Job tips for older unemployed workers

By Jen Haley, producer

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Older workers are not only falling out of the job market, they're trying to stay in the job market longer.

Unemployment for mature workers is up 331% over the past decade according to AARP. In response, the senior advocacy group is holding a series of job fairs throughout the country to help older folks get back into the workforce.

CDs & Money Market
MMA 0.39%
$10K MMA 0.35%
6 month CD 0.39%
1 yr CD 0.72%
5 yr CD 1.50%

Find personalized rates:

Rates provided by

Here are some ways to strengthen your hand in negotiating your next position.

1. Whittle down your experience

One of the biggest obstacles for older workers is that they may be overqualified for jobs they're applying to. So, whittle down your resume to what's really important.

  • Focus on the last ten years. Stress money earned for the company, costs eliminated or time saved. And share only those qualifications that match the job opening. Don't talk at length about your vast experience. Focus on what you can do for your employer.
  • Leave off school graduation dates. Don't start your resume with dates and leave off the date you graduated from high school or college.
  • Fill work gaps with volunteering and consulting. Try to avoid gaps in your work history too. To make up for long gaps, consider volunteering or doing some pro-bono consulting work.
  • Join professional associations, subscribe to trade journals and keep up with innovations and developments in your field as much as possible.

2. Get retrained

If you are over 55 and meet certain income requirements AARP has a free Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP).

AARP staff will assess your job skills and interests, connect you with training, help you update your resume and provide you with job leads.

As part of the program you will also work part time for a host agency like a food bank or a library.

For more information, or to find a SCSEP program in your area, go to AARP's Web site and enter in SCSEP in the search tool.

You may find that going back to school is the way to go.

First, check out your local community college.

And don't forget to look for scholarships. Financial aid is financial aid regardless of how old you are. There are over 250 awards created especially for students who are over 25 years old, and over 1,800 scholarships that are available to someone of any age. Check out and type in "Older" in the search tool.

Talkback: Do you know of an older worker who recently found a new job? To top of page

Free Career Fairs for the 50+ Job Seeker
Date State City
3/17/2010NVLas Vegas
3/24/2010MOSt. Louis
5/4/2010NVLas Vegas
6/15/2010NCWinston Salem
6/16/2010MOSt. Louis
9/14/2010NVLas Vegas
* Dates and locations as of March 5, 2010
Source: AARP
Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.94%3.93%
15 yr fixed3.03%3.03%
5/1 ARM3.33%3.27%
30 yr refi4.02%3.99%
15 yr refi3.09%3.07%
Rate data provided
View rates in your area
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,461.32 -153.49 -0.92%
Nasdaq 4,382.85 -36.63 -0.83%
S&P 500 1,927.11 -14.17 -0.73%
Treasuries 2.23 0.02 0.95%
Data as of 8:19pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.40 -0.20 -1.20%
Yahoo! Inc 42.00 1.82 4.53%
Apple Inc 102.99 0.52 0.51%
Facebook Inc 78.37 -0.32 -0.41%
Boston Scientific Co... 12.32 0.29 2.41%
Data as of 4:04pm ET


Domino's pizza used to suck. Now people like it and the stock is at a record high More

The midterm elections are around the corner, and the economy remains a top concern. With unemployment down and inflation low, why do people still feel the economy stinks? More

Uber canceled its free rides with hot girls promotion in Lyon, France before it ever launched. More

Startups focusing on "ag tech," or agricultural technology, are gaining the attention of farmers and investors More

Dressing up in crazy costumes, traveling the world, posing for photos -- and getting paid to do it. Here are journal entries from a day in the life of professional "cosplay" character, Linda Le. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.