How to Avoid Age Discrimination When Applying for Jobs

by | Oct 24, 2022


In the modern world, age can be a critical factor in determining whether or not to employ someone. As the workforce gets progressively younger, employers are looking for people who can be molded into ideal employees and may limit hiring older recruits.  


Although this can make it challenging for older applicants to break into the job market, there are several simple things you can do to avoid age discrimination when applying for jobs.


Age Discrimination on Your Resume


With any job application, your resume is a critical factor for recruiters and hiring managers when determining whether or not you are qualified for the job and whether to contact you for an interview. 


Here are some of the biggest changes you can make to tailor your resume to highlight your skills and qualifications and prevent age discrimination. 


Leave Your Age Out of the Picture


One of the simplest ways to avoid age discrimination is not to display it at all. Unless directed on an online application, resumes are not required to show age, so there is no advantage in listing one.


In addition to omitting your birth date, avoid listing your full contact details, including your full home address and landline phone number, which can identify you as an older worker. Younger applicants don’t use landlines. 


Most hiring managers contact potential job candidates via email or cell phone. On your cover letter and resume, simply include your full name, a professional email address (not a personal one), and a cell phone number.


Include a Professional Social Media Contact


When listing your contact information, list your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn profiles are easy to access for potential employers, and having a Linkedin is a great way to stay connected and expand your network in your industry. 


Many people view LinkedIn as a professional social media platform. However, the professional aspect is the crucial part, so keep your interests and posts catered to furthering your career, which makes you a more desirable employee.



Optimize Your Resume for ATS


As most applications are submitted online, employers have moved to using an applicant tracking system (ATS), which allows them to streamline the process of reviewing resumes.


The ATS identifies specific keywords and resume characteristics, then filters out candidates based on what the organization is looking for. Use keywords and phrases from the online job description, and check the LinkedIn profile of current employees from the company who have a similar position for common language and keywords to include in your resume.


Ensure your resume is formatted so that it is easily recognized by the ATS. Some tips to keep in mind when formatting a modern resume:


  • Fit your resume comfortably on one page and avoid leaving too much space along the margins. 
  • Margins should be between .5 and 1 inch
  • Outside of section headers, 10 to 12-size font should be used. Always use easy-to-read fonts like Arial, although other fonts can also be used. 
  • Organize all information based on recency when listing experience and education. For example, your current job should be on top of the list, your former job next, and so on. 


Always submit your resume as an MS word doc since this file format is easily readable by most ATS. 


Tailor Your Resume for the Job Position


While building your resume, ensure you research the company, analyze the job description listed, and then rework your resume to fit what they are looking for. 


Regarding your experience and education, try to leave out any information that indicates your age. For instance, if you graduated with a Master’s degree, list the degree and study, but leave out the graduation dates for when you applied and graduated.


Although the older generation will have more previous jobs than their younger counterparts, remember that you only want to provide the most recent and relevant experience to avoid age discrimination. 


When listing your experiences, correct some of the wording to fit the modern work environment. Instead of positions like chief or vendor, use current terms like team leader or sales manager. 


Keep in mind that altering job titles is fine when it provides a more accurate description of what you did, but avoid renaming titles that are not accurate to your role within that company. 


Be mindful when creating your resume that rather than focus on the description of the jobs you have performed, you want to tailor the experience section to highlight your accomplishments. For example, if you previously worked in sales, list your sales figures and how they relate to the company’s average or the average for your position.


Technical skills are highly touted in any industry, so along with listing accomplishments, highlight your qualifications and how these assets can be applied to the job you are applying for.



Searching for Jobs as an Older Worker


Age diversity is crucial for an effective workforce. Older workers bring experience and stability that many younger employees don’t offer, but employers may turn away candidates they don’t perceive as fitting with the modern era. 


Following these tips and constructing a more professional resume can help you stand out from competing job seekers. For more information on potential jobs near you, visit to start your job search.