Here Are 5 Ways To Deal With Age Discrimination During The Job Hunt

Here Are 5 Ways To Deal With Age Discrimination During The Job Hunt
Jobstreet content teamupdated on 13 April, 2022

Age is just a number and it should stay that way, so why does age discrimination exist? Whether you are starting out in your career or smack dab in the middle of it should not matter. Age should neither be a point of contention nor should it affect any aspect of your career.Â

But sadly, it does. The Commission on Human Rights shares that systemic discrimination affects older people, particularly those beyond 40. Such is evident in the available services and the work opportunities, as well as medical care.

What is age discrimination?Â

Also defined as ageism, it refers to the difference in treatment due to age. There are four kinds that fall under here:

  • Direct: You receive explicitly worse treatment than your colleague because of how old you are
  • Indirect: The inequity comes from a pre-existing law in the company regarding age (e.g. promotion of individuals who are aged 22 years old and above)
  • Victimization: When you speak up for a person suffering from discrimination and you end up getting roped in
  • Harassment: When you are degraded because of your age

The same report illustrated examples of such ageist situations, particularly in the older market bracket.

Some service employers, in particular, limit the hiring to 25 years old as maximum. If your age group is beyond that, they stop the recruitment process. In the same vein, OFWs who return home struggle to find work because of the preference for younger blood.

But such cases should not even occur because of the Department of Labor's regulation. Entitled the " Anti-Age Discrimination Employment Act," (RA 10911),  this states that all Philippine citizens should receive equal opportunities. The bill breaks down its points further and illustrates the following:

  • Hiring and promotion factors should prioritize abilities, skills, and qualifications
  • Equal treatment in terms of compensation, benefits, training, and other related opportunities
  • No forced firing or job advertisements on the basis of age

When is age a factor?

Age only becomes a factor in line with labor laws, which exist to protect minors from illegal employment (or child labor). While the Philippines has moved the working age to 15, they still require a parent or guardian's permission to work. Officially, individuals 18 and above are the ones who are entitled to opportunities without supervision.

Despite these, discrimination is still an inevitable experience in the industry. Whether you are working or searching for a job, you may encounter such events.

How do you counter these? We share with you five ways.

Rearrange your resume

Aside from sticking to a single page, you must be able to display your achievements at first glance. If you are already part of the working world, you can move your educational history to the bottom of your CV. You can even opt to remove the years of your studies.

After all, there is no law that states you need to have them on anyway.

Bring up your work experience to the top of the page and list your achievements accordingly. But also make sure that you cull and clean your work. This means that you can remove old jobs or internships and focus on what you have accomplished now.

Fresh graduates can also take a page or two from this, especially if they are looking for entry-level jobs. They can put their internships or awards at the top of the page, plus the skills they have in their arsenal.

Another tip you can remember when laying your resume out is to make it ATS friendly. ATS refers to applicant tracking system and is usually the primary system most hirers use.

Do not engage ageist questions

The objective of an interview is for the employer to get to know you. But take note that they should be asking you about your professional life. Age can be a factor there, but not as a direct question.

Watch out for questions like "How old are you?" or "Shouldn't you be retiring soon?" You have the right not to answer these. If they ask you about such, you can deflect by focusing on what you can offer instead. You can even spin the narrative to say that your experience comes from the jobs you took on.

If they continue to push the topic (and your buttons), you can respectfully decline. You can even take this as a company red flag. The right company will always take into account what you can give and not how old you are.

Stay current and updated

Trends vary from generation to generation, but nowadays, they change in a snap. The greatest edge you can have is being in the know about the present. Not only will your future employers appreciate that, your market value will also increase.

A great example of this is upskilling, where you learn new skills beyond your job scope. This is a response to the workplace shift, where more employers want to maximize employees to multi-task.

Get yourself some transferable skills to add onto your resume. Transferable skills are skills that you can apply wherever you are. This will definitely show companies that you are qualified for multiple positions. If you are also thinking of shifting to a completely different industry, such skills will be beneficial to have.

Make your experience talk

Your experience should be your marketing tool. More than that, it is your primary hiring point. So do not be ashamed of your seasoned experience. Continue to talk about it extensively and connect it to how such can benefit your interviewer.

You can even phrase it in a way that your achievements are hard-earned. They come with a lot of invested work and time.

What is the most important takeaway here? Your experience is an advantage and not what will sell you short. Be proud of where you are because of it.

Be sure to network

So you fell through during your job interview. But there is a silver lining though. Not all job interviews fail because of your age. There are a lot of factors that you need to take into consideration. But on the other hand, such is out of your control.

However, what you can control are the people you seek out. Make use of the contacts you have and get in touch with them. Let them know that you are searching for a new opportunity and to contact you if such comes up. You can even search through job postings and apply from there.

There is a bevy of opportunities awaiting you, and who knows? Your dream job could come from a good friend's word.

Age discrimination is still rampant and is a concept that should be eliminated. But for now, you can make use of your skills and knowledge to get you far. The workplace climate is ever changing and more inclusivity is being embraced. Believe in yourself and you can go places.

The key here is to remain positive. Do not give up! You will score eventually.

Have you updated your profile ? Find the #JobsThatMatter on JobStreet when you search jobs. The more you search, the more JobStreet understands your needs, so you can find the perfect match to fulfill you professionally and personally. Visit our Career Resources Hub for more expert advice on developing a rewarding career.

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