The 15 Best Ways to Handle Age Discrimination During A Job Search

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Age discrimination during a job search can be discouraging and frustrating. But there are proactive steps older workers can take to overcome bias and effectively market themselves.

00:00 Intro
00:47 1-5
02:12 6-10
04:20 11-15
6:12 Outro

11 Things You Can Do to Overcome Ageism In a Job Search

Age discrimination during a job search can be discouraging and frustrating. But there are proactive steps you can take to overcome bias and market yourself. I’m Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. People hire me for no BS job search advice and coaching globally, because I make the process much easier for people.

Now, in this I’m going to talk about 15 strategies, actually the tactics as I think about it, for leveraging your experience and skills, so you can land interviews and job offers, because with the right approach, you can show employers that you are an asset, regardless of age.

So the first thing is with your resume, make it accomplishments focused, highlighting your experience skills and quantifiable achievements relevant to the role you’re trying to interview for, rather than just a chronological work history that might not deliver the right information.

Second, on your resume, focus on relevant skills and avoid listing graduation dates, so that this way, you’re de emphasizing your age.

Third, update your LinkedIn profile with a current professional headshot, and industry relevant keywords. You know, there’s so many people I talk to who have the 10 year old headshots, and they don’t look anything like the picture. When you walk in, people are shocked. You view it as age discrimination. They view it as who is this person? And stay active posting and connecting on LinkedIn.

Fourth, take courses and get certifications to show that you’re up to date on the latest trends and technology in your field. LinkedIn, Coursera, there are lots of platforms that you can do this with that make it easy, free, or very inexpensive Five, network both online and in person, trying to get referrals from peers and leverage your experience.

Combating Ageism During Your Job Search

Six, craft an elevator pitch that focuses on the value you bring versus past experience. Practice it. The format I teach is “people hire me for (fill in the blank) because I (fill in the blank). People hire me for no BS job search advice and coaching globally, because I make the process so much easier for people. That’s my version. Try and come up with something as brief as that for yourself.

Next, number seven, in interviews, have examples ready that demonstrate your adaptability, tech savviness and eagerness to learn. Remember that one of the biases against older professionals is that we are (and I am an older professional) obviously stuck in our ways. So you have to talk about adaptability in the course of answering your questions. And that can show up in lots of different ways while you tell stories.

Eight and this is a fun one, and AARP and their website often is very helpful here. Look for age diversity initiatives because some companies explicitly value age diversity. Look for statements on their website, highlight your experiences and assets and bring diverse perspectives and AARP has information about firms that are committed to doing that

Address gaps proactively because if you have large resume gaps, develop a short explanation highlighting relevant volunteer experience, courses, consulting projects you took on and just briefly explain gaps that might be due to caregiving and that could be with a child, it can be with an elderly parent– makes no difference. Number 10. No one is going to directly ask your age. Your job is to explain why your experience is an asset and how you can continue to grow your skills plus demonstrate that you’re not tired, burned out or act like a has been.

11, Don’t apologize for employment gaps. Focus on what you accomplish during that time. 12 During salary negotiations, focus on the value you bring to the role rather than past compensation. “But I was making . . . and now you’re offering me only . .  .” Just focus on your value. Next, if you suspect age bias, ask for specific examples of how you’re not a fit based on culture or skills. You know, cultural fit is one of those euphemisms that can be used for “you’re an old guy. You’re an old woman. We don’t think you’ll fit. 14. This should be obvious by now, send a thank you note after interviews, reiterating your interest and fit for the role based upon skills. Remind people of some of the things that you’ve done that are relevant to the role that they’re trying to fill. And last for today, if you receive a rejection, ask for feedback that you can use to improve or improve during your search. They may not tell you anything directly. However, if they do one of those, “we thought you were a little light,” well, you can follow up and say, “in what aspects did you sense my experience was not strong enough? Please be specific. I want to learn from you. I’m not here to get into an argument. I’d just like to understand. HR will try and duck the answer, because they may not have been told yet. But just simply politely say, “again, I’m not here to get into a fight. I want to get better at this. If there’s something I didn’t do well enough or convey properly. I want to make sure that with the next firm I interview with, I do a better job. Please try and get the information.”

So that’s today’s show. I hope you found this helpful. I’m Jeff Altman. I’ve got a lot more in the blog at my website, Go to the blog; go exploring. There’s a lot there to help you. In addition, you can schedule time for a free discovery call, schedule time for coaching, schedule Trusted Advisor Services where I answer questions from people. Also, you can schedule. . .  you can find out about my video courses, books and guides. Again, there’s a lot there help.

And lastly, connect with me on LinkedIn at My network tends to be a lot larger than most of yours so following me or connecting with me is going to help you build out your network which will help you land your next role. Have a terrific day and be great!

Reading Beneath the Surface


People hire Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter to provide No BS Career Advice globally because he makes many things in peoples’ careers easier. Those

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

things can involve job search, hiring more effectively, managing and leading better, career transition, as well as advice about resolving workplace issues. 

Schedule a discovery call at my website,

He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2600 episodes.

Website: (schedule a paid coaching session, a free discovery call or ask questions using my Trusted Adviser Services)



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1 Response
  1. Dr TILAK M.D

    Jeff why would anyone work with mericanos who act entitiled. The only ego they have is that they have generationally exploited non merucano ethinicities. Now with the toxic feminism and fake women empowerments they old fashioned holier than thou has percolated deep seated pervasive chopping block for hardworking men.

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