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First the good news: the Bureau of Labor Statistics says the unemployment rate for people over 55 was just 6.5% in March, the lowest among all age groups and comfortably under the 8.8% national rate.

Now the bad news: unemployed workers ages 55 to 64 have been jobless 51.9 weeks on average, the longest among age groups.

How do you shorten a one-year search to 4 to 6 months?

☐ Social Media: There are now 100 million professionals on LinkedIn – are you one of them? Surveys by Microsoft found that 85% of hiring managers and recruiters used social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook to research job candidates in 2010.

☐ Be Visible: If you are on LinkedIn what is the likelihood you will be found? Do you the critical actions to raise your visibility? Do you know how to use Facebook and Twitter professionally? Are you a subject matter expert who could be writing a blog to enhance your visibility? Most companies are trying to master Social Media to enhance their visibility and need executives who know how … could you demonstrate you know how?

☐ Networking: As key is social media networking is, there is still enormous value in joining professional networking groups. A local example is the Greater Philadelphia Senior Executive Networking Group (GPSEG). National Groups with local chapters include Financial Executive Networking Group (FENG), ChemPharma and many others. Most use the web as an adjunct to meetings to share leads and post discussion questions. And searching for a job can be a lonely endeavor – attending meetings can give your motivation and momentum a needed boost.

☐ Reachable 24 x 7: Nearly all business executives are carrying Smart Phones, primarily Blackberries, and can read and send emails 24 x 7. They expect to be able to reach you by email in the evening to let you know a morning meeting has been re-scheduled and expect a timely confirmation. If a Smart Phone is not in your budget, are you checking email several times a day including nights and weekends?

☐ Technology: When you communicate with a company or recruiting firm, can you demonstrate proficiency navigating an unfamiliar website, composing a highly polished email, able to create Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents?

☐ Don’t Advertise Your Age: Never commit an act of commission but there are a number of acceptable acts of omission that can make you appear under 50 rather than well over 50.

For over 20 years, the leadership of ExecuJobs, a premier executive career search marketing firm, has assisted clients over 55 to successfully meet the challenges of age in a competitive marketplace and significantly shortened the average job search by 33% – 50%. Contact ExecuJobs today by calling ExecuJobs Customer Care @ 800.767.0691 or completing an online form at www.execujobs.net/contact.

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