When older adults experience ageism in the workplace, it typically appears as rude comments, lack of movement in the company, and isolation or exclusion. While this is not always purposeful, it is still harmful, and avoiding age discrimination while job hunting as an older adult can be difficult. To help, here’s how you can avoid ageism during your job search.
Craft Your Resume Accordingly
The first step is to make your resume look modern, professional, and updated. Your resume should fit on one page unless you are an executive. Additionally, use easy-to-read fonts such as Helvetica or Calibri, which should be no less than 10-point and no more than 12-point. You should also include your updated email address, physical address, and phone number.
In writing your resume, take away graduation dates and focus less on your education. While you can still include where you went to school and your degrees, keep your education experience at the bottom of the page. Instead, put more emphasis on what you can do and how well you can get the job done.
Emphasize Excitement and Abilities
During the application and interview stages, focus less on how much experience you have. Employers want to see that you’re excited and bring energy to the job. Highlight your communicative skills, willingness to work, and how well you can follow and lead. Recruiters like to see self-aware applicants, so you can brag, but remember to identify your weaknesses and areas you could improve. In doing so, emphasize how eager you are to improve and learn new things.
Identify Inappropriate Questions
Identifying discrimination during the hiring process is arguably one of the best ways to avoid ageism during your job search. This is because the questions or hiring processes an employer puts you through will indicate their attitude towards older working adults. Employers may ask you how long you plan to work, your experience with technology, and other age-related questions. It’s best to redirect and not directly answer those questions. However, if an employer asks you about your health, how much time you plan to take off due to illnesses, or any similarly inappropriate questions, it’s best to consider not working there.
Ultimately, when looking for a job as an older adult, you want to do your best to protect your peace of mind. Don’t subject yourself to a workplace that doesn’t value you as much as you deserve. Following these steps will ensure that you don’t end up working for an employer that doesn’t see past your age to your true worth.