How to Avoid Age Discrimination

Posted by

You have a wealth of experience and maturity BECAUSE of your age, but your applications are overlooked.  Why is this happening? What clues to your age are you giving away on your job applications? How can you get the employer to give your application for that customer service job a closer look? Here are a few ways to help.
Some interviewers may not even be aware that they have a preconceived notion of the perfect candidate in their head. They may not think an older person will be able to perform the job. This is why you want to avoid age discrimination when filling out your application. It isn’t necessary to list any jobs you worked at more then ten years back, unless the work you did will benefit the job you’re applying for. Don’t list your date of birth either, just list your name, address and contact information.
Also don’t list your school and college dates. With the experience you have, I don’t think they’ll care where you went to school at 17. Do list any professional qualifications that you do have or any schooling that pertains to the job you’re seeking. Don’t include family details. They can figure out how old you are by your children’s ages. Although it has nothing to do with your abilities, it could affect whether they consider you or not.
Watch what hobbies you write down. It isn’t necessary to answer the question unless your hobby is relevant to your job. Listing crocheting, embroidery and The Red Hat Society are all clues to your age. If you are rock climbing and bungee jumping, well, that’s another story.
So you do get a job interview, what now? They may be surprised by your age when you walk in so make sure you pay attention to your personal image. Make sure your clothes are updated and your look is current. Maintain a high level of energy during the interview and project enthusiasm and vitality. Stress that your maturity is an asset not a liability. Show you have confidence in yourself and the skills and qualifications to be the best person for the job. Mention that mature workers stay at a job longer which reduces turnover in turn reduces the cost of hiring and training. If you understand that your maturity and expertise are assets, not liabilities you are more likely to land the job you want.
If you have been a victim of age discrimination or have other suggestions on how to avoid it, please leave your comments.
By Linda Lee Ruzicka
Linda Lee Ruzicka lives in the mountains of Western PA , happily married and with her 8 cats and three dogs. She has been published in Twilight Times, Dark Krypt, Fables, Decending Darkness, Writing Village, June Cotner anthology, The Grit, Reminisce , the book, Haunted Encounters: Friends and Family. She is a Affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association. She also does freelance work for Beyond and for More of her blogs can be found at

Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

  • Melissa Kennedy
    Melissa Kennedy
    Thanks for the great comment, Evie. Unfortunately, age discrimination happens and the best we can do is keep trying and don't allow other people's prejudices to stop us from putting ourselves out there!
  • Evie G
    Evie G
    It doesn't matter.  I have done all of the above and am still unemployed.  I ace the telephone interviews, but when the interviewers meet me in person there is an unmistakable  look of surprise on their faces.  One interviewer even commented, "You sounded so much younger on the phone."   I am a young 63 year old and have a lot of energy.  I play tennis, ride bikes, rollerblade, hike, etc.  I have excellent computer and communication skills.  I dress fashionably, but professionally for interviews.  I am highly qualified for the positions I am interviewing for, but the reason I am not hired is obvious - age discrimination.

Jobs to Watch