Online Job Hunting: Where to Start When You’re Over 40

Many people over 40 got their last job the traditional way, by answering an advertisement in the classifieds or through networking with friends and family.

However, those looking for jobs today will find things have changed. While jobs can still be found in the newspaper or at job fairs, job seekers also need to be comfortable searching online.

Navigating a Job Site

Typing “job sites” into an Internet search may result in a seemingly never-ending list of response links to sites that can seem incomprehensible to the novice. Instead of the shotgun approach, try larger, more well-known sites that may be easier to navigate.

Those new to online job hunting may want to begin by looking for sites that are familiar, such as Monster or CareerBuilder. Larger sites also include FAQ or advice sections to make the process easier.

Searching the site for job listings, often referred to as “job boards,” and creating a personal account is fairly straightforward. Once logged in, job seekers can search for jobs by type, location, and even salary.

In addition, most sites offer the ability to download applications, research companies, and even post resumes online for recruiters. Many sites also offer e-mail positions when they become available, as well as links to training classes, colleges, and even resume writing services.

Protecting Against Fraud When Job Hunting Online

Unfortunately, the economic crisis and heavy competition for jobs have led to a significant increase in scam sites that exist simply to mine personal data from job hunters. Job hunters who are applying for jobs online must always be cautious about the personal information they release in the application.

One place to start is by learning how to separate scams from secure job-hunting sites.

While many people have found employment on local sites such as Craigslist, there have also been several well-published scams. In one ploy, job seekers are offered an interview at a specific place and time, only to arrive to find no one there.

Instead, the scam is to get them out of their home at a pre-arranged time so that thieves can raid the home while they are gone.

Luckily, this particular scam is infrequent. More common are “phishing” scams that request personal data that would not be asked for in a real application, such as social security number and date of birth.

Divulging this information can provide thieves with the information that they can then use to commit fraud by stealing the job seeker’s identity to open credit accounts, buy cars, or even buy a home.

To protect themselves while job hunting online, it is imperative that the job-seekers do their own research into the job and company they are looking at to ensure that it is on the up and up. While there are many secure sites, ones that are well known may be safer.

Any job posting should include a link back to the company’s website, so always research to make sure the company and job posting actually exist.

While it may seem intimidating to those not familiar with job hunting online, it does have many advantages over hitting the sidewalk in a more traditional manner.

For instance, online job hunting provides the opportunity to make first contact with many companies from the comfort of home while wearing pajamas for a job hunter that can’t be beaten.