THE HELP DESK The Help Desk: Top Tips

Finding a job in a bleak market

It's hard to find a job right now, especially for older workers and teens. Gerri Willis offers some helpful tips.

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By Gerri Willis, CNN

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NEW YORK ( -- The job outlook is bleak - especially for older folks, teens, and recent college grads. But there are resources that are available to you.

1. Help for older folks

According to a new study by AARP, 9% of people over the age of 50 had lost their jobs during the past 12 months - and that's nearly double the rate from April 2008.

AARP has recently launched a new Web site to help you figure out if your family qualifies for public benefits programs, what Medicaid help you can get, you can also get tax assistance, job training and search for scholarships for older people.

You can download the applications you need. There's also a link to the companies that want to hire older workers. also has a list of companies with age-friendly hiring practices.

2. Sharpen your skills

Even if you're not going after a degree, many colleges allow older people to audit or even take classes for reduced or no tuition.

To find out about the options in your own area, inquire at the Admissions Office at your local college. And don't forget about scholarships opportunities.

Some states offer scholarships specifically for seniors. Check your scholarship eligibility with Sallie Mae's Web site at and

3. Help for teen job seekers

Teens are really hit hard with this economic crisis. This past summer was one of the worst on record for teen employment.

Teens are also finding a lot of job competition, especially from recently displaced workers. But there are Web sites that specialize in part-time or hourly work.

Here's a few of them:, and Interning is just as important as getting a job too. Check out for a list of specific internships and entry level jobs for recent college grads.

Teens have the advantage of flexibility says Cathy McCarthy of They're the ones willing to work nights and weekends.  To top of page

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