For job-seekers aged 50 and older, job fairs today can be noisy and intimidating.
“It’s scary,” said Halifax Council on Aging Director Barbara Brenton.
Brenton said she feels empathy for older job-seekers. She said she remembers seeing fright on some job-seekers’ faces during a career fair held back in June at Halifax Town Hall.
It can be hard to know how to negotiate a job fair.
“Where do you go? What do you say? How do you do this?” she said.
Fortunately, there is a proven path to success for older job applicants.
The councils on aging in Halifax and Marshfield are working together to co-host and offer a “50+ Job Seekers Networking Group” program to support and assist people ages 50 and older who are looking for a new job, career direction or encore career. The program is funded and supported by the Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging, and is open to all Massachusetts residents aged 50 and older.
The group will meet every first and third Thursday from 9 to 11 a.m., with the first meeting to take place on Thursday, Oct. 6 at Halifax Town Hall, and the second meeting to take place on Thursday, Oct. 20 at the Marshfield Council on Aging, 230 Webster St., in Marshfield.
Meetings are run by a certified career coach and include presentations and workshops on topics relevant to career transitions and job searches, such as developing a resume, creating an elevator speech, creating a LinkedIn profile, and working a career fair.
The meetings also offer ample opportunity to network with peers and one-to-one coaching guidance.
The Halifax Council on Aging ran a similar 50+ networking group from February to June, and drew more than 175 participants to the June career fair, Brenton said.
“We get a little bit of everything, someone looking for a part-time job, or a bread-winner,” she said.
“It’s growing. There is such a huge need,” she said. “People got jobs. They were successful.”
Brenton said it can be difficult for seniors to deal with telephone calls with voice prompts and using computers and social media. Some people aged 50 and older do not own computers or have an e-mail account.
A desire to learn how to use the computer is good, and seniors can turn to their children and grandchildren for help.
Seniors can also get computer help at the library and senior center, Brenton said.
“There’s a lot of challenges,” she said.
For more information on the 50+ Job Seekers Group, call the Council on Aging at 781-293-7313.
50+ Job Seekers Networking Group Meetings
1.) Marshfield Council on Aging, Oct. 20. Topic: Developing a resume.
2.) Halifax Town Hall, Nov. 3. Topic: Creating STARS/PARS.
3.) Marshfield Council on Aging, Nov. 17. Topic: Creating an elevator speech using STARS/PARS.
4.) Halifax Town Hall, Dec. 1. Topic: Creating a LinkedIn profile.
5.) Marshfield Council on Aging, Dec. 15. Topic: Using LinkedIn as a networking and job search tool.
6.) Halifax Town Hall, Jan. 5, 2017. Topic: Networking 101.
7.) Marshfield Council on Aging, Jan. 19, 2017. Topic: Developing a marketing plan for job search.
8.) Halifax Town Hall, Feb. 2, 2017. Topic: Job search portfolio/tools.
9.) Marshfield Council on Aging, Feb. 16, 2017. Topic: Interview preparation and strategy.
10.) Halifax Town Hall, March 2. Topic: Boot Camp: How to work a career fair or other networking event.