CHICAGO — While looking for work in an economic downturn can be challenging, it's easier today than it used to be — and that may hold truest of all for the retirement set. • Those who are in or near retirement and looking for work can find abundant online resources aimed at them, which may prove invaluable as the ongoing financial crisis drives many back to the workplace or keeps them there longer. • Many, in fact, steer clear of mainstream job-search Web sites such as CareerBuilder and Monster because they think their chances are better when their "maturity" is specifically targeted, according to Scott Wingerter, chief operating officer for RetireeWorkforce.com, a job board for retired workers. • "Mature workers won't generally apply for positions (advertised) for the general population — they fear age discrimination," he said. "So they come to boards like ours." • Here are some online resources for retirees looking for part-time or full-time work, many of which target anyone 50 or over:
RetirementJobs.com (www.retirement jobs.com) has more than 30,000 listings nationwide from companies specifically seeking candidates older than 50. A combination job board, adviser and coach for boomers and seniors looking for work. RetirementJobs also partners with AARP.
RetireeWorkforce.com (www. retireeworkforce.com) also focuses on the 50-plus job candidate. Currently gets about 200,000 visitors a month, doubled from a year ago and up sharply during the financial crisis.
RetiredBrains.com (www.retiredbrains.com) is a resource for older boomers, seniors, retirees and those about to retire who are looking to find jobs, volunteer opportunities, educational resources and retirement information.
Retirement Jobs Online (www. retirement-jobs-online.com) offers advice about online retirement jobs, helping retirees evaluate the various ways to use the Internet to find work.
AARP offers both a job search engine (jobs.aarp.org) and a National Employer Team (www.aarp.org/employerteam), which lists employers that are actively recruiting mature workers nationwide. Most are corporations; also cites three government agencies: the Internal Revenue Service, the Peace Corps and the Small Business Administration's Office of Disaster Relief.
Aging Workforce News (www. agingworkforcenews.com/aginglinks.html) is not a job board but provides a useful collection of work-related links.
BoomerCareer.com (www.boomer career.com) is a collection of career articles and resources targeting baby boomers, those born from 1946-64. Job seekers can search job listings and post their resume.
Encore.org (www.encore.org) provides news, resources and connections for individuals and organizations establishing "encore careers" designed to combine social contribution, personal meaning and financial security. Many of the jobs posted are in education, health care and human services.
Experience Works (www.experience works.org) helps low-income seniors get training to find jobs in their communities.
Quintessential Careers has a comprehensive listing (www.quintcareers.com/mature_jobseekers.html) of job and career resources for mature and older job seekers.
Senior Helpers (www.seniorhelpers.com), with offices in 230 U.S. cities, hires many older workers to provide in-home personal and companion care for seniors. Caregivers' services include help with housework, meal preparation, errands, transportation, medication reminders and Alzheimer's care. The pay is $8 to $12 an hour; most work an average of 20 hours per week.
Senior Job Bank (www.seniorjobbank.org) is a site where job seekers age 50 and older can search for jobs by category, industry or location, post resumes and register for a job-search agent.
Seniors4Hire.org (www.seniors4hire.org) is another nationwide online career center and job bank with openings posted by businesses actively recruiting the 50-and-over population. Also includes targeted career resources and articles for older workers.
WiserWorker.com (www.wiserworker.com) enables baby boomers and older workers to search for job listings by keyword or location and provides career articles and resources plus listings of local job fairs across the country.
YourEncore (www.yourencore.com) seeks to match retired engineers and scientists with companies that need to meet a capacity surge or fill a short-term need, with clients that include Fortune 500 firms such as Boeing, Eli Lilly and Procter & Gamble. The retirees sometimes are brought in as temporary mentors for new hires.