Job-Hunting for Older Workers

Many baby boomers will need to keep right on working whether they want to or not.

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Who wouldn't want to spend their retirement years sharpening their short game or touring the vineyards of Tuscany? Unfortunately, many baby boomers will need to keep right on working whether they want to or not.

Social Security is replacing an increasingly smaller portion of household earnings, many 401(k)'s and IRAs contain only modest balances, and Americans are often saving virtually nothing outside of these retirement funds. But here's the good news: Should you find yourself seeking a new job to finance your golden years, there are more online tools than ever to help you land a gig that's a good fit and—with luck—well paying. Here's how to start your next job search on the Web.

Surf job websites geared toward older workers. Websites like CareerBuilder.com, HotJobs.com, and Monster.com can help someone of any age find a job and should always be included in any job hunt. But don't stop there. There's been an explosion of websites, from Seniors4Hire.org to Retireeworkforce.com, matching older workers who aren't financially ready to retire or simply want to stay active with companies eager to hire such employees.

Update your résumé. Senior workers often have a long list of career achievements, but employers don't want a history lesson. To get the best results, "you've got to make your résumé speak to the job you are going to do in your next position," says Steven Greenberg, CEO of Jobs4Point0.com, which lists between 3,000 and 5,000 jobs for workers over age 40 in any given day. Focus on your qualifications and skills most relevant to the new position. And once you've retooled that curriculum vitae, make sure you take the next step and post your résumé online for easy submission to new job postings and viewing by job recruiters. Some websites will E-mail you jobs that match your qualifications. But don't expect a response from every company you submit a résumé to. You need to "develop a very thick skin to find the job that you want," warns Greenberg. "It can be an extremely frustrating process."

Look for senior-friendly employers. Some senior job sites, like Workforce50.com and RetiredBrains.com, certify that the employers who list jobs with them really want senior workers, even for higher-level jobs. "We have connected up with a group of very strong brand employers that are going out of their way to be friendly to workers over 50," says Tim Driver, CEO of RetirementJobs.com, which lists between 20,000 and 30,000 open positions that are refreshed several times each week. Most of the jobs are in the retail sector, and a large number of jobs are in the financial services business. "Companies that have an increasingly older customer base are looking for workers of a similar age," Driver adds.

Search within your industry. Some websites specialize in a particular career area. ExecSearches.com, for example, focuses exclusively on midlevel and executive positions in the nonprofit, government, health, and education sectors. YourEncore.com recruits experienced scientists, engineers, and product developers for short-term assignments. Another website, DinosaurExchange.com, lists short- and long-term job opportunities for what it terms "dinosaurs" (retirees with experience), including consultant and management positions all over the world, some in developing countries, such as working as a general manager of an oil and natural gas company in India. And who knows, there might even be a job or two in Tuscany.