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Baby Boomers turn to blogs to find jobs

Bette Publicker, 58, entered the blogosphere last week.

The event planner, who was laid off last year, created her blog at a workshop hosted by the Scottsdale Job Network. The Valley-wide group hosts meetings that focus on job-transition training and connects job seekers with employers and business leaders.

“I’m being dragged kicking and screaming into the technological world,” read her very first post at bettepublicker.wordpress.com. “It is like running with a broken leg after a fast-moving train.”

Publicker was joking, but it’s an apt comparison for how many laid-off Baby Boomers feel.

The recession is dropping a growing number into a job market that requires everyone to market themselves through newer and newer Web technology in order to get hired.

Résumés are posted on blogs. Contacts are made on LinkedIn and Facebook. Reputations are built and broken instantly on Twitter.

It can be particularly daunting for those who’ve held the same job for years and are used to searching classifieds and handing out a paper résumé.

“It is a whole new world with regard to looking for a job,” said Brad Taft, Arizona workforce-policy adviser for AARP and a career consultant.

“In the old days it was, ‘Hurry up, send me your paper résumé and wait.’ Then in the 1980s it was, ‘Hurry up, fax me your résumé and wait.’ And now it’s either, ‘E-mail or attach résumé online . . . and wait.’ ”

Changes in job-search technology, combined with the severe recession, have prompted Valley groups like Scottsdale Job Network and Boomerz to help job seekers gain an online edge.

Boomerz plans to start holding workshops across the Valley on social networking and the Web.

“Many, many employers will Google you,” said Cindy Cooke, executive director of Boomerz, a non-profit group that specializes in career and entrepreneur development. “And if you don’t exist on Google, you don’t exist as far as they’re concerned.”

Angelo Fernando, communications and outreach manager for ASU’s Decision Theater, told last week’s audience that blogs allow them to quickly showcase a résumé, network and publish ideas.

That strategy gives hiring managers a much better picture of skills, interests and opinions before the interview.

The sooner that people become familiar with blogging and other social-networking applications, the better, Fernando added. Technologies are only going to get more sophisticated. Candidates who can stand out on the Web have a much better chance of getting noticed and hired.

Phoenix resident Martin Piraino, 43, is younger than members of the Baby Boom generation – those who are between the ages of 45 and 63 in 2009 – and started his blog in January (martinpiraino.com).

The IT professional was laid off last year and has made connections through his blog and has gone on a few interviews.

He continues to chronicle his job search, offer tips and showcase his experience.

“It has offered a way for employers to find me online,” he said. “It has afforded me some opportunities that may not have come along otherwise.”

Publicker, who is also on LinkedIn, plans to post her résumé on her blog and chronicle her experience learning new technology.

“Now that I am looking for new job and business opportunities, ‘social-networking skills’ seem to be as necessary as a résumé, business cards and gumption,” she wrote on her second post. “In every networking event I am asked about Web sites, LinkedIn and my Facebook. Now perhaps my eyes won’t glaze over and I won’t have to fake cough an answer.”


From zero to blog in 15 minutes

1. Decide how you’ll use your blog to brand yourself. Will you write daily musings? How will it help you connect?

2. Click on WordPress at www.wordpress.com to create a free blog.

3. Click on the “sign up now” button. Register yourself. You must already have a personal e-mail address through a provider such as AOL or Hotmail. Create a username and password.

4. Create a blog name, such as wordpress.com/yournamehere. This is the URL address you’ll give to people who might be interested in your blog.

5. Design your blog. Choose from one of the premade templates.

6. Give your blog a title. It doesn’t have to be your name. But if you’re using it for professional reasons, don’t be too cute.

7. Set up the basic categories, called content buckets.

8. Learn the meaning of and how to use the following: tags, blog roll, trackbacks, RSS and widgets.

9. Start posting your messages. Keep your posts simple and short. Write catchy headlines. Be topical and creative. Reward your visitors by giving them new information or your expert analysis.

10. More help: Check other Web sites, including David Meerman Scott’s blog (www.davidmeermanscott.com), John Cass (pr.typepad.com) and Daily Blog Tips (www.dailyblogtips.com).

Source: Angelo Fernando, communications and outreach manager for ASU’s Decision Theater

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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