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Text: Our top 5 tips for overcoming ageism in the job search so you can find a job you love. Image of woman with white hair sitting at her laptop.

How To Overcome Ageism In The Job Search: Tips For Job Seekers

In today’s competitive job market, age should never be a barrier to landing your dream job. Ageism can present challenges, however, with the right strategies, you can overcome stereotypes and biases.

In this blog, we’ll share some valuable tips and insights to help mature aged job seekers navigate the job search journey successfully, ensuring that your skills shine. For mature age workers, getting a job means enjoying a self-sufficient and fulfilling life. Here at atWork Australia, we take a personalised and focused approach to help you achieve what you want out of life.

What Does Ageism Look Like

Ageism in the job search manifests as discrimination or bias based on a candidate’s age. It can involve employers preferring younger candidate, assuming older workers lack tech skills, or devaluing years of experience. Job ads requesting “young” or “energetic” applicants, and interview questions probing age-related topics, like retirement plans, are common signs. Ageism undermines equal opportunities and overlooks the valuable contributions older workers can bring to the table; the skills and experience that mature aged workers can bring to the workforce are proven to create productive workplaces where the skills of the older workers compliment and fill the gaps of a younger team.

Tips For Overcoming Ageism In The Job Search

Overcoming ageism in the job search requires a proactive approach. Start by showcasing you skills, accomplishments, and adaptability on your resume and LinkedIn profile. Emphasise relevant, recent experience and highlight you ability to learn and grow; this doesn’t necessarily have to be employment related, consider your transferrable skills and life experience. During interviews, focus on your enthusiasm, problem-solving skills, and cultural fit within the organisation. Networking is key; connect with professionals across generations, attend industry events, and seek mentorship opportunities. You could also consider retraining or upskilling to demonstrate your commitment to staying current. Lastly, know your rights and be prepared to address age-related questions or concerns.

Give Your Resume A Makeover

Our five key tips for giving your resume a makeover are:

  1. Emphasise relevant experience: Tailor your resume to highlight recent and relevant work experiences. Focus on accomplishments, showcasing how your skills have evolved over time;
  2. Modernise your format: Update your resume’s format to a clean and contemporary design. You can find templates in Word and Google Pages. Use legible fonts and concise, bullet-pointed descriptions. Avoid excessive details about early career roles;
  3. Include key skills: Showcase you ability by listing current skills, especially those related to technology or industry-specific tools. This demonstrates your ability to stay current;
  4. Quantify achievements: Use quantifiable metrics to illustrate your impact in previous roles. Numbers and percentages can make your accomplishments more compelling; and
  5. Professional summary: Write a concise professional summary at the beginning of your resume. Highlight your skills, passion and commitment to your field, positioning yourself as a valuable asset.

Prepare For Inappropriate Interview Questions

Prepare for inappropriate age-related interview questions by anticipating them and planning your responses. We recommend that you politely redirect the conversation to your qualifications, skills, and achievements; focus on your adaptability and commitment to the role. If necessary, consult legal resources to know your rights and seek advice on handling discriminatory queries professionally.

Stay Current On Trends And Technology

Staying current with trends and technology involves continuous learning. You can enroll in online courses, attend webinars, and read industry publications. Additionally, you can join professional networks and engage in discussions. We recommend you seek opportunities to apply new knowledge in you work to stay relevant and competitive in your field.  To develop your digital literacy skills and assist you in your job seeking journey, there are a range of services and platforms available which will support and enable you to build new skills and apply these to your work. These platforms will aid you in achieving your goal of securing sustainable employment and allow you to plan so you can work efficiently.

Networking With Other Mature Aged Workers

Networking with other mature aged workers can be powerful. It offers a shared understanding of career challenges and opportunities. You can connect through industry events, associations, or online platforms. In these forums you can exchange insights, support, and jobs leads. This network and support can also help boost confidence and open doors to fulfilling career transitions.

Look For Age-Friendly Employers

Selecting age-friendly employers involves researching company cultures and policies. Look for organisations with inclusive hiring practices, diverse workforces, and flexible work arrangements. Seek reviews and insights from current or former employees to help gauge age-related attitudes.

Frequently Asked Questions On Overcoming Ageism In The Job Market

As you set your employment goals and search for the right job for you, you may have questions along the way. You can find some of our frequently asked questions here, but here are a few more relating to ageism:

  1. How can I address ageism during the job interview?
    1. Prepare responses that focus on your skills, adaptability, and relevant experiences.
  2. What can I do to combat age bias in my resume?
    1. Highlight recent and relevant experience; focus on skills and accomplishments.
  3. Are there strategies for networking effectively as an older job seeker?
    1. Engage in professional networks, attend industry events, seek mentorship opportunities.
  4. How do I respond to inappropriate interview questions about my age?
    1. Politely steer the conversation back to your qualifications
  5. What steps do I take to find age-friendly employers?
    1. Research company cultures policies and employer experience to identify organisations that value diversity and inclusion.

What Can I Do If I’m Asked About My Age During A Job Interview?

If asked you age in a job interview, respond confidently but diplomatically. You can inquire about the relevance of the question to the job role. Emphasise your qualifications, skills, and enthusiasm for the position.

How Can I Prove I’m Still Capable Of Doing The Job?

To prove you are still capable of doing the job, despite your age, focus on these strategies:

  1. Highlight relevant skills;
  2. Quantify achievements;
  3. Discuss your continuing education;
  4. Discus your adaptability when it comes to technology or industry changes;
  5. Express your enthusiasm for the role; and
  6. Provide references who can vouch for your work ethic and abilities.


In the quest to find age-friendly employers, a strategic approach is paramount. We encourage you to conduct research into a company’s culture and reputation, seeking organisations who are known for their inclusivity and commitment to diverse workforces. Leverage your personal networks and reach out for support to employment services providers for additional support.

By combining these strategies, along with a firm grasp of your legal protections, you can identify employers that not only appreciate your experience but also actively foster an environment where age is celebrated, not a barrier.

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