Unemployment rates for older workers are lower than that of the younger workforce, according to an AARP Public Policy Institute report issued in July. However, once older workers become unemployed, they tend to have a more difficult time finding employment and therefore remain unemployed longer than their younger counterparts.

To combat the discrimination that often occurs in the employment market against older workers, AARP has teamed up with LinkedIn to create Work Reimagined, a social networking platform designed to aid this population in finding gainful employment.The network will both offer advice and provide a connection to current job openings.

AARP's social network for older workers

Older Americans Reinvent Their Careers

About half of older Americans report that they've only guessed at the amount of money they'd need to sustain their lifestyles in retirement. A Wells Fargo survey finds that more than half of non-retired older workers (58 percent) say they plan to work only part-time during retirement, but investors warn that this may not be realistic. Investors recommend that most retirees reinvent their careers and seek to develop a new job strategy to supplement their retirement income and continue saving as life expectancies increase.

Social Networking Aids Job Searching

Peggy Northrop, editor of Work Reimagined, points out the importance of social networking in today's competitive job market. Gone are the days of emailing dozens of resumes from your laptop; today's job seekers have to get out and get themselves noticed. And that means actively participating in social networking sites to build connections and draw attention to your accomplishments.

About 120 employers have already signed the Work Reimagined pledge, which is a commitment to treat all job applicants the same, regardless of age. The job listings provided by Work Reimagined come from these employers. Scripps Health is one company which has already made the commitment. Vic Buzachero, senior vice president for innovation, tells USA Today, "We value all our employees. But there is something special about our more senior members of our team as they bring both education and experience to the job."

Older workers can connect with Work Reimagined via Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, or visit the website at WorkReimagined.AARP.org. If you're not yet retired but are considering making the retirement leap within a year or two, start building your connections now and considering how you can reinvent yourself in your golden years.