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Baby Boomer Job Search: Lost In Cyberspace

Baby Boomer Job Search: Lost In Cyberspace

By Mary Eileen Williams

One of the best ways to find work quickly is to avoid one of the biggest time-wasters that may well be sabotaging your efforts. Take a moment to ask yourself this question….

Are you lost in cyberspace?

Studies show that, despite all of the job boards and websites, a minimum of 75 percent of jobs are still obtained by way of personal referral, i.e. networking. The tighter the job market and the older you are, that figure rises exponentially.

On the other hand, no more than 15 percent of positions are gotten as a result of responding to online postings. So if you are sitting for hours in front of your computer answering ads, you’re guaranteeing yourself two things: maximum competition levels and loads of frustration!

Therefore be diligent and smart about how you spend your time.

Plan to devote a minimum of 80 percent of your job search hours reaching out to others and forging mutually beneficial relationships. These valuable connections will be your most direct route to reemployment. Here are some ways you can do that:

Start by making a list of your personal contacts and plan to concentrate on people whose profession requires a large amount of public interaction, e.g.: lawyers, accountants, physicians, hair stylists, counselors, etc. Then send out an email letting them know your situation and the type of work you are targeting. You’ll want to write something along the lines of, “If you have any suggestions, leads or contacts you think would be helpful, I’d greatly appreciate you sending them my way.” You are asking for information only, and those in your network will be happy to respond and help you if they can.

Join job search groups, especially those that meet regularly and provide opportunities to exchange information as well as the all-important follow-up and personal accountability factor. The government has established Career One Stop Centers throughout the country that provide workshops and group support. Here’s the link to locate the one closest to you.

Another surefire way to network while you get ahead? Take a class in your line of work. You will not only update your skill sets, you can network with the classmates and the instructor.

Face-to-face meetings are always best but you can broaden your scope by joining groups on LinkedIn. You will want to consider participating both in groups in your specific line of work and general job search groups as well. Here is the link showing how to find and join a group on LinkedIn.

So pull yourself out of cyberspace and push yourself into the world of real people. This may make all the difference in your job search!

This article originally appeared in Feisty Side of Fifty and was reprinted with permission.

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Mary Eileen Williams, M.A., NCCC, is a job search expert, author, blogger, speaker and radio host. As a Nationally Board Certified Career Counselor with a Master's Degree in Career Development, she has over twenty years’ experience working as a career strategist for jobseekers and career changers. Her book, Land the Job You Love: 10 Surefire Strategies for Jobseekers Over 50 provides mature applicants with the critical information they need to successfully navigate today’s competitive job market. Eileen is an active contributor to the Huffington Post and also makes frequent appearances on both radio and TV and has been interviewed for Market Watch, Money Magazine, Kiplinger and several other national and international publications. Eileen is the host/founder of the popular boomer blog and radio show called Feisty Side of Fifty