Over The Hill and Under The Radar

A blog for women of all ages who feel they are being ignored

How to deal with ageism when job hunting


How to deal with ageism when job hunting

Do you remember ‘The Bay City Rollers’ or queuing to see ‘Grease’ in your teens – then like me you are a proud 50 plus person. Welcome to the club!

How are you finding job hunting. Have you given up trying to get a job  or like me keep going as in the end we will get there.

Job hunting is a full-time job and there is a lot of competition not just for the over 50s I might add but we do need to put the extra effort in.

We have the experience and determination but sadly some employers do not see past our age and this is something we all must try to change.

Below are some tips on how to deal with ageism when job hunting if you are 50 plus.

How to get past your age during interviews

The tips below will help you to deal with ageism when job hunting.

Your date of birth does not have to be a CV or any application form. While many firms ask for your age when completing an on-line form you do not have to state your age.

Make sure your email address is only your name and does not include year of your birth.

Only go back 10 years on your CV. You can then do a summary of your previous roles without putting any actual dates. Lets face it being a filing clerk 30 years ago is not going to help you get the new Office Manager position you are applying for (or similar role!)

It is illegal for any employer or recruiter to ak your age during the job application.

How to deal with ageism when job hunting

Employers will often want to see your passport and sadly we cannot amend our date of birth on any official form. However, by the stage of seeing the passport it is generally for final verification and you would have hopefully secured the first round of interviews at that stage.

I want to grow old without facelifts … I want to have the courage to be loyal to the face I’ve made. Sometimes I think it would be easier to avoid old age, to die young, but then you’d never complete your life, would you? You’d never wholly know you.”
— Marilyn Monroe

How to sell yourself online

LinkedIn is one of the best professional sites to be on when seeking a new role. The majority of recruiters will be looking to LinkedIn to find the best candidates for the roles they are recruiting for.

I get the majority of my potential interviews from LinkedIn and the job section is excellent and I recommend you sign up for regular updates.

How to deal with ageism when job hunting


Do join groups on LinkedIn and add your comments to chats and forums. This will mean you are active and posting good comments will put  you in a good light. Never ever moan on LinkedIn about the last interview you had or that you are having trouble looking for a role. There are ways of explaining this in a post..For example if you have been out of work for 3 months you could do a post that would read…It is now 3 months since I left my last role at XYZ and now looking for a new role.

Most employers will do a search for you online after seeing your profile on LinkedIn and if they see pictures of you on Facebook that look compromising they are unlikely to call you for interview. So tidy up all your social media posts and be careful of what you post.  Why not ‘Google’ yourself to see what is on-line about you.

 ‘Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the new story you are willing to create’ – Oprah Winfrey

Age is just a number

Being around 50 does not mean you are old. Many people are now living longer and we now have people living to 100 plus. In fact our PM is 50 and our Queen is over 90.

In today’s world many people do and are capable of working beyond 70 and lets face it most of us need to work to carry on paying our mortgage well into our 60s (unless we win the lottery!). So you have at least another 25 years of working life in you.  So it is important that you do use this time in putting in the effort to find the right employment for you.

You may find that when you meet with a recruiter they could be younger than you and when being interviewed you could be meeting with younger people as well. That is nothing to worry about. So when meeting with potential employers just remind yourself that you have a lot to offer, you are a valuable person with many years of experience and knowledge which you have learned from various companies and that you are wonderful human being.

I hope you find this post useful and remember never ever give up!



6 Replies to “How to deal with ageism when job hunting”

  • This is all very true. You make some very good points about Linkedin, I haven’t used it very much but its good to know how it works if I ever do need to look for a full time job.. Without stating the obvious, women suffer on both side, obviously we are penalised when we are at the childbearing stage and once this passes ageism kicks in. Things have got to change.

    • Thank you. I think Linkedin is the only place to look for a new role. I could do 000s of blog posts on problems women have in the work place. I agree things MUST change. (rant over!!)

  • Some great tips! I’ll send this to our family friend who’s job hunting at the moment, and I can appreciate how daunting it must be and the challenges you could face in such a situation. She’s not happy with where she’s currently at, but it’s such a shame that she would rather stay where she is because she’s so apprehensive about applying elsewhere due to her age (over 50).
    Caz x

    • Thank you. Yes it is challenging when looking for a new job in your 50s. It is sad that we have to think we have to stay in a job we hate just because of our age.

  • Just come across your post & I just wanted to add that in my experience it’s impossible not to put your dob on an application form especially an online one as each section needs to be completed before you can move on to the next one and as they all have a date of birth section, well certainly the ones I’ve come across, I just don’t see a way round it. Also when you register with employment agencies you have to fill in your date of birth, the reason I’m constantly being told is if they have a candidate with exactly the same name as you it makes it easier to differentiate between the two and I did in fact refuse to give my dob to one particular agency for the reasons you said & they refused to register me! Now I know people will say that proves they’re not a good agency but when you’re unemployed and desperate for just temp work never mind permanent work and on top of that you’re over 50 you need to be registered with as many agencies as you can!

    My final point, and sorry to go on just my frustrations with the job market, again in my experience looking for work on LinkedIn doesn’t seem to be any better than looking elsewhere as 9 times out of 10 jobs are with recruiters which means the same jobs are also advertised on all the other websites like CV Library, Reed etc & in fact some of the jobs posted are in fact taken from other job search websites; it usually states at the bottom of the advert which website they’re from ie Totaljobs.

    • Thank you. I know there is no way to avoid the DOB element but it should still not be allowed. I registered with over 20 agencies but eventually got a job from one of them. It is a nightmare for the older workers and something must be done. With Linkedin yes a lot of agencies are on there but there are a lot of companies that advertise as a stand alone and these are where I have had interviews from. When I was job hunting the amount of times I saw the same job on every web site but nevertheless I still applied. It is a very tough market out there and you just have to keep going. Do not just rely on the job boards try other avenues as well (what about hand delivering some letters to local companies which I mentioned in my post?) Another good way is to put a post on Linkedin saying you are looking for a new role. Hope this helps. Kind regards Gerri

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