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How to Overcome Ageism When Applying for Jobs

March 2nd, 2021

Age discrimination happens. Many people are unfairly judged based on their age. There are two times in your career where your age can be an issue. When you first start out, and as you get toward the latter part of your career.

how to overcome ageism when applying for jobs

When you hear ageism, most generally think about discrimination against older professionals. But ageism for the young also exists. Here we will look at what ageism is and steps you can take to overcome it when applying for jobs.

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Startling Stats About Ageism

A 2019 study by Hiscox Insurance, Ageism in the Workplace Study, revealed some eye-opening stats about age discrimination in the workplace. Here are some highlights:

  • 44% of employees reported they or someone they know has experienced age discrimination in the workplace.
  • 21% said they faced age discrimination.
  • 36% said age discrimination has prevented them from getting a job since they turned 40.
  • 26% believe there is some risk they could lose their job because of their age.

What Is Ageism?

According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission:

“The term ‘ageism’ refers to two concepts: a socially constructed way of thinking about older persons based on negative attitudes and stereotypes about aging and a tendency to structure society based on an assumption that everyone is young, thereby failing to respond appropriately to the real needs of older persons.”

“The Ontario Human Rights Code prohibits age discrimination in employment, housing accommodation, goods, services and facilities, contracts and membership in trade and vocational associations.”

Tips to Beat Ageism When Applying for Jobs

Here are some effective strategies to take the emphasis off your age when applying for work:

  • Highlight Your Expertise: With age comes experience, expertise, and knowledge. Make sure you use your years of experience to your advantage, especially if you are competing against younger, less experienced candidates.
  • Keep Up With Industry Requirements: Learning and skill development never stops. Make sure you are keeping up with the latest trends in your industry. Ensure you have the in-demand skills and know-how to use popular technology.
  • Update Your Resume: Make sure your resume format is up to current industry standards. Limit your work history to the most relevant roles and edit your CV to focus on your current career goals. Refine your resume and make it laser-focused. Get your resume reviewed by a professional if required.
  • Work With A Recruiter: Working with a headhunter can help you overcome ageism bias. They can connect you with employers and organizations who are more than willing to hire mature job seekers.

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IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm supporting clients across the country. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Executive Search / Board & C-Suite, Technology, Media, Digital & Marketing, Accounting & Finance, Financial Services & Insurance, Cannabis, Startup, Data Science, Consumer, eCommerce & Retail, Operations & HR, Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Engineering, Legal & Professional Services, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, Non-Profit & Sustainability, and Sales. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Elaine Bellio

Elaine is a Director, Client Services with IQ PARTNERS with a specialty focus in recruiting for B2B & B2C Marketing and Sales across a number of industries. She has amassed a total of 18 years in sales, sales management, and recruiting at the agency level – selling both contingent and retained search – and has a deep understanding of the sales and marketing processes and what it takes to build a successful team.

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