position in Central Florida. All these jobs are being taken by 22-32 year olds. I'm trying to start a resume building has been by word of mouth. Here I DO work with my peers who also feel like they have been "put out to pasture". How do we combat this? I have been on one interview in 2 years and I was so very over qualified that I think the interviewer felt threatened. What to do?? Veteran, 55+, BSBA, and unemployed...what a combination! Is anyone out there interested in coming to our aid?

      Anonymous said...

      This appears to be an old post that is recirculating because I am unaware of any government subsidies for COBRA in 2012. Does anyone know if there is any government help I am missing?

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      Anonymous said...

      It's all about the strength of your resume and distributing it to employers that are looking for your skills. It also helps to maintain your health so your age is not so evident. Find a coach that can give you tips on interview skills so you can present yourself well after your resume gets you an interview.

      Anonymous said...

      This blog may be a few years old. I was laid off in
      august 2012 and have been paying huge Cobra premiums each month. My company has 1000+ employees. Since when does the government pick up 65% of the Cobra premium? Everyone I know who has been laid off is paying out a ton on Cobra premiums.

      Gee a Moron said...

      Completely irrelevant for anyone outside the USA.

      Ted Guice Fitness said...

      Informative article and interesting comments. Those of us without higher education, degrees and the like...face an even bigger challenge in the job/career market, imo and experience. I am fortunate to prefer working for myself. To be entrepreneurial on a tight budget excites the heck out of me! Good thing it does...because without that drive and some start up capital I would, frankly, be screwed. Job opportunities are scarce enough for those with higher educations. Being born at the height of the baby boom in 1957, and with no education save for some college English, anatomy and physiology courses when I wanted to become an RN...I see many of my peers struggle to achieve even Greeter status at our local Wally World (WalMart!). Many of them have never started/run their own business nor do they have the seed money squirreled away for same after surviving the loss of an adequately paying job or long term career. For many, it is their onus to 'create their career' going forward by starting their own business. A daunting task and a pretty major financial risk that most will not undertake. Again, I am lucky that doing so thrills and inspires me, the challenge of being successful at something I love is one of my hearts desires. I haven't worked for anyone else since 1997, which is a good thing. Otherwise, I'd probably still be asking the next car in line if they would like to super size their meal deal.
      Ted Guice

      Anonymous said...

      Anonymous, you are correct. The Fed stopped paying 65% of COBRA. That program is over.

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