Female Workers Over 55 Hit Hardest by Recession

Recession There might be a good reason that the results of the most recent CareerBuilder survey weren't released until after Mother's Day -- they could have thrown a damper on a lot of celebrations. The study revealed that although 59 percent of workers who were laid off from full-time jobs in the last year reported they found new positions, workers age 55 or older had the lowest incidence of finding new employment opportunities and men were more likely than women to find jobs.

To be specific, 63 percent of men who were laid off from full-time jobs in the last year found new positions, compared to 50 percent of women. And only 36 percent of those over 55 found new jobs. Workers age 25 to 34 had the highest incidence of landing new jobs, at 78 percent.

There was good news for some in the survey, conducted for CareerBuilder by Harris Interactive from February 21 to March 10, 2011. Of the workers who were laid off in the last year and found new jobs, 90 percent found full-time positions while 10 percent found part-time work.

"While the job market remains highly competitive, opportunities are opening up across all industries and job levels," said Brent Rasmussen, President of CareerBuilder North America. "Over the last few years, we've seen workers, out of necessity, cast a wider net and discover new career paths they may never have considered pre-recession. New talent is flowing in and out of industries as workers apply their skills sets to new occupations."

In fact, the amount of workers who took jobs in different fields from where they previously worked rose from 48 percent last year, to 60 percent in the 2011 survey. This reflects a growing trend where workers are re-educating and/or re-packaging skill sets to appeal to a broader set of employers.

Flexibility seems to be key in finding new employment: One-third of workers had to expand their job search geographically in order to secure an opportunity, and 33 percent relocated to a new city or state. Of workers who were laid off in the last 12 months and haven't found new jobs, 22 percent said they are considering starting their own business.

Taking these numbers into consideration, Rasmussen recommends the following job hunting tips for 2011:

  1. Keep an open mind. The majority of laid off workers who found new jobs landed opportunities in entirely different fields. Check out job postings in different industries and fields to see where you can transition your skills and write several versions of your resume to appeal to a wider range of employers.
  2. Re-train and re-tool. Consider returning to the classroom to increase your marketability in hot industries, whether it's for a degree, certification or just a stand-alone course. For example, if you're interested in technology, check out Cisco Certifications for IT networking careers.
  3. Build your personal brand. Use social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to make connections and promote your personal brand across the Internet. Launch a blog or networking group to establish thought leadership and showcase your communications skills.
  4. Stay positive. Don't focus on the hardships associated with being unemployed in your communications with a prospective employer. Focus on what you learned from the experience and how that makes you a stronger candidate.

Next:Top Companies Hiring

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