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How to fight ageism in your job search

Published: Monday 3rd August 2020

Job seekers have to deal with a lot of numbers when they embark on a job search, most of them have to do with pay, hours or length of contract. However, for older people seeking employment, age is another number which can loom large on any job application. People who are already in employment in the UK are protected against ageism in the workplace by the Equality Act 2010 which prohibits age discrimination. However, for those seeking work, ageism can be a difficult obstacle to overcome. 

Ageism in the job search process and the job market

Employers in UK are not allowed to advertise jobs which specify what age the applicant should be, except in some cases where it is necessary that they are at least 18 years old. However, that does not stop some ageism issues from creeping into the recruitment process.  

There a number of reasons why employers will look to recruit younger people and one of these is that they want to know that the person they appoint will be working for them for a long time. They also know that older and more experienced workers tend to command higher wages than those who have recently graduated or have limited experience. 

mature woman, job seeker at an interview filling in documents.

How to combat ageism in your job application 

For most people, any job search begins with a job application and although you may be required to include you date of birth, this is usually kept separately from the main job application to guard against ageism. However, an employer will easily be able to work out your age from an application, so it is important to promote the positive points of being an older worker, such as experience and a good work ethic. 

Other solutions to ageism 

Whether it is in your job application or an interview with a prospective employer, it is important to be able to pre-empt ageism issues which may arise. One way you can do this is by mentioning how long you intend working for. People are living longer these days and it is not uncommon for a person to have a second, or even third, career. Therefore, you should make a point of stating that you plan to be in work for many years to come. 

A mature businesswoman with a tablet explaining something to her colleagues in a meeting or networking event. Ageism in the job search process concept

Embracing new technology during your job search

One way which older works may feel excluded from certain jobs is in the technology involved. One of the many solutions to ageism, therefore, is to make sure you are up to speed with new technology. There are lots of free courses available to brush up your IT skills and you should also stress in your job application or interview that you are always eager to learn new ways of working.  

Freshen up your CV 

While your CV may be crammed full of experience, the overall look of it may seem dated to some potential employers. Take some time to look up some modern CV templates to see what works and freshen it up. You may also find that some employers are better than others at giving older people an opportunity and a good way of finding out who they are is to check out employer review websites to see what kind of feedback other employees have left. 

If you’re looking for your next job, visit Zoek and search from thousands of UK jobs today!

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