Job Search for Over-50 Workers Especially Difficult

A new poll released this week shows older workers are unemployed longer than their younger counterparts.

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An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found 55 percent of those 50 and older who have sought a job in the past five years found it difficult, and job seekers aged 55 to 64 were out of work for an average 57 weeks.

Bob Gershberg, a corporate recruiter in St. Petersburg, Fla., told the Associated Press that older workers face an added hurdle while looking for a new job.

"They'll say, 'Give me the young guy. Give me the up-and-comer. Someone with fire in the belly,'" Gershberg said. "But there's always been a bias against the unemployed. They say, 'If she was so good, why'd she get cut?'"

There was a positive silver lining in the poll. Once older workers found work, they were far more likely to report benefits related to their age. Sixty percent said colleagues came to them for advice and 42 percent said they received more respect in the company.

Leah Arnold-Smeets, a Payscale blogger and owner of Emiko Consulting, has five tips for older workers looking for a job. Check out her blog post to see how older worker can shorten their job search.

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