Jobless older adults key on LinkedIn hub for networking

Encore Careers uses a LinkedIn group to help job-seekers 50 and older make connections and learn from others’ experience, but it takes work.

According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, social media use among adults 50 and older has exploded in the past few years. Among adults 65 and up, the percentage who use social media sites has jumped from 4 to 26. For adults ages 50 to 64, the percentage has jumped from 11 to 47.

They aren’t tweeting. Only 3 percent of the oldest group and 6 percent of the 50 to 64 group said in a May 2010 survey that they use Twitter. But they use social media, some daily.

Stephen Anfield, online community manager for the nonprofit Encore Careers, says he has found LinkedIn is the place he’s had the most success communicating with the 50-and-older set. Encore Careers isn’t a job placement site; it’s an information hub for people looking for jobs in which they can do some social good.

The organization’s LinkedIn group serves as a central location for people looking to find one of those jobs to get information and make connections. “What it’s all about is connecting those people where they can make the movement happen where they are,” Anfield says.

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