Technology-Driven Job Search Strategies Have Left Many Older Workers Behind
There has been a major transformation during the last decade or so in the way people look for employment opportunities. Hardcopy resumes and cover letters, newspaper ads, and face-to-face interviews have gradually given way to LinkedIn and Facebook profiles and personal websites, electronically transmitted career materials, job boards and web searches, and Skype interviews.
While technology advances have certainly expanded the scope of opportunities for people to take advantage of in finding great jobs, the benefits have not been equal among all job seekers. Research conducted in recent years has shown that, in general, older workers have not kept pace with their younger counterparts in the use of technology to design and execute job search strategies.
This is troubling since there is plenty of evidence that older workers face greater challenges in finding worthwhile employment. Data from the 2014 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Displaced Workers Survey show that people aged 50 and over took 5.8 weeks longer to find employment than those aged 30-49 and 10 weeks longer than those aged 20-29.
Data from the 2015 BLS Current Population Survey found similar results; 44.6% of employed workers aged 55 and older lacked employment after 27 weeks compared to 22.2% for people under 25 years of age and 36% for people aged 25-54.