Not only is age discrimination illegal, it also reflects bad business sense. Any forward-thinking company knows it’s not a worker’s age that counts, it’s her ability to get the job done–especially in today’s tight labor market.
If you think you’ll face problems getting a job because of your age, here are some tips to follow:
- Rely on your network. People who know you personally will vouch for your ability as a worker.
- Don’t mention your age. It’s also illegal for an employer to ask how old you are.
- Use your age to your advantage. In interviews, stress how your experience has prepared you to handle a multitude of challenges–and give concrete examples.
- Dress to fit your personality, not your age. If you’re naturally casual, you’ll feel comfortable in today’s relaxed work environment. But if you’re the stockings-and-heels type, don’t go overboard in the other direction and dress like someone you’re not.
- If you feel you’ve been discriminated against because of your age, seek help from an organization such as the Justice in Aging or your state’s Equal Rights Commission or labor agency.