4 Tips to Fight Ageism in Your Job Search

4 Tips to Fight Ageism in Your Job Search
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While the COVID-19 pandemic has hit all corners of the employment sphere, older workers have been disproportionately disadvantaged.


Struggles faced by older workers – whether purely based on economics, or the result of ageism in hiring and employment practices – are of significant interest to MOAA as we assist transitioning veterans who enter the private sector after decades of uniformed service.


As part of these efforts, MOAA recently hosted a webinar along with Kenneth L. Johnson, president and founder of East Coast Executives and an established expert on hiring practices. He offered some guidance to older workers attempting to chart their career path amid coronavirus challenges, while stressing the often-overlooked benefits of hiring older workers, which include:

  • A tendency to stay at a company longer.
  • A wealth of skills and experience.
  • A previously established professional network.
  • A different perspective and ideas than younger workers.


The entire webinar is available at this link to Premium and Life members and offers more tips and expert advice. Here’s a taste – four quick tips for older workers in the job market.


1. Set up your social media. As soon as staffers at Johnson’s business receive a résumé, “they Google that individual and they look for their social media presence,” he said. “If you lack a social media presence, sometimes people believe you’re not tech-savvy, and that’s a concern.” This doesn’t mean you’ll need a constant stream of Instagram posts or live Twitter chats to land your next job, but some level of participation may be beneficial. A LinkedIn profile is a great way to show you’re plugged in.


[RELATED: More About LinkedIn From MOAA]


2. Modernize. Ditch the AOL and Hotmail email address. Move your education section to the bottom of your résumé to emphasize your work experience. Remove jobs from 15 or more years ago. If you’re interviewing virtually, be sure you’ve mastered your webcam setup before the big day.

3. Don’t over-answer. Older applicants may receive questions about retirement plans, their comfort level working for younger managers, or even health conditions. “You want to answer them to the best of your ability”, Johnson said, “but don’t feel obligated to share too much.” Wherever possible, keep the spotlight on your skill set.


[RELATED: Visit MOAA's Job Board, in Partnership With Indeed]


4. Be your best advocate. Let your résumé showcase your experience – in the interview, emphasize your excitement for the position instead of harkening back to past accomplishments. Give examples of successful projects you’ve led or participated in that involved employees of all ages and ability levels. “Share that you are willing to lead,” Johnson said, “but also share that you are willing to work as part of a team.”


Want more, including answers to member questions on the topic? Premium and Life members can access the webinar at this link, and find other webinars in the MOAA archive.


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About the Author

Kevin Lilley
Kevin Lilley

Lilley serves as MOAA's digital content manager. His duties include producing, editing, and managing content for a variety of platforms, with a concentration on The MOAA Newsletter and MOAA.org. Follow him on X: @KRLilley