Out of Work Boomers Need Facebook?

book for faceI know times are desperate for many people facing unemployment, foreclosure, or bankruptcy, but can Facebook hold the key to reinvention for baby boomers? Please, God, say no.

The New York Times’ Eilene Zimmerman writes a column called Career Couch and recently offered advice to jobseekers 55 and over. Most of it was useful, if not common sense tips, such as eliminating from your resume the year you went to college and/or graduate school and instead just summarizing the degrees you hold. Make your age and experience into an asset rather than a liability, etc. If employers are worried about an older employee’s energy level, you need to prove you’ve still got some zip, so list hobbies such as running, snowboarding, or skydiving.

It was at this point that I began picturing myself at an interview (and that has not happened in 30+ years) wigged out on five cans of Red Bull and repeatedly using the word “insane” to describe everything. “Is this your employee break room? Those inspirational posters on the wall are INSANE!!”

The advice that really had me worried, however, was how to prove to a potential employer that you can keep up with changing technology (as if all the post boomers can do that). I get that an face on bookemployer is going to want to know that you can go online, write and answer email, operate word processing software and other applications that are pertinent to the job, but one human resource expert suggests you join social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook and then list your URL on the resume.

So this is what it’s come to? Leaping, lemming-like over the cliff onto the Facebook heap? Baby boomers who have worked hard to support their families all these years, who have paid their taxes and supported their communities, must now drink the Kool-Aid (or in this instance, Red Bull) and prove their bona fides by joining Facebook. This will clearly demonstrate their technological superiority (or at least parity) with any Generation X, Y or Z. And while you’re at it, why don’t you Twitter the human resources director and let her/him know what you’re doing now in 140 characters or less (“hurling chunks after job interview, surprised at how nervous I was”). Better yet, text them while you’re driving home after the interview. “Tht wuz fun. Look 4wrd 2 hearing frm U, my new BFF.”

Yeah, that’ll work.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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