With the economy struggling to regain stability, many Baby Boomers are finding themselves in a place they never thought they would be at this stage in the game: the unemployment line. According to a much anticipated forecast from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management released in late 2008, the country is expected to lose 2 million jobs in 2009.

If January, when 598,000 jobs were lost as the unemployment rate hit 7.6 percent nationally, is any indication, the 2009 projection might prove to be an understatement. For Baby Boomers, the specter of unemployment is especially daunting, as many Boomers have fallen victim to a crashing stock market that has left many reeling from retirement savings lost in investments. For those fearing their next step could be toward the unemployment line or for Boomers who have already been laid off, consider the following tips to ready yourself for reentry into the job market.


* Don’t hide your layoff or pending layoff from others. There’s no shame in being laid off. In fact, with unemployment rates rising, chances are you already know someone beside yourself who has either been laid off or is facing the possibility of a layoff.
That said, in addition to the moral support you may receive, letting others know you’ve been laid off could also result in others helping you with your job search. If your company has announced future layoffs but not yet determined who will be staying and who will be going, let others know you could possibly be let go. Sharing your situation with others could open doors you would otherwise never know about if you kept your situation to yourself.


* Ready your resume. Most Baby Boomers have been working at their current jobs for many years. While that’s great from a stability standpoint, it almost certainly means you’ll need to give your resume a makeover. Revamp your resume even if you haven’t been laid off. Emphasize your versatility on your resume. As previously mentioned, unemployment rates are expected to continue rising throughout 2009, so job openings will likely yield more responses than ever before. Baby Boomers should use their experience and versatility to their advantage in such a competitive job market.


* Work on your interview skills. For the majority of Baby Boomers, it’s likely been a long time since their last job interview. While performing well in an interview can be like riding a bike, you’ll still need to work hard to prepare yourself for prospective job interviews. For one thing, your marketable skills now are likely much different than they were the last time you interviewed. In addition, the interview process has probably changed since you last interviewed for a job. Brush up on your skills, including what it is you have to offer and researching questions you’re likely to be asked.


* Try new things. Don’t pigeonhole yourself into the field you just left. Nearly every job teaches skills that extend beyond a given title’s job description. For example, think of how much you had to multi-task at your previous job, and how much that multi-tasking often veered off course from your actual job description. These skills are marketable but not instantly recognizable as a product of working in a given field. Remember these skills as you cast a wider net and emphasize this multi-tasking when seeking jobs outside of your field.


Baby Boomers facing layoffs or reentry into the job market might not be where they thought they would be 10 years ago. But an essential element for Boomers to handle a bad economy is to understand the value of their experience and how best they can parlay that into their next job.


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